Wednesday, November 15

Galactica's Precautions Were Necessary

Source: SciFi Weekly

One thing that can be said about the Caucasian race is that, over the centuries, we have managed to offend every other race on the planet. We have! And with that statement, I know I just offended a whole bunch of people. Yet I'm not going to apologize. Not for what I said, because it's true, and not for what my race has done, because I wasn't there! What we've done to the black man, the various Asian races and most especially the Native American is beyond description, yet we're trying to move past that and grow up, not only as the Caucasian race, but as the human people.

When I read that someone was offended because a black man was shackled, chained and otherwise humiliated on Battlestar Galactica ("Battlestar's Shackles Offend Viewer"), I had to think a minute before I remembered the scene. When I did, I got mad. Not at the scene, but at the person who got mad at the scene. Yes, it was a black man who was shackled and chained. Yes, for some reason that hasn't been adequately explained, black people play only a minor role in the series. Yes, in the original, Col. Tigh was a black man. But the person who was shackled and chained was not portraying a black man: He was portraying a Cylon, a member of the genocidal race that had killed all but less than 50,000 members of the human race. Even though this particular Cylon was dying of an unknown disease, these humans have every right to be scared to death of its potential capabilities. The portrayal, while crude, and yes, objectional, was potentially and dramatically accurate.

If you're going to tune out due to this one scene, then you obviously didn't like the show to begin with and only needed an excuse, not a reason, to leave the show behind.

Galactica's strongest point is that it portrays many objectional scenes in a realistic light, whether it be torture, battle or humiliation. The show has nearly as many detractors as supporters, and I have no problem with that, but don't attack the show and stop watching it because of a misperception!

Then again, maybe the producers knew that it would elicit exactly this reaction and filmed it for exactly this reason.

I expect I've angered at least several people, but it won't be the first time. The last time I took a stand like this, I was accused of being an Internet Thug, which I most certainly am NOT! I am just a passionate person with very strong views of my own.

Of course, that's what "Letter to the Editor" is all about, right?

Keith Kitchen
boyoklaatu AT yahoo DOT com


quantum said...

I don't want to make any trouble here, but I don't believe that visiting destruction on hostile "tribes" or "races" is a particularly "caucasian" thing -- it's how humanity works. The Arabs conquered North Africa, the Mayans decimated other tribes, etc. It's part of being human. Unfortunate.

TC said...

I just wanted to say that the word "race" is not correct. It has been genetically proofed. Every time I hear that word, it just shocks me (English is not my mother tongue). I - as European - can be genetically closer to an African, than to my german neighbour.

About the subject, I don't really understand why people have always to refer to some one's "ethnicity" or "skin color". I don't want to generalize, but I don't understand why a lot of Americans still do it ! Human begins are human begins, that's all, regardless of their appearance.

Yes, I know many people think about slavery - which is one of the most horrible thing in history - but this isn't the point in Battlestar Galactica. I consider every character either as a human or as a Cylon. When Boomer was beaten, I didn't see a asian woman being beaten, but a Cylon, the same for N°6.