George Takei Starts Petition to 'Stand Up For Muslims'

ABC News' David Wright met up with the former 'Star Trek' actor to discuss his childhood in a Japanese internment camp and his concerns for Muslim Americans today.
12:09 | 01/13/17

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Transcript for George Takei Starts Petition to 'Stand Up For Muslims'
Oh that David right here in New York delighted to be here with George tech time when in my childhood hero and I did you couldn't Japanese lesson yes. My name is pronounced to K times very I don't know I don't object to the dispensation to Ky okay because that's a Japanese word that means expensive. I'm very confident about the unhappy look up restaurants. Is everyone knows and has missed some of them from Star Trek. Also has had an activist. He's here in New York is part of the influence and engaged conference. A conference that seeks to use. Social media two to do good in the world and you're geared to do is particular kind of excitement about. Your first of all have to excuse this voice I woke up in the morning but this horse. Course sound. So. If you Lou Columbia. There's a way the talking. I grew up as child during World War II imprisoned in the US intervene caps. And because of that a it was and activists throughout my life. I a two my mission is to raise the awareness of that chapter of American history. And make sure that it never happens again and so we developed a musical. On the Southern California school just getting to my eyes. We developed a musical. Tells the story of the interior. Which we played on Broadway. We opened the 2015. Close last year and we also filled so that. We can reach of the larger audience as well. And this is a sessions into the audience and home is an issue that is not just a piece of history you a piece of your personal business but also something that you feel. Is a worry in the present day. Most certainly because. What was what happened to chip Japanese Americans was a sweeping characterization. Of a whole group of people where Americans. My mother was born in Sacramento my father was sentences him. They met and married and Los Angeles and my siblings and I were born that we're Americans. But simply because we looked like the people that bombed Pearl Harbor. We've looked on with fear and suspicion. An outright hate. And this war hysteria. Reached all the way to the presidency of the United States Christian Franklin D. Roosevelt signed in one of the great ones. Signed an executive order orderly. All of us on the West Coast 120000. Us to be summarily rounded with no charges. No trial. Over due process. And to be imprisoned and you're five years old atlas five years old and the war lasted for years I was eight and had. When we were released to you grew up in this interview and I I grew up in the internment. Interest are more chances century jobs machine guns pointed at us. Night runs from barbaric to the other tree search sites followed us it was prison camp. And we were innocent people who had done nothing wrong we had nothing to do with Borough Park and the American ideals. Due process. Were you when you're arrested you charged you have the right. Challenged those charges in the court of law and then if you are found guilty of those charges then you are in prison. In our case it was just our ancestral. Our tastes like obviously there's. And today this is very relevant to our times today Tucker because there's the same kind of sweeping characterization. Of a whole group of people. During the presidential campaign Donald Trump made the state. All Muslims. Should be banned from. To characterize it over and billion people on this planet. As all potential terrorism is ridiculous. As ridiculous as it was about Carlos the enemy. When we're Americans and we had nothing to do it. And so. This. Issue. It was something that concern you very much even before Donald Trump's. President or campaign presidential campaign. We developed in musicals to raise the awareness of this issue. The characterization of the whole group of people would know due process. And we had a Broadway musical going at that time called allegiance. We made a film death to ensure its. Longevity. And when. That statement was made by Donald Trump that all Muslims should be banned it from an entry to the United States that sent it. Shield that you're worried that those people that Muslims might be subjected to the same thing. Japanese Americans were subjected to execute. And you know Muslims are many many different because there are some people that are fighting back kind of terrorism. There are simply would that are fleeing poverty and looking. Two it's a new future here in America. And so we want to relate to the internment of Japanese Americans to the kind that can. When Donald Trump talks about Muslim registry that's precisely what happened to us they had a registry are staying knew where we've lived. What we did for a living how many and and with that they came down with a curfew. Where we had to be home by seven. Stay at home until six day. We were imprisoned at night. And then we discovered that I bank accounts were frozen our life saved. This was no longer accessible to us and then the soldiers came to take us away so we're trying to stop this. Registry that they talk about. And he's. He's. Donald Trump has. Nominated. People. To end the Derrius. Or offices. It's capped it with people who are echoing that sort of sound. We are to be turned him he's not talking about. Setting up interment camps. So we know and they didn't thankfully at the beginning that they didn't talk about that for us it just got her registry so we know the patter. And we want to stop this this. Registry before it becomes fact we want to make sure instances that so. We are now working. Care to. Two. Get a petition our commitment as a matter fact we do have been operating out. And we're gathering signatures. Of those that stand with us and with the Muslim community. And oppose the the implementation of the registry what is feared to address of the people can find out more information it scared to talk. Cleared number two yes number two dot com. Petition. And then we will present the petition. Our goal now is a 100000. But what we're going to go far surpass that we've been. Gathering. Signatures for five days now and we have over ninety dollars so we're upping the I think we could go and get Cordova did 250 dollars and we will present this petition. Two the mother Muslim Public Affairs Council a console. Two at which I've spoken as well as the attorney general Cali California has spoken to show our solidarity with the Muslim American community and did he demonstrate this. There's strength of numbers and the overwhelming. Public opinion supporting. They Muslim American. And opposing. Muscle registry. And then we will together present that petition. To elected officials to. Urged him to. Learn from the lessons of American history. I think one of the things it's intriguing to me about this is this is a week in which we've seen Merrill street famously got up but then Golden Globes and give an impassioned speech from our point of view criticized from the front side. Yeah as is overrated as she's overrated and invest so I saw that clip is a big debate about it. Whether it's how how much we shouldn't. Listen to the political opinions of celebrities but this isn't just a political opinion you form casually this is a. Leave you experienced it. I mean I was a child. But growing up I grew up what with that always and I had many after dinner conversations. With my father and he shared with me. His pain his anguish is and is sense of degradation. Bringing up these children to read to you us behind these bar bored kids I know the pain I know the damage and prison Ronald Reagan. Recognize it. And he apologized for the internment of Japanese Americans and the 20000 dollars redress. To every survivor. That was alive at that time 1988. Which totaled one point two billion dollars and that was just India redress the apology a little. Cost of the interior itself. Shot it way to generate. I didn't colleges if 20000 dollars interest and I donated the whole thing to the Japanese American national museum. Which is where I thought my money belong because I was a child and I really didn't experience of pain as my parents' generation. What my grandparents chair a generation. And so that's money would telling that story and to release where this. And again we hear chilling echoes of that same thing Rick Perry did. From Donald Trump's wealth and hysteria it's like Carlin it be and we are determined not to ever let this happen in America. Was standing for American dies. When a spare your voice to help heal and ended on a light note that comes out. I'm gonna put you on the spot. It feels to me like. Half of America's thinking that this is one of those Star Trek episodes where. The future. Has changed them we're living in a bizarre universe that's different from it is candidates are supposed to be and keep half of America wishes that we could. Put the work drive on. And on whatever setting it today and tell Meg Ryan Rowland as a young people that it. Well what do what is what is their trek episode. Huge speaks to where we are now. It was such a good series and speaking to the cultural moment do you think M and that he was within the time when the cultural moment was not. Unlike ours at least in the division. That's right that's right absolutely win. The civil rights. Crusade going on we had the Vietnam War that we knew we dealt with all the positions. Climate change and I'm dealing can't. Right now doesn't really global warming I'm thinking quickly weapons and does so this isn't just as well as analysts just minutes ago that was. Fifty years ago that we did. We just celebrated their fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek last year. So I may have a good memory. Not on the spur of the moment all right thank you so much for joining us is really a pleasure to meet you into the review and good with here in Denver well I wish you. Live long and prosper and underestimate me ladies and gentlemen thank you very much for joining us and since this week. Thanks. Thanks very much for joining us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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