George Takei scores an unlikely defender: William Shatner

07.03.15 2 years ago

So, George Takei called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in blackface” for writing the following passage in his dissent on last week's historic gay marriage ruling:

Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built.

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

“For him to say slaves had dignity,” Takei told FOX 10 Phoenix. “Doesn't he know that slaves were enchained? That they were whipped on the back?…They were raped? And he says they had dignity as slaves?…This man does not belong in the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.”

After suffering backlash when the video was shared online — with many on Twitter calling Takei a racist — the actor and advocate gained an unlikely defender in former “Star Trek” co-star William Shatner, who has famously feuded with Takei over the years.

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Loosely related: did you know William Shatner tweets about 900 times a day? In any event, Twitter user @JamilSmith may have summed up the kerfuffle best:

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