Actually, it’s not. That’s the problem. You would think if any genre pushed the boundaries of possibility, it’d be science fiction. Travel between planets and stars, contact with alien races, a greater understanding of humanity and where we fit in the cosmos. SF is that glimpse of the future today.
So where are all the black people?
45 years after the debut of the original Star Trek, how come there’s still just one brother or sister holding it down in the spaceship? Is affirmative action affecting the near and distant future? Is this legislation so powerful that it reaches back long, long ago into a galaxy far, far away?
Don’t get me wrong, when Star Trek came out in 1966, it was progressive as hell. You had Uhura looking classy on the comms, Sulu driving with dignity. Even Chekov was there telling the world this Cold War won’t last forever. There was no mention of color. Kirk was libertine, he thought Uhura was sexy and showed her just that. Sulu didn’t have to intentionally mispronounce the letter “L”. A color free future… and in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and a color burdened present, these were giant strides.
Fast forward to 2011. NOTHING has changed. One person of any one non-white race. That’s all you get on your spaceship. Or in the Jedi Academy. Or through your stargate. More times than not, those brothers and sisters in the future aren’t even human, they’re the big, strong, proud warrior race living for honor and the next fight.
When most of our present day office environments, neighborhoods and communities do not reflect this scarcity of color then we’ve got to ask ourselves, what happened to the future? Was there really a Big Brother conspiracy to wipe black folks off the planet? Are my people stuck on Earth behind the drive thru window while “the man” is having cosmic adventures?
Makers of SF: all I’m saying is stop filling roles as a way to scratch off your diversity checklist. That “one and done” crap is tired. If you’re not looking to push the boundaries on current racial matters, then at least keep it real. The whole “the mainstream audience needs people to identify with” line you preach is garbage and you know it. It’s an insult to white people. Minorities all over are watching these same shows with very few people to identify with. Conversely, white folks tuned into Chappelle by the millions. A good show is a good show. Period.
Rant over, I now present my cavalcade of sorrow.