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Is George Takei a racist for his statements?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 598 times Debate No: 77322
Debate Rounds (3)
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George Takei recently made the statement that Justice Thomas was "black buffoon" and "clown in blackface".

While, Takei does make mention of Justice Thomas' race, I don't believe his remarks to be of a racist context as they do not contain the necessary elements to express a view or belief of racial superiority.


I accept your debate challenge. Huzzah!
Debate Round No. 1


1.Racist: a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another - Google
2. Racism: poor treatment or violence against people because of their race - Merriam Websters Online Dictionary
3. Blackface: makeup applied to a performer playing a black person especially in a minstrel show; also : a performer wearing such makeup

Why Takei's remarks do not qualify:

1. While George Takei called Justice Thomas a "clown in blackface", he did not say that Japanese, Asians, or any other race/nationality was superior to Justice Thomas because he was black.

2. "Blackface" was used in a manner to say that Justice Thomas was NOT black, not that he was inferior.

3. The remark was also made in reference to Justice Thomas' dissent towards defining standard for the state of Alabama's application to define "Marriage" as "legal union of one man and one woman".

4. These remarks were made by Takei in reference to a case which has been considered as one of civil rights towards Justice Thomas, a person whom was alive (Born 1948) and heavily affected by the civil rights movement (1954-1996) and it's benefits namely;

A. Brown v. Board of Education, 1954

B. Civil Rights Act of 1964

C. Voting Rights Act of 1965

George Takei's remarks were those of someone seeking their civil rights and denied their civil rights by someone who has benefited from the civil rights movement of the time. By calling Justice Thomas a "clown in blackface", he does not deny that Justice Thomas' may have the heritage of a black man, but insinuates that Justice Thomas has forgotten the rights his race has gained over the last 40+ years by denying the rights of another group of people.


The last piece of information you forgot to realize was that Takei apologized on his own to the media, claiming that his rant was "uncivil" and that he did not mean to make any racist remarks.

However, all of what he said was tremendously racist, and the reason why you or the media is not calling him racist due to his comments is because he is an LGBT liberal. According to the media, you can only be racist if you are a conservative or a Christian.

George Takei outright stated that Justice Clarence Thomas was a "clown in black face". He is associating an insult to Thomas' skin color, which is definitely a racist statement to make.

Also, racism does not always mean that you glorify one race and put down the other. It can also be that you use derogatory terms associated with a certain race, or that you use someone's race to belittle someone.

In the interview, Takei mentioned the camps that him and his family were put into during World War II. He said he lost all his dignity and pride. He then made the comparison that Justice Thomas should have felt the same way, because his ancestors had experienced worse treatment before him.

Justice Thomas dissented in the gay marriage vote, meaning that he voted against making gay marriage legal on a federal level. George Takei is a profound member of the LGBT community, so he was rather angry that an African American would do something so "bigoted". The reason being that both gays and African Americans were heavily stereotyped and many wrongdoings occurred against these groups of people.

George Takei is a racist due to those remarks, people just do not want to admit it because he is a liberal and a member of the LGBT community.
Debate Round No. 2


Response to paragraph 1 and 2.
Takei apologized AFTER social backlash. Social media went into a rage about it and Takei is a public figure, he took the public figure way out: apologize whether or not what you said was wrong and whether or not you believe it was wrong.
Response to paragraph 3.
What evidence has been given that the media, ALL of the media, states "you can only be racist if you are a conservative or a Christian"? If what you say is true, there never would have been any backlash as Takei was a delegate for the Democratic National Convention, meaning he"s not a conservative.
Response to paragraph 4 and 5
Yet, you fail to provide evidence in which Takei made his remarks to "put down" or "belittle" Justice Thomas BECAUSE he is black. While I will surmise that Justice Thomas" being black is a factor, the factor lay in with my argument that a black man born during the civil rights movement should understand, which you further support by stating, "Justice Thomas should have felt the same way, because his ancestors had experienced worse treatment before him."
Response to paragraph 6
I agree that Takei"s remarks were towards bigoted behavior and not against "black" behavior. Further, my previous argument linked to Justice Thomas" written dissent. The opinion did not provide powers that "made gay marriage legal on a federal level", but instead provided precedent that prevents states from defining marriage as "one man and one woman", which is what Alabama"s application was all about.
Response to final paragraph
See response to paragraph 3.

I feel that, in the spirit of debate, sources should be included to reference information from unless previously stated.


In just this one quote, Takei himself makes your argument false.

"When asked by a reporter about the opinion," wrote Takei in a Facebook post, "I was still seething, and I referred to him [Thomas] as a 'clown in blackface' to suggest that he had abdicated and abandoned his heritage." [1]

He literally stated that he called him a clown in blackface because the Justice had abandoned his heritage. The reason being, both Takei and Justice Thomas had been discriminated against in the past, and their races had both been discriminated against. He thought that Thomas would have agreed with him because the LGBT faces discrimination, just like blacks did. Takei assumed that because of similar pasts, Thomas would not dissent.

He literally states "heritage". Justice Thomas is an African American who was alive during the time of segregation. His heritage is African American, which was a group that was put into slavery until 1865 and was discriminated lawfully until 1964. They were free, but still discriminated against for another 99 years.

During World War II, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered many Japanese immigrants to be put into Internment Camps. Takei and his family was one of these people. [2]

Once again, I state that Takei himself made your argument false, as he attributed his comment to heritage, which is racial and the comment was racially motivated.

Now I shall respond to your arguments directly:

You state that he apologized whether or not he thought it was wrong. That is correct. He may not have thought the comment was wrong, but he stated that he said it out of rage, and when you are enraged, you act on impulse rather then reason.

When I stated that only Christian Conservatives could be bigoted, that was a sarcastic examination of past events. Christians are constantly belittled because they do not believe in vile acts of homosexuality, and are called intolerant. Then the Democrats turn around, and state that they do not tolerate your intolerant views, which in turn makes the Democrats intolerant as well. Being tolerant does not mean that you tolerate only views that agree with yours or are, according to you, tolerant itself. Being tolerant means you tolerate ALL views, regardless of how bigoted it may seem.

The first quote from Takei answers your argument here. He made that comment because he was black. Need I remind you that 4 Justices dissented, one of them being Thomas. Takei only went after the African American Justice, not the other 3, who were all white.

Finally, I conclude that saying a racist remark makes you racist. It is simple as that. You can either accept it or argue against it, but saying something racially motivated is racist.

Debate Round No. 3
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