Virginia Mayor Apologizes for Remarks That Angered George Takei
“I did not in any way anticipate that it would trend internationally over the internet.”
Roanoke, Virginia, Mayor David A. Bowers has apologized for comments he made earlier this week suggesting that the United Statessequester Syrian refugees in the same fashion it did Japanese-Americans during World War II. “I apologize to all those offended by my remarks,” he told a special meeting of the Roanoke City Council. “No one else is to be blamed but me.” Bowers had no idea that his comments would go viral. “I anticipated that the statement might receive some coverage in the Roanoke Valley, but I did not in any way anticipate that it would trend internationally over the internet,” he said. “It’s just not in my heart to be racist or bigoted.”
Earlier this week, actor, activist and national treasure George Takei tee’d off on Bowers, saying that he showed a “galling lack of compassion for people” and that his comments were historically incorrect. “The internment (not a ‘sequester’) was not of Japanese foreign nationals,’ but of Japanese-Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens,” Takei wrote. Takei spent four years in an internment camp with his family during World War II.
As a gesture of goodwill, Takei invited Bowers to a performance of his play Allegiance, a musical about the Japanese internment that’s currently running on Broadway.
(H/T USA Today)