George Takei Aims His Photon Torpedoes at the TABC During Sunday Speech at the DMA
George Takei, at the Trammell & Margaret Crow Asian Art Collection Sunday
After the jump, a highlight among many from George Takei's evening-with at the Dallas Museum of Art Sunday evening. A guest of the Trammell & Margaret Crow Asian Art Collection, Takei was in town to compliment, in more ways than one, Roger Shimomura's The Return of the Yellow Peril: A Survey of the Works exhibit on display at the museum -- Pop Art-influenced canvases depicting everything from Christ-in-a-Coke-machine to Japanese-American internment camps in 1942, in which Los Angeles native Takei and his family were kept as prisoners during World War II.
But a talk about intolerance and stereotypes then morphed into a lecture about intolerance and stereotypes now, as Star Trek's Mr. Sulu reminded the audience of his struggle not just as a former U.S. prisoner, but also as a "proud gay American" still behind "legalistic barbed wire." At which point he brought up the Rainbow Lounge raid three weeks ago, for which Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Administrator Alan Steen apologized on Friday. That's the video after the jump.
At a post-speech reception, Takei told Unfair Park he'd read about the raid as it became national news: "It was the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, and the echo of that was too eerie," he said. "It was obviously some bigoted people twisting the policies to vent their prejudices, their hatred, on the minority. There are people who will twist and turn legitimate policies to fit their bigotry. For it to occur on the anniversary especially was poignant, powerful and blood-boiling. It's been 40 years, and you'd think ... Well, then again, it's Texas."
He laughed, acknowledging the irony of uttering that stereotype mere moments after spending an hour addressing their power and prejudice.
"I'm sorry," he said. "But Texas has certain stereotypes. But disabuse me of that stereotype if it is a stereotype. ... We all have our prejudices, and when you see stories like that, we can't help but think of redneck Texans. In Houston, they had a big controversy that went on for more than a decade over Jap Road. The Japanese-American community was up in arms over that one."
And with that, the world's classiest Trek convention broke out, as Takei went to sign autographs and hand out "Live Long and Prospers." More photos follow, along with the footage i grabbed with my pocket cam.
Takei spent plenty of time visiting with well-wishers during a post-talk reception at the Crow.
And, of course, what visit from a Star Trek cast member would be complete without one of these?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.