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Old June 7 2014, 10:26 PM   #136
Kevman7987
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

publiusr wrote: View Post
...TNG was considered White America in space...
And here I thought TNG was about committee meetings; IN SPAAAAAACE!
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Old June 8 2014, 03:56 AM   #137
Joel_Kirk
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

Interesting discussion.

Star Trek has definitely had its racial issues, and I think that comes down to the fact that for a long time it has primarily been white males behind-the-scenes. Ironically, I think that AbramsTrek (for it's shortcomings in the writing area) has at least done some progress with the Uhura character. She has become pretty prominent. If we were to actually see her take command temporarily, I might give this franchise even more respect.

While John Cho seems to be a supporting character, he did have some scenes where he shined (e.g. the fight on the drill in the 2009 film, and the scenes where he took temporary command in the 2013).

I remember when I first saw episode Code of Honor in TNG, I was pretty impressed to see a predominantly black planet. Yet, years down the line I hear whites complaining about the supposed racism.

Of course, we never saw a predominantly black planet again, or any reference or expansion of the Ligionians. We're regulated to the predominantly white humanoid planets and aliens that look like white men and women, which no one (primarily whites) have a problem with.

Some of the complaints were:

1. The Ligonians are 'tribal.' (Well, newsflash: There are 'tribal' people in Asia, Africa, and South America. Are you going to tell them their lifestyle is 'racist?')

2. The fact that Tasha Yar is attracted to an alien that looks like a black man is 'racist.' (Hmmm, a black man and white female being together is racist, yet no one has a problem with every Asian woman being paired with primarily white males. Apparently, interracial relationships are wrong unless you are a certain gender or race).

3. Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner say that this particular episode is racist. (So? Michael Dorn was portraying a character that used violence over intelligence primarily in the first season, so he really shouldn't talk. And, I really don't care Spinder says. As a person, a black man, who has dealt with racism, this particular episode is far from it).

Star Trek during the Berman-era probably wouldn't have had the balls to have a black male lead opposite a non-black woman (e.g. Asian, Eurasian, white, or Native American. I won't say 'Latino' since that is an ethnicity and a Latino can be black or white) unless that male was under heavy makeup like Michael Dorn was with Worf.

Too, if the episode was soooo disgustingly racist, why didn't we - black people - hear anything in the American publications such as Jet, Ebony, or Essence?

I did find it interesting that there was an unwritten 'stay with your own kind' in the Berman era. For example, Geordi was a loser with women. He was nearly successful with an alien that was obviously portrayed by a black woman (e.g Aquiel).

Tuvok was a Vulcan, but it was obvious he was portrayed by a black man. Interestingly, they had to have a black woman portray his wife.

Jake Sisko, even though he dated Bajoran women - women who looked like human women, only with funny noses - the women were always portrayed by black women. And, yes, I am aware of Brooks requesting a black woman for Jennifer and Kasidy Yates. (I wonder if the next actor to portray Sisko in a hypothetical reboot will request an Asian woman or a Eurasian woman as Kasidy Yates or Jennifer Sisko? Where Jennifer Sisko is not killed?)

There is a reason I want to get into the film/tv business because we definitely need diversity in voices not only in terms of race, but in gender, sexual orientation, etc. (And, Star Trek still has a need for a gay or lesbian character!)

So many shows have already beat Trek with having characters in same sex relationships, and other shows have also put black men (and black women) in strong relationships with various individuals (e.g. the upcoming show, The Flash, Justice League: Unlimited, Private Practice, and the Cheerios commercial that depicted a married black male/white female couple as a normal thing).

Going back to AbramsTrek: At least it knows that change is needed. This is probably the issue with 'Code of Honor' - there's too many black people! T-that's racist! - where many whites that were used to a status quo were put off. And, of course they want to use the Spiner and Dorn opinions, as well as the director who had some agenda as ammunition for claims of racism....even though he - the director for 'Code of Honor' managed to actually make an entertaining and progressive episode.

As people want to see heroes of different colors, and various relationships onscreen, women looking sexy and kicking ass, we'll have people like myself working on their craft so they can bring something different to the table.
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Old June 8 2014, 05:54 AM   #138
JirinPanthosa
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post

1. The Ligonians are 'tribal.' (Well, newsflash: There are 'tribal' people in Asia, Africa, and South America. Are you going to tell them their lifestyle is 'racist?')

2. The fact that Tasha Yar is attracted to an alien that looks like a black man is 'racist.' (Hmmm, a black man and white female being together is racist, yet no one has a problem with every Asian woman being paired with primarily white males. Apparently, interracial relationships are wrong unless you are a certain gender or race).
Neither of those are the actual complaints about the episode. If the episode were about Tasha being attracted to him, there would be no problem. Tasha is kidnapped by a black skinned alien who thinks that because he 'Won her fairly' that he is entitled by his 'Ancient customs' to coerce her into marriage, after which due to those customs she is made to fight a battle to the death with his existing wife.

The one TNG episode with a planet of predominantly black people and it's the most rapey episode in the series, portraying them as putting arcane tribal traditions and superstitions over basic human rights and respect for women.

The episode got a pass because it was 1987 and that kind of thing was kind of expected on television. If an episode like that came out today that internet would be exploding with outrage about it.

Interesting point though about most black actors are romantically paired with other black actors, that's probably the best argument or actual racism raised in this thread. Although, Worf's two primary love interests were both white women. Leah Brahms is white, and Worf's white adoptive brother marries a black skinned alien. And Jake dates a white skinned dabo girl. There are plenty of examples in the series of actors of one race being romantically paired with actors of other races. And other than in Code of Honor, none of those examples are rapey.
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Old June 8 2014, 06:12 AM   #139
Joel_Kirk
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post

1. The Ligonians are 'tribal.' (Well, newsflash: There are 'tribal' people in Asia, Africa, and South America. Are you going to tell them their lifestyle is 'racist?')

2. The fact that Tasha Yar is attracted to an alien that looks like a black man is 'racist.' (Hmmm, a black man and white female being together is racist, yet no one has a problem with every Asian woman being paired with primarily white males. Apparently, interracial relationships are wrong unless you are a certain gender or race).
Neither of those are the actual complaints about the episode. If the episode were about Tasha being attracted to him, there would be no problem. Tasha is kidnapped by a black skinned alien who thinks that because he 'Won her fairly' that he is entitled by his 'Ancient customs' to coerce her into marriage, after which due to those customs she is made to fight a battle to the death with his existing wife.

The one TNG episode with a planet of predominantly black people and it's the most rapey episode in the series, portraying them as putting arcane tribal traditions and superstitions over basic human rights and respect for women.

The episode got a pass because it was 1987 and that kind of thing was kind of expected on television. If an episode like that came out today that internet would be exploding with outrage about it.
Yeah, but who would be outraged? Butthurt - a new term I found out about - Star Trek 'fans' on Trek boards?

It's pretty harmless, I think.

If it was made today, I would hope the writing would be stronger. And, I would possibly have liked to see the Ligonians used again in some capacity.

Moreover, it - the episode - didn't get a pass, because as I mentioned in my previous post: If it was actually racist, black publications would have been calling the episode out.

No black publications did that.

The only commotion I hear of is mainly from white people on Star Trek boards complaining.

Interesting point though about most black actors are romantically paired with other black actors, that's probably the best argument or actual racism raised in this thread. Although, Worf's two primary love interests were both white women. Leah Brahms is white, and Worf's white adoptive brother marries a black skinned alien. And Jake dates a white skinned dabo girl. There are plenty of examples in the series of actors of one race being romantically paired with actors of other races. And other than in Code of Honor, none of those examples are rapey.
Hmm...

*Worf is an alien, a black man/performer under heavy makeup that makes him look like a cross between a turtle and dog. He is not a 'black' character.

*Leah Brahms was a computer program, and she turned out to be married when LaForge met the actual individual. (It's not clear whether or not 'Leah' is the woman LaForge marries in on alternate timeline since we don't see her).

*I do vaguely recall Worf's adopted brother marrying a black skinned alien. However, I don't recall any 'white skinned' alien opposite Jake Sisko - maybe she was a mixed race actress? (Contrary to belief, 'black' people come in all shades).

And, I'm going to disagree on the 'plenty' of examples since, in regards to black performers, there is only one (maybe two) out of the franchise - mainly Worf's adopted brother - among the ones you mentioned.

And, what do you mean by 'rapey'? (What does that mean?)

Lastly, I want to post this on my Facebook (so my fellow black people can see some what is going on in the Trek fan world). Is there, like, a permalink or something?

EDIT: Ah! I see the Facebook link below.
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Old June 8 2014, 07:10 AM   #140
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

I remember when Code of Honor first aired, I thought to myself "Hey, that's pretty cool, Star Trek never did this before!" It made total sense to me that elsewhere in the galaxy, there would be aliens of all colors. And speaking of colors, I liked the colorful costumes, and a society with a strict moral code the crew had to work around. I didn't understand the light pillars shooting up into the sky, though.

Sometimes they hired really tall actors for a species. I think I remember reading that they hired actors with skinny necks for Cardassians (something to do with the make-up). Ferengi were played by small guys. I'm sure there are other instances of hiring specific physical types. So it was with Code... , so I don't see the problem.
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Old June 8 2014, 08:33 AM   #141
Term180
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

The franchise as a whole is clearly racist against aliens, because all of the major on-screen aliens are always portrayed by humans, as uglier versions of humans, and those that don't have humanoid forms (bipedal, opposable thumbs, etc.) aren't depicted as much as those with unique physiology different than our own, and when such species are shown, they're nearly always sinister.

The problem is there just aren't enough alien actors!
I can't find a single one with a unique physiology on IMDb!
And those that are aliens, have human features, like Ted Raimi.

(Clearly, I'm joking.
Except the Raimi part.)
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Old June 8 2014, 10:41 AM   #142
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

Term180 wrote: View Post
The franchise as a whole is clearly racist against aliens, because all of the major on-screen aliens are always portrayed by humans, as uglier versions of humans, and those that don't have humanoid forms (bipedal, opposable thumbs, etc.) aren't depicted as much as those with unique physiology different than our own, and when such species are shown, they're nearly always sinister.

The problem is there just aren't enough alien actors!
I can't find a single one with a unique physiology on IMDb!
And those that are aliens, have human features, like Ted Raimi.

(Clearly, I'm joking.
Except the Raimi part.)
Well whaddaya want me to do? Call the NAAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Astro-Celestial Persons)?

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Old June 8 2014, 01:08 PM   #143
JirinPanthosa
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

It's primarily white people on message boards complaining about it because Star Trek has a primarily white audience. Are you going to argue that having a show that statistically appeals more to white people than black people is racist in and of itself? I don't know why black publications didn't report on it, but maybe a three episode old show in a genre disproportionately watched by white people that was seen as a nostalgia show not expected to last half a season wasn't on their radar.

The episode is 'Rapey' because a woman is kidnapped with the explicit intent of forcefully having sex with her.

Why don't you think Michael Dorn's opinion counts though?

As for Jake Sisko:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Mardah

Although he is given a dark skinned Bajoran wife in an alternate future.

Not every casting decision is a political statement. Most forehead alien races have the same distribution of skin tone as the general population of Hollywood extras.
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Old June 8 2014, 01:50 PM   #144
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
It's primarily white people on message boards complaining about it because Star Trek has a primarily white audience. Are you going to argue that having a show that statistically appeals more to white people than black people is racist in and of itself? I don't know why black publications didn't report on it, but maybe a three episode old show in a genre disproportionately watched by white people that was seen as a nostalgia show not expected to last half a season wasn't on their radar.

The episode is 'Rapey' because a woman is kidnapped with the explicit intent of forcefully having sex with her.

Why don't you think Michael Dorn's opinion counts though?

As for Jake Sisko:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Mardah

Although he is given a dark skinned Bajoran wife in an alternate future.

Not every casting decision is a political statement. Most forehead alien races have the same distribution of skin tone as the general population of Hollywood extras.
I wouldn't take OP seriously, if I were you.
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Old June 8 2014, 05:18 PM   #145
Joel_Kirk
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
It's primarily white people on message boards complaining about it because Star Trek has a primarily white audience. Are you going to argue that having a show that statistically appeals more to white people than black people is racist in and of itself? I don't know why black publications didn't report on it, but maybe a three episode old show in a genre disproportionately watched by white people that was seen as a nostalgia show not expected to last half a season wasn't on their radar.
Wasn't on 'their' radar?

What the fuck do you think we watch?

Black people know of Star Trek and sci-fi. We were in the audience watching TNG like the rest of world. When this show premiered it was a big deal especially since LeVar Burton was one of the characters. (And, yes, I knew of Michael Dorn from CHIPS, so I actually was interested in seeing his 'Klingon' character which was supposed to be a 'Starfleet' officer).

And, the black publications are huge as well. If something - for lack of a better term - 'huge' went down with this new TNG show (at the time) that was actually racist, it would have been called out.

Nothing of the sort happened, because - as continually aforementioned - Code of Honor was entertaining and progressive episode rather than the opposite.

And, my 'argument' is that the whites who feel that Code of Honor is the ONLY racist aspect of Trek can't really speak on authority on racial relations. There is obviously more to it that than watching one episode of a fictional sci-fi show and believing they know what's right in terms of race.

Too many of those folks are speaking from 'white privilige.'
http://www.buzzfeed.com/michaelblack...privilege-9hu9

(Pay attention to #7 and #17).

The interesting thing is when a person of color like myself does bring out racism in Trek, it's the classic 'you'll find anywhere if you really look for it.' (As if something isn't racist unless whites declare it racism).

So, yeah, as I mentioned in my previous post (which you seemed to have glossed over) there needs to be more people behind the scenes to bring even a more diverse crowd so the faux pas of the past can be a bit more diversified.

The episode is 'Rapey' because a woman is kidnapped with the explicit intent of forcefully having sex with her.
Meh, we don't know that. A black man liking a white female is not suddenly 'rapey.'

Too, I noticed that you even made the comment that ALL the Ligonians enamored with Tasha Yar because of her whiteness.

That's obviously not true And, if you believe that....you didn't watch the episode or you're just hanging onto a falsehood to fuel your opinion that the episode is racist for whatever reason.

That's like me saying all the Asian females on the show want to be white because they are always paired with only white men. Never paired black men, never Asian men.

If you actually watched Code of Honor, you would have known that:

1. Yareena disliked Yar because Lutan wanted the Enterprise lieutenant. And, Lutan's right hand - I forget his name - turned out to love Yareena.

2. Lutan is the ONLY one who is enamored with Yar. No one else in the episode noticed her. So, your comment about EVERYONE on the planet liking her is false and exaggerated and silly.

Is everyone on Earth enamored with Angelina Jolie? No. Partly because not everyone knows who she is, or even cares....or even think she's someone to be enamored with!

Why don't you think Michael Dorn's opinion counts though?
I already answered that above.

As for Jake Sisko:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Mardah

Although he is given a dark skinned Bajoran wife in an alternate future.
A rare exception!

Not every casting decision is a political statement. Most forehead alien races have the same distribution of skin tone as the general population of Hollywood extras.
That's why Code of Honor is such an excellent episode. With the Ligonians, it's shows us there are different shades of people in the universe, with different cultures...and outlooks.

You have some people - mainly white individuals - probably putting their own racial hangups on this particular episode.

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
I remember when Code of Honor first aired, I thought to myself "Hey, that's pretty cool, Star Trek never did this before!" It made total sense to me that elsewhere in the galaxy, there would be aliens of all colors. And speaking of colors, I liked the colorful costumes, and a society with a strict moral code the crew had to work around. I didn't understand the light pillars shooting up into the sky, though.

Sometimes they hired really tall actors for a species. I think I remember reading that they hired actors with skinny necks for Cardassians (something to do with the make-up). Ferengi were played by small guys. I'm sure there are other instances of hiring specific physical types. So it was with Code... , so I don't see the problem.
Very good post.
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Old June 8 2014, 05:25 PM   #146
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
I never chime in on race-related things, mainly because I see no difference in people. It occurred to me recently that when I was a little kid, my favorite comic book characters were the Falcon and the Black Panther. I didn't care what danged color they were...they were just good guys.

For what it's worth, I'm convinced that Star Trek helped my little kid mind form its world view. Kirk's remark to Alexander in Plato's Stepchildren about "Where I come from, size, shape and color makes no difference." really resonated with me.

Modern media is so pathologically obsessed with portraying so-called divisions (white/black/rich/poor/right/left/male/female) that it's reached way beyond absurd, and I'm sure does far more harm than good. I refuse to play that game.

In Star Trek II, Captain Terrell made the ultimate sacrifice to basically defeat the plan of Khan. He didn't "fail to serve his master"...in his own way he beat him!
Agreed. At first I thought this was a parody thread or something and was surprised to find it was serious. No other show pushed harder in the 60s for equality than Star Trek did. Even Martin Luther King himself loved the show. And through each incarnation of the show you saw them pushing the boundaries of social acceptance whether it was a blind man as a chief engineer, a black man as a captain, a black Vulcan, or a woman in charge of voyager. You have to really be looking for racism around every corner to consider Star Trek racist. You also have to be very ignorant of what the television competition was airing.
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Old June 8 2014, 05:28 PM   #147
Joel_Kirk
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

ichab wrote: View Post
LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
I never chime in on race-related things, mainly because I see no difference in people. It occurred to me recently that when I was a little kid, my favorite comic book characters were the Falcon and the Black Panther. I didn't care what danged color they were...they were just good guys.

For what it's worth, I'm convinced that Star Trek helped my little kid mind form its world view. Kirk's remark to Alexander in Plato's Stepchildren about "Where I come from, size, shape and color makes no difference." really resonated with me.

Modern media is so pathologically obsessed with portraying so-called divisions (white/black/rich/poor/right/left/male/female) that it's reached way beyond absurd, and I'm sure does far more harm than good. I refuse to play that game.

In Star Trek II, Captain Terrell made the ultimate sacrifice to basically defeat the plan of Khan. He didn't "fail to serve his master"...in his own way he beat him!
Agreed. At first I thought this was a parody thread or something and was surprised to find it was serious. No other show pushed harder in the 60s for equality than Star Trek did. Even Martin Luther King himself loved the show. And through each incarnation of the show you saw them pushing the boundaries of social acceptance whether it was a blind man as a chief engineer, a black man as a captain, a black Vulcan, or a woman in charge of voyager. You have to really be looking for racism around every corner to consider Star Trek racist. You also have to be very ignorant of what the television competition was airing.
"You have to really be looking for racism around every corner to consider Star Trek racist."

That seems to be a common/favorite saying.

For me, it's not Star Trek as a whole, but certain aspects of it that are questionable.
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Old June 8 2014, 05:58 PM   #148
Salinga
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

Star Trek is racist against blacks as long as there are more white people than blacks. And after that has changed it is of course racist against whites.

So we come to the conclusion: Star Trek is always racist. For ever.
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Old June 8 2014, 06:03 PM   #149
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
(Pay attention to #7 and #17).
This is exactly the sort of thing that led me to cancelling my cable tv...



It's just so condescending, it drives me up a wall. Also, can't someone win a Mayoral election, be appointed to some important position, or what have you, without being called out as "the first African-American" or "the first woman" or "first Latino" to have done so?

These people on television are always subdividing people by income level, too. You know, "Those who earn less than 50,000 a year" kind of thing. Always generalizing everyone...and it's been my experience that when you try to speak for everyone, you end up speaking for no one.
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Old June 8 2014, 06:10 PM   #150
AustNerevar
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Re: The racist legacy of Star Trek

[QUOTE=Joel_Kirk;9676798]
ichab wrote: View Post
"You have to really be looking for racism around every corner to consider Star Trek racist."

That seems to be a common/favorite saying.

For me, it's not Star Trek as a whole, but certain aspects of it that are questionable.
I agree. This thread was really stretching to make connections between Trek and racism. That's why I'm pretty sure OP was just making stuff up to start a flame war or it's all satire.

I never reall though Code of Honor was racist either. But then I've seen some of the later writers (ones who weren't around when Code was written) claim that the episode was a bit racist and shouldn't have been done. Which confused me and made me feel like I was missing something.

For what it's worth, white people can racially discriminated against as well, though, it varies in different parts of the world. Which is something I felt was left out when your earlier post claimed that white people don't have any authority to speak about racism. But that may have just not been relevant to your train of thought.

One thing I love about watching classic Trek is the forward thinking. Here we were, during the Civil Rights movement, during the middle of a tense Cold War with Russia, with a black female Lieutenant communications officer, on the bridge holding equal rank and peer relationships with white men, a Russian ensign, an Asian helmsman, and a logical alien. And the subject of race is never brought up. Uhura and Sulu are never treated any differently than any other crew member. Even the casual racism that you saw in everyday television (that sometimes was progressive even then) wasn't really prevalent in Star Trek. From the get-go, Uhura was a valued officer on the bridge.

Another thing, in the pilot, the first officer was a woman. It gets me when people say TOS was sexist because it focused on sex a lot. It did do that, but it didn't objectify all women as only sex objects. The first officer before Spock, was a woman and she wasn't treated as a sex object. Lt. Uhura was a very important bridge officer. Putting aside Turnabout Intruder (which has been all but decanonized by Enterprise) there was nothing to suggest that women couldn't go as far in Starfleet as any of the men could.

Star Trek is beautiful to me, for these reasons. It has always been ahead of its time.
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