Wesley Crusher: Racist

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Trekker4747, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Not a direct analogy I know, but lets say you spend one or two days with a person, then a few months later you see someone who looks exactly like them. Only it's their twin.

    ^Like above I got the impression than geostructure didn't mean planet, but somthing along the lines of what The Borg Queen says. Gamily/household may be to narrow a definition however and ethnic group might be too broad a definition.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    "Geo-" is a prefix that means "earth." We could quibble that in a world where other habitable planets it's been based more on "soil" or simply "planet" than the literal planet called "Earth." "Structure" of course means a construct.

    So "geostructure" could either mean "we're from the same planet" or "we're from the same continent" on the planet. Which would mean that Mendon and Mordock we're of the same "race" of Benzites. (Living on different continents would probably be the same on Benzar as it would be on Earth. Humans who evolved in Europe look different than humans who evolved in Africa; in the latter the harsher sun causing more melanin in the skin to develop producing people with darker skin.)

    So, again, (in the show context) Mendon and Mordock only "look alike" because they happen to be from the same area of the same planet.

    Kidding aside on calling Wesley a racist for his comment, and it was obviously put there to explain to the audience that this wasn't the same Benzite we saw earlier (though there's no reason people would make such a connection given the context of his visiting and being told he has a different name), it's pretty... "Unprofessional" to go up to an alien and assume he's someone of the same race you know from a year ago when a)you were just told his name and b)just told he was visiting on an exchange program and not an officer!
     
  3. Ben

    Ben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Would it be "specie-ist" to say something like:

    - Typical squirrel, always gathering nuts and burying them!
    - Has anyone seen my rat collection? That snake better not have eaten them alive again!
    - Damn that cold virus! Always making people sick!
     
  4. GulGoneCrazy

    GulGoneCrazy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Cardassians are the only proven racists or biggest in ST as we seen how they treated the bajorans.They probably did same thing on numerous planets.They enslave or kill all prisoners and always acting so egoistic.
    For example "Cardassians never make mistakes" Dukat said.
    They always threat to anybody no matter even they are on much weaker side.
    Cardassian empire is often called a Cardassian union but there is no evidence that they give other races a equal membership in their space.I mean just watch attitude of any cardassian and u will notice that they always look form above and they are acting so superior.
    Also garak made a direct racial insult on two romulan soldiers when he is aboard on commanders Lovak warbird.
     
  5. Mott the barber

    Mott the barber Commodore Commodore

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    Something about the title of this thread alone makes me lol.
     
  6. CommanderRaytas

    CommanderRaytas Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Happens to everyone, I suppose. Whilst living in South Africa, I had little enough to do with non-whites, but the blacks of the ethnic group predominant in Joburg had a tendency to wear knitted hats on a daily basis, making it hard for me to tell them apart, as the mind lumps people you don't know and who kind of resemble each other together, for economy purposes.

    On the other hand, there's a certain type of young, slim, white blond woman my mind insists look all the same.

    Doesn't make us racist. Makes our brains effective engines, though. Although in my case, I have trouble remembering faces anyhow. No photographic memory to speak of, sadly.

    Sheds a different light on all those times people confused me for my sister....
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Mordock and Mendon were played by the same actor, using the same appliance made for that actor, in order to save money. So Wesley was correct: the two Benzites he'd met in his life were identical.
     
  8. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Well maybe they do, have you ever considered that? Since their aliens, its quite possible that they all look alike and Wesley Crusher isn't just saying that as a put down.
     
  9. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    One has to keep in mind that aliens aren't all analogous to different human races on Earth. In Star Trek some aliens are smarter, some are dumber, some are greedy, some are warlike to name a few stereotypical traits.
     
  10. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Not by a long shot. Andorians don't like vulcans for example.
     
  11. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have to say, I find this a bit baffling.

    As Therin points out, Mendon and Mordock were, in fact, physically identical. Yes, this was because they were played by the same actor, to save money - but they decided to use that fact and make a scene out of it, rather than try to ignore it and hope no one would notice.

    What I took away from it was that the never-heard-again-in-all-of-Trek term "geostructure" wasn't just another word for "planet", or "continent", or anything similarly familiar to us (Trek has aliens use THOSE words all the time for their own planet, as well as things like province, city, etc; they usually don't bring in outlandish terms at random when an ordinary term will do), but referred to some Benzite-specific thing. Some kind of family or community unit that doesn't have an analogue in Human culture. And furthermore, that when he said "we all look alike", he meant literally. Not "look roughly alike because we're the same race", but actually identical (this being the in-universe explanation/in-joke of sorts tying to the fact that out-of-universe, he's played by the same guy).

    Wesley's slip was perhaps a bit unfortunate, but hardly a big deal, given that he's a kid, and he just reacted to the sight of, as far as he could tell, his friend from last year who got accepted to the Academy standing there in a Starfleet uniform. Since Benzites from the same "geostructure" really DO look alike, this is probably something they are used to dealing with when interacting with other races; Mendon certainly didn't seem offended by the exchange.

    Until I came here tonight and read this thread, the idea that anyone could come away from this scene with any interpretation OTHER than the above never occurred to me. :lol:

    Yeah, and there are others, as well. We saw Human and Ferengi characters being racist toward one another on multiple occasions in DS9, for example.
     
  12. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because planets and continents are constructed? :confused:
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    "structure" doesn't mean "constructed by man."
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It can mean things like a valley structure created by a river, but it can also mean a road.

    And it can be like a genetic structure, which is either natural or manmade.

    The current slang meaning of "Geo" is fantastic, awesome, incredible, things really positive. If Mendon and his geostructure are perhaps a genetically created or enhanced segment of the Benzite species, then his statement in the transporter room to Wesley could have been a announcement of pridefulness or arrogance. "We are from the same geostructure, naturally we all look alike." Of course we do, we're perfect.

    :)
     
  15. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It... is?

    Geo? Awesome and fantastic?

    I've never heard that. :lol: In what circles does it carry this meaning?

    But assuming it's true, while Mendon did actually seem just full of himself enough that it could almost work, I rather doubt that this is what the creators had in mind, and I didn't get that kind of vibe from him in the transporter room scene.
     
  16. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

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    Touche :lol:

    I believe those Benzites were supposed to look a like, I mean, completely alike, such as identical twins. Of course the whole dialogue between him and Wesley was to explain to the viewers why he looked identical, but was a different character.

    As for Trek displaying all members of a race as being the same in behavior (i.e. greedy Ferengi, violent Klingon), I believe is the result of Trek always mixing up species, race, and culture, as if one can mean the other, and how some times it's all the same thing.

    Dividing race from species, is simply a matter of whether two members can produce offspring, if they can, than these are races, if they cannot, these are species. Example: a rottweiler and a pit bull can produce offspring, so they are the same species, but different races. A Brown Recluse and a Black Widow cannot produce offspring, thus they are a different species.
    In Trek, beings that evolved over billions of years from other ends of the galaxy can produce offspring, thus they are races, though the chances of two complex organisms such as a klingon and human being genetically compatible in spite of the fact they evolved on separate planets is about as likely as an Irishmen going to China, finding someone identical to himself, including his first, middle, and last name, and having parents identical to his own with the same names.
    Culture, on the other hand, is perfectly fine to stereotype, because culture implies a set of commonalities. An example: if you were an actor, and I told you I wanted you to show up ready to play the part of a goth kid, you'd come into the studio dressed in black, black nail polish and lipstick. It would also be reasonable for you to assume that your goth character listens to The Cure, Bauhuas, Joy Division, and a host of black/death metal bands. It would also be reasonable to assume that your character is either going to be a depressive introvert, or a violent introvert, watches horror movies, and has a fascination with death and the macabre, and probably choose wicca or satanism as your spirituality.
    Why are these stereotypes allowed? Because these are the most common components of "goth". At least half of those attributes would have to be present in order to make a case for saying someone is "goth".
    A culture is defined by it's fashion, attitude, media consumption, traditions, and value system.
    Races may commonly have a culture, but many do not fit within the culture i.e. there is a difference between black culture, and being a black person.

    It is at least reasonable to assume that the reason different "races" on Star Trek tend to come with their own culture is because their race has developed in isolation before warp technology, and thus have their own culture, complete with a strong set of characteristics that define their culture.
     
  17. The Borg Queen

    The Borg Queen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Does it matter?
    Like how Humans only have one culture: American.

    Right?
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    These bands are all post-punk, and no modern day Goth would be caught dead actually listening to that pathetic shit.

    More likely Fields of the Nephilim, Dead Can Dance, Terminal Gods, or The Gathering

    :devil:
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  19. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    nevermind
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  20. T'Preea

    T'Preea Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm in Customer Service, also and I can tell people apart. Every day I get the same people in but there's that little mo where I recognize a new face. Or perhaps it's because I work in the town I've lived in for fifteen years and I know practically everyone anyway, who knows. Back to topic. I don't think Wesley is racist, merely young and naive and that's a common mistake for someone his age to make.