The racist legacy of Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Afrika Bambaata, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sulu had a wide range of hobbies including botany, fencing and shooting (his "hobby of the week" was originally meant to be a running gag) and fantasized about being a 17th/18th-century European swashbuckler. Hardly stereotypical "Asian" attributes.

    It's a writers' trope known as the "Planet of Hats."

    He looked pretty "white" to me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  2. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.

    That sort of ties into the 'pseudoscience' and 'scientific racism' during the 1920s when - as you brought out - white scientists were dividing up people according to who they believed were 'Mongoloid'...'Negroid'...or 'Caucasoid.'

    Yes, I do agree it's artificial and it was not unlike the one-drop rule that started during the American slavery era.

    I have to search online for it, but there was a case of an Indian man around the 1920s - dark-skinned - who wanted to 'apply' for whiteness, and took it to court only to get denied.

    Not too mention, Sulu (at least the mirror Sulu) wasn't afraid of women. Granted, the 1960s series - due to writer's and Shatner's ego (?) - gave Shatner much of the female attention. And, the 2013 film showed a Sulu that was very sure of himself while he sat in the command chair. (Something the 2013 did good!)

    Asian dudes are usually portrayed as nerds or non-sexy. And Harry, at least to my knowledge, was kinda afraid of the opposite sex...and was always doubting himself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  3. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Yea, even if? it never happened, I'm sure if he actually believed that this far in, she would need the backup to show his support and pride, I'm sure he would've happily given it.
     
  4. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    NX01 Bridge
    No problems at all.

    Enjoyed the conversation!:techman:
     
  5. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    NX01 Bridge
    Do we have any reason to doubt the story is true?

    I've always taken her at her word and never doubted her for a second.

    It always sounded like something MLK would have done.
     
  6. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    It's supposedly been debunked,
     
  7. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    NX01 Bridge
    My "google fingers" can not find anything about that. I did find this article that supports it.

    http://legendsrevealed.com/entertai...n-luther-king-keep-nichols-leaving-star-trek/

    I just can't fathom that Nichelle would lie to us about that. I think I would be crushed.
     
  8. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Supposedly some other stories have been debunked too, like the story around the 'first' interracial kiss.

    Supposedly it wasn't as much a controversy as history makes it out to be.
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Well, wouldn't that depend on where you lived in the US in November 1968?

    Dr. Martin Luther King was assasinated in April 1968 and just one month before "Plato's Stepchildren" aired, audiences had seen Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists to the "Black Power Salute" ("Human Rights Salute") after winning the gold and bronze medals, respectively, at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games.

    According to a documentary I recently saw the two got into a lot of trouble in the aftermath, they were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats. :wtf:

    Therefore I have little doubt that Kirk's and Uhura's kiss also stirred up some controversy, just about 4 weeks after the Salute at the Olympic Games.

    Bob
     
  10. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    Well, I think if a person was in America, and black, what was going on in 1968 would only be a part of the experience. Malcolm X - my hero - was assassinated in 1965, and the civil rights movement (in all its forms) was in motion.

    Now, "Star Trek" wasn't a ratings behemoth at the time - it did eventually get cancelled due to ratings, after all - so I don't think the Kirk/Uhura kiss received Earth-shattering controversy. Just with the people who watched or knew of the show.

    As aforementioned, while the supposedly 'first interracial kiss on television' wasn't exactly the first - America tends to focus on race whenever it involves a black person, usually a black male, opposite a non-black individual - as previously brought out, I'm sure it did have its share of controversy. This is in contrast to the many kisses between white men and Asian women on television before 'Plato's Stepchildren' (including the kiss between France Nuyen and William Shatner on "Star Trek," that aired after 'Plato's Stepchildren') that go without controversy.

    It is a a double-standard I absolutely hate. And, that double-standard is still in place today, unfortunately.

    As for the two Olympians that put up the 'black power' fist: San Jose State University has always had a nice statue commemorating the two men.
     
  11. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    I'm a graduate of San Jose State. OT, but it doesn't get mentioned all that often.:)
     
  12. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    I'm going to get a bit off-topic as well but I want to say:

    Awesome!

    It's a popular school out here in the Bay Area.

    I am accepted for the Library Science Master's program for the Fall....but I think I want something a bit more in line with writing or film that is actually practical. (Not too mention, I don't really need a Master's at this moment).
     
  13. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    The girl I dated while at SJSU was a Library Science major for a while. Started as pre-Vet, then Library Science, but I think her final degree was in Physical Education. She was a bit flighty. :p I was an Art major! Stuck to it all the way!
     
  14. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    Yeah, it seemed like she was trying to figure out which major truly interested her.;)
     
  15. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Not a fan of that term as it doesn't really nail what this is. The real antecedent of Star Trek is probably Gulliver's Travels. You use entire populations of strange people to illustrate an ideological viewpoint.

    It's just like how so many SF novels revolve around a dystopian "what-if". You can anthologize that by having the ship visit one planet or another where the course of development of that species went down one tangent or another.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    It seems not one interviewer ever seems to ask Nichelle at which event or on what date this particular MLK encounter happened.
     
  17. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Smithfield, Rhode Island USA
    She told the MLK story on an episode of AMC's Comic Book Men earlier this year.

    I want the story to be true, because it really is a great story, but I have my doubts.
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    She tells the story in practically every interview I ever run across with her. I've looked and I can't find a single reference to her mentioning it before TMP, though.
     
  19. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    Was there a mention of the story in one of the early books about the series? I seem to recall it mentioned in one, perhaps 'The Making of Star Trek' by Stephan Whitfield. As I remember it was a phone call, but not having the books or having read them in decades it could just be a false memory.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    It's not in TMOST.