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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old October 22 2013, 06:20 PM   #46
David Brennon
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

So by freeing slaves to fight for his country, he was supporting the institution of slavery? I see now, how could I have been so blind?
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Old October 22 2013, 06:21 PM   #47
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

that's a very good point Sci. I think a man who defied the morals of those he was surrounded by should be raised up. A man who wanted to bring others into his society and did so by breaking their chains of bondage should be immortalized like that. Well put.
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Old October 22 2013, 06:24 PM   #48
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

David Brennon wrote: View Post
So by freeing slaves to fight for his country, he was supporting the institution of slavery?
By fighting for a government created to preserve slavery, he helped to perpetuate the slave system. Freeing and arming some slaves later on -- presuming he did so with the intent of abolishing slavery throughout the Confederacy, not with the intent of merely securing a short-term military advantage without actually ending slavery in the long run -- mitigates this, but it does not change the fact that supporting the Confederate government by definition meant helping to preserve slavery.

If the Federation's gonna name a ship after anyone from the American Civil War era, it should be the U.S.S. Frederick Douglas or the U.S.S. John Brown, not Robert E. Lee.
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Old October 22 2013, 06:27 PM   #49
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

I didn't say others shouldnt be recognized. I simply said that his contributions should be. You act as though the slavery issue is the only one there was. You know that isn't the case and a man is not made of simply one issue. Virginia was more important to him than the Union, than the CSA. He supported Virginia and her freedom.
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Old October 22 2013, 07:17 PM   #50
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

David Brennon wrote: View Post
I didn't say others shouldnt be recognized. I simply said that his contributions should be. You act as though the slavery issue is the only one there was.
According to the Confederate States Government, it was their primary issue.

You know that isn't the case and a man is not made of simply one issue. Virginia was more important to him than the Union, than the CSA. He supported Virginia and her freedom.
No. That is not true.

Now, Robert E. Lee may have thought that to be true of himself; if so, it was a self-delusion. But I know for a fact that Robert E. Lee's primary loyalty was not to Virginia.

Know why?

Because according to U.S. Census records for the era, there were almost 491,000 enslaved persons in Virginia out of a total population of about 1.6 million. That means that a full 33% of Virginians were enslaved.

I repeat:

One-third of Virginia was enslaved.

Notably, that particular one-third of Virginians did not get the chance to vote on whether or not Virginia should secede from the Union in order to preserve slavery from a perceived abolitionist administration.

Robert E. Lee may have thought himself loyal to "Virginia," but he was actually loyal to the white slave-owning Virginia aristocracy.

Edited to add:

Does this mean Lee should be remembered as a villain? I don't know. I'm inclined to characterize him as a man with some notions of freedom who couldn't overcome his loyalty to the oppressing class in order to do the right thing. As advocates for liberty go, I'd sure as hell consider him a failed one -- if I'm feeling generous. Because nothing changes the fact that he sided with a treasonous government created to preserve the institution of slavery -- an institution in which a full third of his fellow Virginians were trapped.
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Old October 22 2013, 08:05 PM   #51
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

By your logic we shouldnt think of the founding fathers as beacons of liberty because many of them supported slavery and wouldnt give women the vote. Or abe because he was willing to allow the slavery to continue if it would have won the war.
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Old October 22 2013, 08:10 PM   #52
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Tu quoque is a lousy form of argument. Look, I get that Lee is evidently a personal hero of yours, but I think on the sum the way that the Confederacy appears to most people outside the South makes its figures not very appropriate for use as namesakes for Starfleet vessels.
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Old October 22 2013, 08:26 PM   #53
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Oh yay, a really interesting thread and original question/discussion has descended into an American dick waving contest.

Anyway, to answer the original question, I'll have to side with my fellow countrypersons and that due to the nature of American Television, I would say it is more Anglo-centric than Euro-centric
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Old October 22 2013, 08:30 PM   #54
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Um, I should point out that there is no USS Robert E. Lee in canonical Trek. The only one mentioned in Memory Beta is from the Legacy computer game. There was also an Andorian troop carrier named Robert E. Lee in the novel Prime Directive, but since it's Andorian, maybe its namers didn't appreciate the historical significance of the name?
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Old October 22 2013, 08:58 PM   #55
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

David Brennon wrote: View Post
By your logic we shouldnt think of the founding fathers as beacons of liberty because many of them supported slavery and wouldnt give women the vote.
Yes. The Framers were politicians, not "beacons of liberty." They made things better than they had been under the British in some ways, worse in others, and don't deserve to be deified.

Or abe because he was willing to allow the slavery to continue if it would have won the war.
Lincoln at least can say for himself that he eventually realized he had to end slavery.
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Old October 22 2013, 09:06 PM   #56
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Im from New Hampshire, i dont idolize Lee, but i respect history. Equating Lee to Pol Pot is crazy, that is the only reason i got involved. If you want to come down on an individual because of his nation or the things supported by that nation, thats up to you, but you dont get to paint with such broad strokes without at least hearing an opposing viewpoint. The CSA may not have been right, but Lee is generally remembered favorably by most Americans. If youre an american and you dont, thats fine, but your view isnt the only one that matters. that kind of brings us back to the whole united earth accepting the faults in other cultures figures gig i was getting at.
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Old October 23 2013, 12:06 AM   #57
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

David Brennon wrote: View Post
By your logic we shouldnt think of the founding fathers as beacons of liberty because many of them supported slavery and wouldnt give women the vote.
Of course we shouldn't.

If there is anything that Star Trek should tech you, is that worshiping any kind of Founders is never a good idea.
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Old October 23 2013, 12:23 AM   #58
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

iguana wins this thread, I think.
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Old October 23 2013, 12:32 AM   #59
David Brennon
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Agreed! Well played sir.
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Old October 23 2013, 12:38 AM   #60
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Re: Is Trek Still Too Eurocentric?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Um, I should point out that there is no USS Robert E. Lee in canonical Trek. The only one mentioned in Memory Beta is from the Legacy computer game. There was also an Andorian troop carrier named Robert E. Lee in the novel Prime Directive, but since it's Andorian, maybe its namers didn't appreciate the historical significance of the name?
This is true.

My concern was more about the Cortez, Zhukov, Magellan for that matter Drake, Gage(Presumably the British general), La Malinche or even the Santa Maria (I would hope Columbus worship would die out by the 24th century).

On the other hand, I think TrekLit as a whole does a good job with ship names, starting with Sugihara or Bhutto.
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