Star Trek, Diversity and Bigots (essay)

I am extremely disheartened by the comments made on posts and videos advertising the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery television show. Some people have valid points: having to pay extra to watch it, not liking the cast, weird Klingons and suddenly Spock has an adopted sister are all valid complaints. I myself have complained about the lead actress and CBS rolling their minority, gay and female characters into one.

But whining about the videos discussing Diversity and complaining that its “SJW ruining Star Trek” is both ignorant and evidence you are a bigot who has no business calling yourself a Star Trek fan, or frankly a sci-fi or space opera fan at all. Most popular series (Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, FarScape) have an underlying message of tolerance and acceptance. The villains are racists and homophobes, duh.

Lets get this straight: Supporting diversity and tolerance is not an “SJW” topic, and it isn’t the show “preaching.” First, the show was in development before “diversity” once again became a political hot topic, and the diverse crew was part of the story. Second, Star Trek has always been about Diversity. They pushed the envelope day one with a black female officer and an alien first officer. They pushed it further with Kirk falling in love over and over again with alien women. Episodes were written that included gay and transsexual characters (Turnabout Intruder, for one), and the show always preached acceptance.

This diversity and tolerance continued through every other series. There have been TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise episodes about strange alien love triangles, episodes about gay people, episodes about intersex and transgender characters, characters that were openly accepted and treated with respect as Gene Roddenberry set forth in the original series pitch.

Accepting diversity, all diversity, is a Trek belief espoused in IDIC (Infinite Diversity Infinite Combinations) and is nothing new. The fact it is being discussed in the show is no different than pushing the envelope in the sixties during the Civil Rights Movement. Trek has always been a “liberal” show that portrayed diversity as a good thing. If that upsets you, the show isn’t to blame, your ignorance and bigotry is.

Given that Nazis and white supremacists have found the courage in the wake of a President like Trump to take to the street spouting hatred and fear of diversity, now is the perfect time for a new Star Trek show that defends diversity as much as possible. The fact this annoys people illustrates even further how badly those of us who are not straight, white and Christian need role-models and a show that supports us.

I will now be watching Discovery and supporting the show as much as I can, if only because I know its success, like IT doing well in theaters this past weekend, will annoy the bigots to no end.