The ORIGINAL “Star Trek” featured an episode, in which, the crew of the Starship ENTERPRISE, while on their continuing mission to “Explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations etc…” encountered two men, one of whom had been chasing the other—an escaped “traitor”—for more than 50,000 years. The source of their strife involved racial segregation and slavery on their, “war-torn”, home planet. The episode first aired in 1969 and was entitled, “LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD”.
Their conflict seemed to arise from the fact that, although nearly identical in physical appearance—both men had “two toned” skin; black on one side, white on the other. However, there was one small—seemingly insignificant—difference between the two. One of them had white skin on the right side of his body and black on the left and the other had black on the right and white on the left. Because of this minute difference, one “race” had enslaved the other. Does this preposterous proposition sound familiar?
An NPR reporter once asked a famous neurosurgeon, why he didn’t speak of race or racial differences very often. He responded, “It’s because I’m a neurosurgeon…you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that because, our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states. And those who want to divide us are trying to divide us, and we shouldn’t let them do it.”
His words left me thinking, “Finally, a moment of clarity on an otherwise, fogbound, sea of perturbation.” Of course, my thoughts did not consist of those exact words, but they make for better print. What he said was logical, and scientifically factual. But, there are those who care not for logic, or scientific fact. The definition of a bigot is; “a prejudiced or closed-minded person, especially one who is intolerant or hostile towards different social groups—especially, and originally, other religious groups—and especially one whose own beliefs are perceived as unreasonable or excessively narrow-minded, superstitious, or hypocritical”.
I saw an article the other day which, attempted to explain the meaning of the various components of the “Confederate Flag”. The article summarized by stating the following: “Through the blood of Christ, with the protection of God, we the thirteen states are united in our Christian fight for liberty.” The hypocrisy of that statement is in its use of the word “liberty”. How could that flag represent “liberty” when its bearers held men and women in chains and subjected them to the whips and the back-breaking labor of slavery? That just doesn’t make sense!
Allegedly, the blue portion of the flag represents “justice”. How ironic is it that a flag, which is purported to have represented “justice”, be borne by those who denied and continue to deny justice to their “fellow man”? Some things just make sense and some don’t. The surgeon’s statements make sense. Racial injustice and inequality does not!
The episode of Star Trek mentioned at the outset of this composition ended with both men returning to their home planet, only to find that every man, woman and child on the planet was dead and its cities destroyed, presumably due to a “war of the races”. The final dialogue on the Enterprise goes like this:
Mr. Spock: [On the bridge, after Lokai and Bele have beamed to the surface of Charon] “And another life form has appeared on Cheron.”
Uhura: “That doesn’t make any sense.”
Mr. Spock: “To expect sense from two mentalities of such extreme viewpoints is not logical.”
Sulu: “Their planet’s dead. Does it matter now which one’s right?”
Mr. Spock: “Not to Lokai and Bele. All that matters to them is their hate.”
Uhura: “Do you suppose that’s all they ever had, sir?”
Captain James T. Kirk: “No, but that’s all they have left. Warp factor two, Mr. Sulu. Set course for Starbase 4”
The two men, in a rage, attacked each other; intent upon destroying the last vestige of their “races” and their world on “the Last Battlefield”. What will be our EPILOGUE?