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Doing diversity wrong - Garwulf's Corner: The LiveJournal
The musings of Robert B. Marks - author, editor, publisher, and researcher

Robert B. Marks
Date: 2017-06-08 10:48
Subject: Doing diversity wrong
Security: Public
Location:In my chair
Tags:bigotry, diversity, star trek discovery, wired
A couple of weeks before my Star Trek: Discovery column went up, Wired published an article of their own talking about the first proper trailer.  I didn't get around to reading it until today, but now that I have, I really have to take issue with something that was said in it:

"Lantern-jawed cis-het white men have been rightly cleared off the bridge in favor of a team that more accurately reflects the galaxy (and Gene Roddenberry's vision)."

Not only was that not Gene Roddenberry's vision, the article is flat-out doing diversity wrong.

Gene Roddenberry's vision was of a future where sexism and racism were long-forgotten things of the past.  He envisioned a 23rd century that had a place of dignity and respect for everybody, regardless of race, sex, or creed.  And that includes heterosexual white men.

As I pointed out in my column, the original Star Trek was revolutionary in terms of diversity, at least as far as the late 1960s went.  It had an Asian helmsman who was not an offensive cliche, and a black female communications officer (and this was at a time when black people were not cast in key roles so that they could be edited out prior to broadcast in the Southern United States).  Both of these were respected officers in good standing.  Half a century later, we should be able to do better, and the casting of Discovery does seem to reflect that.  There is no requirement that the captain be a heterosexual white male.

But, at the same time, Roddenberry's vision was a place where those "lantern-jawed cis-het white men" DO have a place on that bridge, just like everybody else.  You cannot "clear them off" without compromising Roddenberry's vision of a future with a place for everybody.

And more to the point, that's not diversity - if it's anything, it's affirmative action.  Diversity is about adding voices, not replacing or removing them.  If you're cheering the removal of anybody from the picture based on their race, sex, or creed, then you are practicing bigotry - pointing it towards what the far left considers a more acceptable target doesn't make it any less wrong.

When I watch Star Trek Discovery, I intend to fully enjoy the diversity of the cast.  But what I'm going to be celebrating is all the new voices that have been added - each one that didn't make it in the end is a loss that will leave the show a bit poorer.
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