George Takei delivers powerful message to SXSW attendees during the final day of the Interactive programs. Speaking to a packed house Takei discussed his early years of living in the US internment camps during WWII, Star Trek, and how his message reaches all demographics via his power social media presence.
As one of the most renowned presences on the internet with his mighty amount of followers that covers all ages he presses his political agenda through humor, empathy, and an intellect that belies his acting and architectural background (he attended school two years to appease his father).
Some of the highlights of his panel today-
George Takei: “We have human beings that are fallible and yet we look at our history of our Democracy,... it was founded on shining ideals, … and through the years we have made progress, it may look like it right now, as we are in a dark time <in regards to AZ laws>, but we have achieved an amazing amount of liberty and democratic equality. When this nation began,women had no rights. They couldn't own property, they couldn't have a say in their own children… but because of their strength, and fair minded men, ... now today we have CEO’s , and woman astronauts, even one that led a team of astronauts. So we have achieved a lot but we have a long ways to go... So it’s a work in progress. When this nation was founded... – our fathers who articulated these ideals embraced slavery, … it took a long time but we now have an African American as a president of the US, And we have gays and lesbians in office. But we still have a lot of struggle ahead of us.
Our democracy is depended t upon good people who are willing to sacrifice to make this a better and truer democracy and that's my legacy; to continue to make this a better place. We are still in the process of two steps forward and one step back.”
On running for future office -
“I have a surprise for you, I have a checkered past.”
George Takei is 76 years young and has 1.08 followers on Twitter and 6.3 million "likes" on Facebook. He was invited as a keynote speaker at this year's SXSW event because he embodies this year's theme, to reach out and make connections. George Takei holds a unique position in the social networking universe. His appeal from young to old can be measured in his fame from Star Trek, as a supporter of Gay and Lesbian equality laws, and his musical play about being interned in a Japanese Internment camp as a child, which won many awards while it ran in San Diego and broke an attendance record at The Globe where it played.
Part of his success can be attributed to his ability to connect with millions of people utilizing social network. Followers receive numerous memes everyday on subjects that range from whimsical, to Star Trek, to political satire. You can follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeTakei.