Actor and social activist George Takei encouraged Americans not to turn the terrorist attacks against Paris on Friday into an excuse for racist behavior.
“We must resist the urge to categorize and dehumanize, for it is that very impulse that fueled the insanity and violence perpetrated this evening,” Takei wrote on his Facebook page.
At least 120 people died on Friday in the series of assaults against six sites in the French capital, most of them during a hostage situation at a local concert hall. Takei said in the post that he was writing while he was backstage during a performance of Allegiance, a critically-acclaimed Broadway show dealing with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
“There no doubt will be those who look upon immigrants and refugees as the enemy as a result of these attacks, because they look like those who perpetrated these attacks, just as peaceful Japanese Americans were viewed as the enemy after Pearl Harbor,” he wrote.
He closed the short post by encouraging fans to “pray or wish for peace, not only from guns and bombs, but from hatred and fear.”
“Tonight, hold your loved ones, and If it is our freedom and joy they seek to destroy, give them not that victory. Against the forces of darkness and terror, love and compassion shall always prevail. #JeSuisParis,” he wrote.