They Called Us Enemy - Steven Scott, Justin Eisinger, George Takei, Harmony Becker

Date Published: July 16, 2019

Format: Paperback

Source: Own copy

Date Read: November 9, 2019



A history of the Executive Order 9066 and how it affected his family and his community that was seen by a seven year old boy and then later as a teenager/young adult who had his early activism influenced by what had happened and long talks with his dad. Later, Takei would use his story to show the how horribly inhumane the Trump administration and policies are. There are mentions of his play Allegiance as well as start in acting, including his meeting Nichelle Nichols before Star Trek was even an idea floating around Hollywood. But the story mostly centers on telling the story of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII. I thought I knew the story of the Japanese internment/concentration camps, but I learned a few new things - such as their were conscientious objectors who refused to sign a loyalty card to FDR/USA at the same time others in the camps were signing up to join the US Army in an all-Japanese unit. There were varying degrees of camps and went as far as Arkansas (where the Takeis were originally, then moved to the horror that was Methune camp in California). 


My favorite part of the book was the conversations with his father, with his father giving his insights into the hows and whys of the work Daddy Takei did both in and out of the camps. This was a departure from most within the Japanese community who lived through the internments, as they were more likely never to speak of what happened to anyone, lest of all the younger generations. The Takei family are a special group of people.