Takei sorry for 'uncivil' attack on Clarence Thomas
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Takei wrote that he regrets attacking Thomas during a controversial interview he gave Tuesday.
“Each of us, as humans, have hot-button topics that can set us off, and Justice Thomas has hit mine, that is clear,” Takei wrote on his Facebook account.
“But my choice of words was regrettable, not because I believe Justice Thomas is deeply wrong, but because there were ad hominem and uncivil, and for that I am sorry,” he said.
Takei initially lambasted Thomas for his dissent in last week’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
Thomas said in his remarks that the government can neither give nor take away human dignity.
“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court — he gets me that angry,” Takei said in an interview with Fox 10 earlier this week in Phoenix.
“This man does not belong on the Supreme Court,” he added. “He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.”
Takei said Friday his original reaction had gone past standards for civil debate.
“While I continue to vehemently disagree with Justice Thomas, the words I chose, said in the heat of anger, were not carefully considered,” he wrote.
“I am reminded, especially on this July 4th holiday, that though we have the freedom to speak our minds, we must use that freedom judiciously,” Takei added.
Takei, who is gay and married, also said he acted inappropriately by referencing race.
“I was still seething, and I referred to him as a ‘clown in blackface’ to suggest that he had abdicated and abandoned his heritage,” Takei said of Thomas, who is African-American.
“This was not intended to be racist, but rather to evoke a history of racism in the theatrical arts,” he said.
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges ensures that states must recognize all same-sex marriages nationwide.
It safeguards the practice under the 14th Amendment’s equal protections clause.