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I just asked a question about SG-1 but it's not showing up when I went to check for answers. Maybe this should go to META but I can't post there.

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I closed and deleted that question. You have a history of asking questions about black sci-fi characters with racist undertones, and we don't accept racism here.

I also migrated your question over to Meta. You should post a comment to this detailing the issues you have when trying to post to Meta, as everyone is supposed to be able to post to Meta.


To fully elucidate my issues with your questions, here are the specific problem areas with your questions. From this question:

Even if the two races were at peace for however many years, there is always a chance that they would revert back to their primal instincts and lose sight of the responsibilities at hand - I wouldn't think they could be trusted.

Firstly, the Federation is composed of dozens, if not hundreds of different species, so the 'two races' is ridiculous. Secondly, to my knowledge there isn't an instance of Klingons 'reverting back to their primal instincts' (besides that terrible TNG episode where everyone on the Enterprise "devolved"), but there is a black stereotype of them being little more than scary animals:

Democrats and white supremacists in the South began a political response to Radical Reconstruction, claiming that freed slaves would steal jobs after migrating North, create an economic burden on whites, and threaten white society with their purported savagery and barbarism. While before the American Civil War, black slaves had been depicted as childlike and inferior beings, happy in their captivity, white supremacists now insisted that freedom would drive blacks towards crimes of theft, murder, and the rape of white women. To support these claims, newspapers would publish articles bolstering the image of black brutality to frighten and reinforce racist assumptions in white Southerners.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Star Trek is pretty concentrated in TNG and onwards. I'll spend some time rewatching TOS this weekend. Next up is this question about the X-Men's Storm:

[G]iven the large number of mutants in the X-Men universe, it seems that Professor Xavier could certainly do much better. Storm really doesn't fit in with the team very well.

Are her abilities really so extraordinary they justify her presence at the forefront of the X-Men adventures? Does she actually provide other benefits?

This one is probably the least problematic. It beats me how she "doesn't fit into the team very well" besides her being one of the handful of non-white female characters (someone who knows modern X-Men, please correct me). Looking at the in-universe biographies, nothing jumps out at me about Storm that makes her not fit in. They all have pretty traumatic histories, with their day to day lives in the present basically being a living hell. Admittedly, looking at the original team there's a pretty blatant lack of diversity there, but I know that in the decades since they've constantly grown and changed up the team.

Your 3rd question being one about why would Teal'c be trusted:

SG-1 is the premier Stargate team, and I would presume is the one that makes first contact? is Teal'c really the impression they want to lead with? His physical appearance is obviously off-putting, and he doesn't try to hide it. When SG-1 travels to other planets, the people there really don't like his kind.

Plus, he doesn't seem very smart. While he's pretty good with a staff weapon, it's fairly inferior compared to a P90, an I'd just presume they could get a trustworthy marine grunt to do what he does.

First paragraph manages to run the gambit from implying Scary Black Guy to veiled mentions of "his kind". Second paragraph just flat out calls him dumb, where the show depicts him as often very useful when it comes to countering Goa'uld and Jaffa tactics. Also, he needs that staff weapon, as it's the weapon of his people (link has a nice callback, with a mention of Worf).

For some reason, you're pretty obsessed with asking about why people trust or value black characters. If it wasn't endemic to your first 3 questions, and bolstered by some pretty blatant racism, it probably would have been acceptable. Since your response to my initial version of this answer was so rote, I have little reason to think it wasn't on purpose.

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    So, the rule for your site is that we're not allowed to ask questions about Sci-Fi characters who has an actor playing them who happens to be black? I think there's a word for that... – derekvinyard98 Jul 6 '12 at 18:17
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    You're welcome to ask questions about black characters. You're just not allowed to ask racist questions about black characters. – user1027 Jul 6 '12 at 18:22
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    @keen I don't see any racism in his Xmen question... Could you elaborate as to why you think it's racist? – OghmaOsiris Jul 6 '12 at 18:24
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    I think Keen is saying that of the three questions he's asked (one from an unregistered account), all are generally asking why a black character is in the story. I agree that there isn't any real racist tone in the two questions I saw (Worf and Storm), but it is a little strange that both follow the same template (namely: why is this black character allowed to be in this role). I'm guessing the question that was deleted also followed this template. – Ryan Jul 6 '12 at 18:32
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    @OghmaOsiris Basically what Ryan said. All of his questions about about trusting or valuing black characters. All of them have a sentence or two that use racial code words. – user1027 Jul 6 '12 at 18:38
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    And I will second that statement by Ryan. I have had an issue with those same questions. I did my best to remain civil (since I AM a person of color) but the racial overtones were not lost on me. – Thaddeus Howze Jul 6 '12 at 19:23
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    @keen I guess I didn't think it was racist cause I don't know the 'code words' lol. I could only see one of his questions, so I guess I didn't see a pattern. – OghmaOsiris Jul 6 '12 at 19:28
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    @OghmaOsiris I had the same reaction, when I look at any of the individual questions they seem legitimized by canonical reasoning. – NominSim Jul 6 '12 at 19:32
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    The fact that both Worf and T are an exemplary part of their ALIEN RACE is a key component of the story. The answers are always because they deserve to be there. While I am not saying we should tolarate racism... in this case if any were intended it backfired. With storm I read the bias more against the fact that she was female and it was the X-MEN not X-People. – Chad Jul 6 '12 at 20:46
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    @Thaddeus: This applies to several people, not just you, but you're known on this site and you've been in chat and gotten along with people there, so that would would have been a place where you could have raised this as an issue and started a discussion on this if you didn't want to bring it to meta for any reason. – Tango Jul 6 '12 at 22:01
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    @Keen From your edit I think you are reading waay too much into the questions from the OP. The Klingons are a race of people in the Star Trek universe, it just so happens that Worf is depicted by a darker skinned character. There are Klingons in each of the series of various skin colors. You shouldn't derive from the OPs statements about a particular fictional race that they were meant for an actual race. The same goes for Teal'c in Stargate, his "kind" is a Jaffa, a fictional race that are depicted by all different types of ethnic actors. – NominSim Jul 7 '12 at 2:23
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    @Keen - "code words" is an offensive term used to imply someone whose political views you disagrees with is being a racist when you don't have a shred of evidence to prove it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. It would be nice if you didn't bring your personal political preferences into moderation. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 9 '12 at 2:15
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    @DVK I know you'd prefer moderators never use their power, but that's never how this site was run nor will be run. I didn't run across this question and just delete it on my own anyway. I was notified in chat that this post seemed to be up to something, read over their questions and agreed with the person who brought the issue to me that it was offensive. Behold, the community deciding! – user1027 Jul 10 '12 at 14:26
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    @DVK 1 person brought it to me, I noticed the issue, mentioned in chat, and a few others agreed with my analysis. If you found something offensive, and I concurred, of course I'd close/delete it. Do you believe we purely handle flags on personal grounds? In addition, I don't know if your calculator is broken, or if you don't think (users XOR mods) are people, but that last comment makes it clear were 2 people who found it offensive. – user1027 Jul 10 '12 at 15:25
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    @DVK Beofett uses that rationale, I just use 'offensive things should be removed' as a rationale. – user1027 Jul 10 '12 at 16:20
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I can't see the Stargate question, but both of the other 2 questions that are being discussed here strike me as really bad questions:

The comments about Storm could apply to pretty much any member of the X-Men - they're pretty much all outcasts and have trouble fitting in to the team somewhere along the way. Being able to control the weather strikes me as being a more unusual power than optic blasts, amazing agility, wings, and many others.

The question about Worf is covered extensively in the show - his background, how he was raised by humans, went to the Academy, etc. The whole question is loaded with false assumptions and deserved to be closed.

I don't see either of these as being racist on their own. In particular, I've never thought of Worf as being "black" and it's always a bit of surprise to see Michael Dorn in another movie or show (e.g. on Castle). I just think of Klingons as being swarthy and he's just a typical Klingon.

I'd close them just as bad questions, but I can see why a pattern of bad questions about black characters (or characters portrayed by black actors) would be shut down faster.

EDIT: Now that the Stargate question is undeleted, yeah, it's a pretty bad question.

  • Can't trust him because he's a traitor: tons of dramas make use of a good-hearted bad guy switching sides. I haven't watched enough SG-1, but I'm sure they gave a reasonable explanation.
  • Makes a bad impression on first contact: countered by the good impression given by showing that the "bad guys" are not all bad, not all one-dimensionally evil.
  • Not many talents, easily replaced: I haven't seen enough of SG-1, but in the episodes I have seen, and on lots of SG-Atlantis episodes, it's the "marines with P-90s" that are useless. So this really seems like a false premise.
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I initially pointed out in chat that the question being discussed seemed to have racist overtones. I also pointed out that I remembered that the users other questions were very similar. I will come out and say right now, I am one of the last people to jump up and say, "this is racist." I think racism is patently foolish, and not worth the time to respond to or get upset over. It does not belong on a professional site, in any way, shape, or form, however.

From a personal side, I am ethnically Jewish. I have studied Jewish history, and spent a large amount of time in school projects studying the Nazi movement, including reading modern neo-Nazi propaganda. The three questions being discussed read exactly like neo-Nazi propaganda against Blacks and Jews. One could argue that asking if Teal'c is qualified to be a member of SG-1 because "people react negatively to his appearance" is not a racist question. However, I just want to say this: would it be accepted if the question asked, "Why is Obama allowed to be President? His appearance has to be off putting to those he encounters in other countries." That is exactly the type of thing you will be confronted with, if you go to a neo-Nazi website, and read their filth.

The fact that three questions have all had the exact same gist to them, and they were pointed at three obviously qualified characters who all happen to have dark skin, sounds alarms in the mind of anyone who has dealt with racism firsthand.

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  • Well if President Obama had a gold emblem on his forehead and a pouch for an alien ghoul to live inside of him, then I do think it would be a very valid question to ask... but apparently I'm racist. – derekvinyard98 Jul 6 '12 at 22:19
  • @Gabe - you are WAY off base here. His appearacnce is that of an Apophis's Jaffa (a Prime, to boot). That's a lot more like complaining "Why did we elect an alien from ID4 as President" in ID4 Universe. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 10 '12 at 13:59
  • @DVK Tell that to neo-Nazi apologists. They'll come back with, "why did we elect a subhuman as president." I'm sorry, but until you've dealt with it on a personal basis, you'll probably never think to recognize it. It's just the way things are. – Gabe Willard Jul 10 '12 at 15:19
  • @GabeWillard - I daresay I spoke to more neonazis than you (I was young and stupid and played "undercover amateur cop" on some of their chat rooms). I've also read Mein Kampf and most of their main literature. Going slightly off topic, I have also experienced significanly MORE racial, ethnical and religious prejudice from non-neonazi quarters. And it wasn't KKK that coined the term "hymietown". – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 10 '12 at 15:56
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I have decided to try and appease both sides here, and to take the valid points from the question, and edit them in such a way that hopefully no one can see any racial tones in them, specifically in relying more on facts and removing unsupported analysis of his actions. The question is valid, even if some of the text is not. Hopefully everyone can be happy with my edited version of it, otherwise we can have this conversation all over again.

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    Your edits made it a better question, but it's still not good, I downvoted it for the reasons given in my answer. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Jul 9 '12 at 5:18
  • Great job on the edits! I added my own to further clarify the visual appearance point. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 10 '12 at 14:04

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