This article assumes the same old trope of "If you don't like this show, you're a bigot". The difference here is that this author assumes that some may be engaging in bigotry "without realizing it". Ok, I guess I can buy that. So what acts of bigotry is this author referring to?
Critiquing a tv show. No, really.
This person is arguing that critiquing a tv show can be seen as an unconscious form of bigotry. Even if the critique has to do with canonical or historical accuracy, it still supposedly dismisses marginalized groups in some sort of way, therefore it's bigotry. I DON'T buy this. Here is their first example:
"When the characters of Gray and Adira were officially announced as the first nonbinary and transgender characters, so much of the discourse I saw by even well-intentioned fans were about how technically that wasn’t true because nonbinary and transgender characters existed in Trek before, so they weren’t the first. Examples of the J’naii and the Trill were brought up to defend that diverse representation was not just something only newer Trek shows did, but that older shows did it first."
According to this person's logic, correcting a canonical error is bigoted because, "it dismisses the importance of this huge milestone (which was still a false-first), it undermines the importance of what it means to Trek fans from those communities to see people like them accurately represented onscreen, and it sucks the joy out of what should have been a full-on celebration of Star Trek living up to its principles."
Of course, had marketing not falsely claimed that Gray and Adira were "firsts" in the first place, there would have been no reason for any pushback. In other words, marketing was so quick to claim a false-first, that IT was really the one that sucked "the joy out of what should have been a full-on celebration of Star Trek".
Yet, they're still blaming us because we enforced accuracy. I wonder if the author ever considered that these false-firsts actually take credit away from the hard work that shows like TNG and DS9 did to push the envelope?
The Actual Issue As I See It
Our main problem with these shows is that the writing feels like a dark Spanish soap opera, rather than the optimistic science fiction drama I had come to expect from classic Trek. Related to that is the cringy dialogue Discovery and Picard share. After that, the breaks in canon, and finally the visual aesthetics of the shows. Yet when we try to argue about the writing or canon or whatnot, they dismiss those arguments by entirely shifting the subject to that of diversity:
Ok, maybe showing the Klingon tits in the rape flashback wasn't the smartest move, but just look at all the diversity in Discovery! Look, we have the first gay couple! What's your issue with diversity? Why do you hate strong black female leads?
Perhaps this shift in marketing is why many people tend to conflate criticism of the show with anti-diversity. Perhaps this person has fallen for the articles that accused Discovery and Star Wars sequel trilogy critics of hating strong black females or female leads. Perhaps if these people were more open to discussing the aspects of classic Trek vs. NuTrek, rather than trying to blindly put labels on people who's points of view they don't understand, maybe they would get that we just want better quality story-telling than what Discovery and Picard have offered.
They then move on to the treatment of Michael Burnham, "saying that the character should be removed from the show, that the show would be better without her and she should be replaced by what is often suggested to be a white male character."
Hold up. Wait a minute. While I agree that there is a wish to remove the character of Michael Burnham from Discovery, NOBODY has suggested she be replaced by a white character. They don't even show proof or links to back this accusation: They just blindly suggest it in order to add some gravitas to this non-argument. If they ever did decide to remove Burnham, I don't think anybody would care who they replaced her with, as long as that character had a proper hero's journey and character arc, as well as decent dialogue.
The author goes on to directly ask us, "consider what you are saying and where you are coming from with that statement. Do you judge male characters, especially white male characters, the same way you judge her?"
Judging White Male Characters Like I Judged Burnham
Pike: Don't do a specific thing, Commander. That's an order.
Burnham: I'm gonna do that thing anyway, sir.
Pike: Well... *Smiles and shrugs*
Don't get me wrong, Anson Mount's Pike was a slight improvement upon Hunter's version... but if he's not going to even enforce his orders against a mutinous character like Burnham, then what good of a captain is he? If she tried that with Sisko or Picard, they would have both put her in the brig.
Also, I have several issues with Ethan Peck's Spock. While I have no issues with the actor himself, I just don't see him as Spock. Maybe if they ever gave him some decent dialogue or a decent story, that opinion may change, but until then, I kinda wish they just left the Spock character to rest.
Maybe you're sitting there thinking, "but did you judge white male characters the same way then, as you do now?"
Yes. Meet the "Gary Sue" of the classic Trek franchise: Wesley Crusher. Lord, I really wish the people who wrote this article had read about how Wesley Crusher was hated back then.
Honestly, who the heck is suggesting that? They provide no links to back up these claims. They really need to do better than to indirectly suggest that my friends and I are low-key racists against black female leads. Once they start accusing people of that, they've become the very toxic thing they claim us to be, and I doubt any of us really want to engage with people who have a false premise about us.
My mother raised me in my teenage years as a single mother. It wasn't easy for her. She didn't have formal education and English wasn't her first language. Her heavy accent kept her from getting possibly lucritive jobs, which relagated her to house-keeping positions in hotels and casinos. Yet, through all that struggle, she somehow managed to raise me until I left for the Navy. That is my idea of a strong black female lead.
Later on, my mother would permanantly lose her sight and for a few years, I was her partial caretaker. She's still alive, but has moved back to Panama to be closer to family. Michael Burnham wouldn't be qualified to be my mother's guide, much less captain a ship. Yet, they suggest my problem with Burnham isn't the contrived writing that would have her fall onto a planet's surface from space and not have her suffer internal organ ruptures over it. They think my problem is bigotry. How can anybody reason with people like this?
They conclude their article by saying, "Because I still believe that the Star Trek fandom, of all fandoms, is a place where bigotry, outright or hidden, can be defeated because of the principles this franchise carries in its core."
Yet, there is no bigotry issue here: It's just a tv show. I am a fan of the 1986 Howard the Duck movie. I first watched it when it came out. I was three and loved that film. But when I later learned that the film bombed and nobody liked it, I didn't accuse any of them of hating ducks or holding prejudices, I just watched a couple of videos where they explained their side and was like "alright, that's an opinion that's going around". Not "how can I shift this topic to race and bigotry?"
Also, nobody who is worth their salt has ever thought that Kirk could NEVER be bisexual, it's just that it's never been established in any sort of way, so the idea is a bit of a stretch. They go on to try and infer that Kirk's character would have been bi, but in a way that suggests that my straight ass could have also been bi. I honestly feel like quoting Captain Picard when he hears a bad argument: