George Takei has been under fire the past few days for his comments against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, referring to the judge as a “little clown in blackface.” Takei has had his supporters, including Star Trek castmate and longtime rival William Shatner, but the star has taken plenty of heat for the racist remark.
Inspired by the holiday and facing criticism for his comments, Takei took to his Facebook page to pen an apology and attempt to clarify his meanings:
When asked by a reporter about the opinion, I was still seething, and I referred to him as a “clown in blackface” to suggest that he had abdicated and abandoned his heritage. This was not intended to be racist, but rather to evoke a history of racism in the theatrical arts. While I continue to vehemently disagree with Justice Thomas, the words I chose, said in the heat of anger, were not carefully considered.
Saying something is not intended to be racist doesn’t really excuse it for being racist, but it is better than either doubling down or being actively racist. Takei isn’t out burning down churches or worse, so I think it is safe to say the latter isn’t happening. He’s certainly not above criticism though, and his full statement (embedded below) shows that. Does the apology clear things up or is there still more to account for?
(Via George Takei)