Last Friday night, I was pleasantly surprised to get an email addressed from actor George Takei with the subject heading: “I’m asking you: Please register to vote.” More because I didn’t know that Takei was actively involved in the Obama campaign or in this election cycle, but he released this video on behalf of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for Obama, as well as his email message, which included the following (after the jump).
When I was 5 years old, my family was forced from our home and into a “relocation center” — where we lived for four years behind barbed-wire fences during World War II. We were American citizens, imprisoned for no other reason than what we looked like. Through shared sacrifice, we’ve made remarkable achievements in the last 70 years — advances that we should all be proud of. And right now, we need to stand behind a president who has made real progress for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. That’s why this came as a real shock to me: Less than half of us are even registered to vote. John — I know we can do better.
In the video talked about his memory as a 5-year-old and his family being taken away after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and being imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II. Takei discusses how we’ve made a lot of progress in the past 70 years, and Obama’s strong record in supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community — including appointing a record number of cabinet members like Dr. Steven Chu, General Eric Shinseki and Gary Locke, as well as growing up in Hawaii, and having a sister who is half-Asian.
Takei encourages all AAPIs to register to vote and to check to see you are registered. Less than half of eligible AAPI’s are registered to vote. As the saying goes, if you don’t vote, then don’t complain if you don’t like where the direction of our country, your state, county and city are going. It’s nice to see a high profile Asian American supporting a presidential candidate, especially a candidate I support.