September 21, 2015

Thirteen worlds in Starfleet?

This image led to a Facebook discussion about the Federation's diversity or lack thereof:

Only 13? Doesn't the Federation have hundreds of worlds?Unfortunately, Picard did not believe in integration.

They do, but the Enterprise only has representatives from 13 of them.
"We are proud to include crew members from the light-skinned humanoid planets. As for the Andorians, the Tellarites, and the Orions--not to mention all the non-humanoid species--alas. Through no fault of their own, they don't quite have the 'right stuff.'

"But fear not. Some of them have their own ships in Starfleet II, aka Starfleet Jr. Others are free to hitch rides via Starfleet Uber. We make sure all species and races have equal access to the stars."A lot of those people explore space on their own (like the Vulcans) so they don't "need" to be in Starfleet to explore space. Starfleet is an organization any member of the Federation can join, but they certainly do not have to join. Enterprise was an Earth vessel that Starfleet used to explore space, but in Picard's day it was used for diplomatic missions often and had many people on board who were not crew members. It had around 1000 people on board at any given time, but only about 2/3 were crew. So 13 worlds were represented in 750 people. That's pretty good! Go on any cruise today, and you probably wouldn't have that many nationalities at once on the same ship. Also, it was a TV show. lol :-)Every Starfleet vessel ever shown was an Earth vessel.Probably because Starfleet was on Earth. It does play a big part in who decides to join Starfleet, I'm sure. ;-)Which is why Picard said, "We are proud to include crew members from our light-skinned humanoid planets."

You're explaining the reasons for my initial comment, which I already knew. But you're not giving us any reason why a fictional universe should be so Anglo-American.Oh, well that's easy! The show was shot in Hollywood, and it was just easier to make them look that way to save on the budget. ;-)

TOS made a point of including people from all different nationalities in it, but they got a little lazy when casting TNG.
It would've been easy to find 10 Asian or African actors in Hollywood and make an Earth-based starship primarily nonwhite. So the real reason here is racism. Which is my point.That's a sad point, as Star Trek was one of the most progressive shows of its day.It's sad but true, alas. And 20-30 years later, when producers could've and should've known better, Starfleet was still predominantly white.

However, bigots like Kim Davis aren't welcome in Starfleet, so that's good.

13 whole worlds!

I just think it's funny that Picard would use 13 as the measure of Starfleet's diversity. Like, "The US military has members from 13 (thirteen) countries. The other 183 countries aren't represented, but you can't have everything."The U.S. military only has members from one country (the U.S.). lolIt has naturalized citizens from other countries.Yes, but they have to become U.S. citizens to serve, so they still represent the U.S.

This does raise an interesting point though! Worf was raised on Earth by human parents, and still considered himself Klingon, but I wonder if there are aliens that live on Earth and consider themselves Terrans (people from Earth)? They could have had people like that on the Enterprise too.

Point is that "members from other countries" doesn't mean "citizens of other countries." "From" mean they or their ancestors originally came from elsewhere. Obviously.

For more on Star Trek, see Is Captain Kirk a Conservative? and Miramanee in Star Trek Continues.

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