George Takei live-streams visit to Japanese American internment camp

On Tuesday, George Takei live-streamed his exploration of the grounds of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center in Wyoming, used as barracks for a Japanese internment camp, on Facebook.

Heart Mountain was one of 10 relocation centers spread across the Western U.S. during World War II. It held at least 14,000 Japanese-American internees during its years of operation.

“Looking back now, it’s really unimaginable that 120,000 people were forced to live in tarp paper-covered barracks,” the “Star Trek” star said, via the video, as he looked around inside the barracks, which he said were much bigger than the one he was forced into as a child.

Takei’s family was among the thousands the U.S. government locked away in internment camps. When he was 5 years old, he was moved into the swamps of Arkansas, and then later to Tulelake camp in California.

In the video, the actor reflected on the attitudes toward Japanese Americans in those days and said he saw similarities with Black Lives Matter. “Black lives matter. And law enforcement officers are the ones that are shooting because they’re afraid of black men,” Takei said. “Same sort of attitude placed us behind these barbed wire fences here in Wyoming.”

Takei has been vocal about his time at the camps. In 2014, he appeared on “The Daily Show” and told Jon Stewart his memories of being ordered out of his suburban California home by American soldiers with guns.

Unlike other barracks, the one in Heart Mountain had the signatures of some of the men that built it. A post on the corner read “a slap for the Japs.”

Takei remembered his life after the camps, and going back to school in Los Angeles. Mrs. Reuben, a name he remembers after 70 years, would continuously call him “the Jap boy.” Even when he had the courage to raise his hand to answer one of her questions, she would just turn the other way and ignore him. “Which stung, she’s a teacher,” Takei recalled. “And what had I done to her to get this kind of vulgar word spat at me?”

“For me personally, I wasn’t in this camp but I recognize a lot. It was for me a very moving experience to visit here at Heart Mountain, Wyoming,” Takei said.