Takei's constitutional rights were violated as a child.
via Flickr user (cc) Gage Skidmore
Early Tuesday morning, president-elect Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant threatening to revoke the constitutional right to burn the American flag.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1480420513.0
Trump’s tweet was a red flag to many because he threatened to crack down on Americans for practicing their freedom of speech with an unconstitutional punishment. The Supreme Court affirmed the right to burn the flag in two 1989 cases, “Texas v. Johnson” and “United States v. Eichman.” Plus, revoking an American’s citizenship is unconstitutional unless they’ve renounced their allegiance to the United States or pledged fealty to a foreign sovereign nation.
Trump’s anti-flag-burning declaration was another in his long line of positions that stand in opposition to the First Amendment. Earlier this year, he claimed as president he would “open up libel laws” to curtail the freedom of the press. This assault on Americans basic freedoms has alarmed many, including actor-activist George Takei who fought back with his own tweets.
I pledged allegiance to the flag every morning inside an internment camp. I would never burn one, but I'd die to pr… https://t.co/jdTShjsReJ— George Takei (@George Takei)1480426259.0
Mr. Trump, one of your sacred duties as President will be to uphold the Constitution. That means honoring and protecting free speech.— George Takei (@George Takei)1480438986.0
Takei understands the power of upholding the Constitution because his rights were violated during World War II when his family was forced to live in a Japanese-American internment camp. “I came to see the internment as an assault not only upon an entire group of Americans, but upon the Constitution itself — how its guarantees of due process and equal protection had been decimated by forces of fear and prejudice unleashed by unscrupulous politicians,” Takei wrote of his experience in The Washington Post.