Star Trek: A fight for equality

TOSopeninglogoI am very lucky to have amazing friends and one of the great things we have is a weekly ritual we call Star Trek Sunday. Every Sunday we get together and watch episodes of Star Trek from across all the various incarnations. I have made a video featuring it a while back click here to watch that.  As you watch episodes from across the many years, you start to see connecting strands between the different series. If there is one thing I can say it is that Star Trek is the champion of equality. They see a future where earth has risen out of the petty bigotry of race and nationality to become a united people.

Star Trek has a record of dealing with uses of race and gender equality; Gene Roddenberry was always trying to using his future to teach us about our present. Star Trek was the almost perfect future; we won’t have cancer or aids, and everyone has been enough to eat and there is no more home homeless at least not on earth. And even with this amazing future humans still find things to fight against, we find aliens that reflect who we use to be (aka who we are) and though this looking glass, we can get a good view of ourselves.

Many people may not know this but the first interracial kiss between a white male, and an African-American female on American television was on an episode of the original Star Trek.

There are many examples of Star Trek taking on the issues of race, gender bias and slavery.

In the episode “Measure of a Man” from Star Trek: the next generation they have to hold a hearing on if data is a man or just machine that can be owed and ordered around. The captain had to prove that he had the right to govern his own life and was not just a machine but a sentient being. star-trek-next-generation-measure-of-a-man

 

far beyond the stars In the episode “Far beyond the Stars” from DS9 they very openly look at the race issues of the 1950s as Benjamin Sisko who experiences the life of Benny Russell, an African-American writer who has to deal head on with racism and trying to be true to himself. People from his life took on other rolls as well and in my opinion this one of the finest DS9 episodes.

 

But the episode that most Star Trek fans can point to is the episode called is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” from the original series. This one sticks in my mind too because it was this episode that sparked this whole post. We watched this episode during Star Trek Sunday this past week. In this episode there are two men whose faces are split down the middle one half is black and one is white. One man is a trader and his people are slaves, the other is his hunter and his people are the dominant race. What makes these two men different? Well one has white on his left side and black on his right and the other has the reverse. bele_and_lokai_star_trek-320x240

I find the Star Trek series very entertaining and also very thought provoking. We get to see how the writers tried to overcome the issues of the day by looking at them through the eyes if the future. I think we can all learn from Star Trek and boldly go where we have not gone before in our own personal lifes.

The Fedora Nerd ~ Ben Crawford

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2 thoughts on “Star Trek: A fight for equality

  1. Well put. And you’re right, I never thought about how the aliens that the Federation has conflict with, all exhibit some form of bigotry or prejudice that make them “bad”. Especially the Romulans. Frack the Romulans.

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