35 pages 1 hour read

George Takei

They Called Us Enemy

Nonfiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Adult | Published in 2019

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Important Quotes

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“In memory of Daddy and Mama, for their undying love and life guidance.” 

(Page 4)

Takei dedicates the book to his parents, acknowledging at the beginning that he is grateful to be their child. This offsets the tension when teenage George feels that his father betrayed the family by allowing them to be interned. He later enjoys exceptional success in his life, career, and activism, all things that his parents made possible by the values they instilled in him.

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“In California, at that time, the single most popular political position was ‘Lock up the Japs.’” 

(Page 20)

Earl Warren is the attorney general of California when the attack on Pearl Harbor happens. He embraces the immediate anti-Japanese sentiment for political gain. He warns that unless true Americans do something about the Japanese American citizens, Pearl Harbor, or something like it, will happen again.

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“They are Japanese and nothing else…regardless of how many generations may have been born in America.” 

(Page 21)

Fletcher Bowron, the mayor of Los Angeles after the Pearl Harbor bombing, reduces the Japanese to nothing but their ethnicity. His close-minded view does not allow for any dialogue between the US government and the Japanese American citizens. Bowron’s propaganda engenders widespread mistrust of the Japanese.