The Most Political ‘Star Trek’ Episode: ‘Past Tense,’ From ‘Deep Space Nine’

Robert Greene II – The Atlantic:

Behr also acknowledged the episode’s implicit racial commentary, noting for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion book that Sisko and Bashir—being people of color—were treated more harshly than Dax. He also recoiled from criticism that the two-parter was too one-sided in its portrayal of a country dealing with homelessness, telling Star Trek Monthly magazine in 1996 that, “People are still even writing that we only presented ‘one side’ in ‘Past Tense’ and that we should have presented ‘both sides’ and not just the ‘liberal’ point of view—and I’m still trying to think what that means.

Emphasis mine.

I remember this pair of ST:DS9 episodes, which dealt with homelessness from the perspective of travelers arriving from the future. They viewed it in much the same way we look back at the overt racism of the past and the more insidious variants today.

The claim that both sides have valid arguments puzzles me. We live in a country and a culture built upon the subjugation of ethnic minorities, be they indigenous people, or black African, Italian, Irish, Chinese, Catholic, Jewish and other immigrants. Perhaps the only group not subjected to marginalization in America is the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

Let’s be clear. As they relate to racism in America, the two sides are those opposed to less-than-equal treatment of non-whites, and those who, through some intellectual gymnastics or outright ignorance, falsely equivocate the argument of the white supremacist with justice. Extrajudicial killing at the hands of furious white cops intent upon putting down an unruly black man is contemporary lynching.

As Behr, above, I’m still trying to think of how ethnic oppression is defensible.

#racism #in #America #ethnic #oppression #cultureOfViolence