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George Takei Apologizes: I Called Clarence Thomas ‘Clown in Blackface’ in the ‘Heat of Anger’

Star Trek star George Takei apologized Friday for calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in blackface” in remarks he made after the Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage last week.

“I owe an apology,” Takei said in a lengthy Facebook post. “On the eve of this Independence Day, I have a renewed sense of what this country stands for, and how I personally could help achieve it. The promise of equality and freedom is one that all of us have to work for, at all times. I know this as a survivor of the Japanese American internment, which each day drives me only to strive harder to help fulfill that promise for future generations.”

Takei said that the opinion expressed in Justice Thomas’ dissent “really got under his skin,” and he was “still seething” when he used the derogatory expression in an interview with a reporter.

“This was not intended to be racist, but rather to evoke a history of racism in the theatrical arts,” Takei said. “While I continue to vehemently disagree with Justice Thomas, the words I chose, said in the heat of anger, were not carefully considered.”

I am reminded, especially on this July 4th holiday, that though we have the freedom to speak our minds, we must use that freedom judiciously. Each of us, as humans, have hot-button topics that can set-us off, and Justice Thomas had hit mine, that is clear. But my choice of words was regrettable, not because I do not believe Justice Thomas is deeply wrong, but because they were ad hominem and uncivil, and for that I am sorry.

Takei closed by suggesting that in his remarks, he “did not live up to” his own standards with regards to his highly active social media page.

“I hope all of you have a wonderful, safe and joyously free July 4t [sic], the first where all married couples in the U.S. can enjoy the full liberties of matrimony equally,” Takei concluded. “It is truly a blessing to be an American today.”

Read Takei’s full apology post here.

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