Star Trek was the product of two centuries, the 23rd (when it took place) and the 20th (when it was filmed). Although progressive in many ways (recurring minority characters who were not servants, subservient, childish or childlike and who spoke fluent English), it was still a product of its time, New Frontier spirit and all: the Federation was just the United Nations ran by the US State Department, and the uniforms for female crewmembers… (There was a scene in the first episode of The Next Generation with a male crewmember wearing a skort. Notice you never saw that again.) Even by late-20th century standards, some things in this brave new world were horribly anachronistic: no female had a command assignment and when Scotty is traumatized into hating women when he's injured at an accident caused by a female engineer, the "cure" is to take him to a strip club. No wonder they had ship's counselors by 24th century.

But it was not just sexism that was still rampant in this brave new world, racism was still alive and, well… One of its most blatant practitioners was…

James. Tiberius. Kirk.

Say it ain’t so, you say! Did he not sleep with every female he met, regardless of species, creed, or color? (Except for a Gorn, a Horta, or a Klingon. Look for that in the next movie.) Did he not swap spit where spit had never been swapped before (on TV, anyway) with Uhura? When Lt. Riley, who fancied himself "the descendent of Irish royalty," was about to say that "one Irishman is worth a thousand—” (they hadn’t decided what country Sulu was from yet), did not Kirk stop him?

True, he did, but he also did enough other stuff to make the Enterprise EEO Officer more beleaguered that Toby, the HR Rep on The Office. And virtually all of this inappropriate behavior was directed toward the only minority (that is, the only non-Teran humanoid) officer on his ship, Spock. His BFOL. Not only did he allow other officers to make Spock the butt of their jokes and allow blatantly racist comments (How many times did McCoy—a Southerner!—refer to Spock as "green-blooded, pointy-eared" or as having chips for brains?) but he was often guilty of such sentiments himself. Don't believe me? Let's roll the tapes.


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