George Takei landed in some trouble over his feelings on Clarence Thomas’ dissent in the same-sex marriage ruling: He popped onto a Fox’s Phoenix affiliate to drop this little bomb: “He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there.” This particular passage from the Obergefell v. Hodges case set Takei in motion:
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.
Takei must have interpreted the passage to say that slavery was synonymous with “dignity,” but Thomas was really saying that “dignity” was something that cannot be removed or bestowed by the court. Whatever the case, Takei’s “blackface” comment did not sit well. He received an unlikely helping hand from frenemy William Shatner on Twitter.
Stranger things have happened, no? Shatner tweets all day and night, but Takei noticed these entries and gave thanks.