August 01, 2016 - 7:00 AM
LOS ANGELES - George Takei is speaking out against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, and he's doing it in Spanish.
In an English-subtitled video that's drawn more than 12 million views in less than two weeks online, the "Star Trek" actor compares Trump's proposed deportation of undocumented Latino immigrants to the World War II internment of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans, including Takei and his family.
"I'm addressing this to my Spanish-speaking fans and their friends," he says in the four-minute video. "I want to give some personal, historical context on how Donald Trump's words and plans can have very real and terrible consequences."
It's painful history for Takei, who was 5 years old when he and his family were removed from their Los Angeles home and eventually sent to a camp in Arkansas. The West Coast relocation was part of the federal government's response after Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
"It was my parents who heard the sounds we are hearing today from Donald Trump, the sweeping statements he makes characterizing and stereotyping a whole group of people," Takei said in an interview. "My father lost his business and we lost our home and our freedom. With no charges, to be locked up, imprisoned."
Decades later, a federal law authorized reparations of $20,000 each for surviving detainees, who also received a formal government apology.
Takei said he learned Spanish growing up with Mexican-American neighbours in East Los Angeles, a connection that he said makes Trump's comments all the more difficult.
"It's very personal to me," said Takei, who in the video urges viewers to register to vote and to help defeat Trump in November.
Click here for a link to Takei's Facebook page, where the video is posted.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016