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George Takei to Clarence Thomas: The government can take our dignity. They did it to me.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19:  Actor George Takei attends 18th Annual Webby Awards  on May 19, 2014 in New York, United States.  (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19: Actor George Takei attends 18th Annual Webby Awards on May 19, 2014 in New York, United States. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
Brad Barket/Getty Images

George Takei is not buying Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's suggestion that the government cannot take or bestow dignity on its citizens.

This morning, Takei published an op-ed entitled, "Denying our rights denies our dignity." In it, the Star Trek actor took issue with the following line from Thomas's dissent in last week's historic same-sex marriage ruling: "Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them."

Takei, who is Japanese-American, provided a personal counterexample to the justice's claim by detailing his experience living in an internment camp during World War II. Focusing on the harsh living conditions, Takei recalled:

We were denied adequate medicines, shelter and supplies. I remember as a child looking up toward a U.S. flag in the room, as we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, those ironic words echoing, "With liberty, and justice for all."...

To say that the government does not bestow or grant dignity does not mean it cannot succeed in stripping it away through the imposition of unequal laws and deprivation of due process

Takei is a noted activist for marriage equality and LGBTQ rights, and has previously received awards from the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD.

Read the full op-ed here on MSNBC.

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