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Black Vulcans

gundog48

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POSTS: 1

Report this Sep. 25 2013, 6:58 am

I saw a discussion on this a while ago and everyone completely missed the point believing the OP didn't like that fact that Tuvok was played by a black actor. Now, I understand that Tim Russ was probably chosen regardless of race, but because he played the role well. And to be honest, the fact that he was black never really crossed my mind until one episode where we see his wife who was also black!


As far as I'm aware, in the whole of Star Trek we see two black Vulcans, so we can assume they are a minority, yet the two we see are married? Really?


I can accept the fact that there could exist different ethnicities of Vulcan, and I guess you have to accept that they are vitually identical to the different ethnicities on Earth as it's a TV show, but seeing that Tuvok's wife was also black kinda killed my immersion. For a race as advanced as the Vulcans, we can assume that the different regions have been in contact with each other for a long time, and have abandoned prejudice and embraced logic a long time ago. So wouldn't it be logical to think that the different ethnicities on Vulcan would be more intermixed and that an entirely 'black' vulcan would be highly unlikely, especially considering the logical benefits of having a partner with different genes. 


 


Of course, all that could be answered with 'it's just a TV show and a black character happens to be the best actor' which I wholeheartedly accept. However- there are two things I want to know: a) is there an in-universe explaination for this and b) why did they feel the need to make Tuvok's wife black as well, especially as theya are (AFAIK) the only two black Vulcans we see?

Pooneil

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POSTS: 1023

Report this Sep. 25 2013, 11:43 am

I'm not entirely sure that they were the only non-white Vulcans, but they're certainly in the minority. There's no reason Tuvok's wife had to be black, but she was.


Likewise there's no reason that Ben Sisko's wife and later his girlfriend both had to be black. Does there need to be? Beverly Crusher's husband was as white as she was, and Picard's parents were both white. Do these things matter?


I think the better question would be, "Why are these the only non-white Vulcans on the show?"

svnofnin

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POSTS: 6

Report this Sep. 25 2013, 5:02 pm

Quote: gundog48 @ Sep. 25 2013, 6:58 am

>As far as I'm aware, in the whole of Star Trek we see two black Vulcans, so we can assume they are a minority, yet the two we see are married? Really?

> >I can accept the fact that there could exist different ethnicities of Vulcan, and I guess you have to accept that they are vitually identical to the different ethnicities on Earth as it's a TV show, but seeing that Tuvok's wife was also black kinda killed my immersion. For a race as advanced as the Vulcans, we can assume that the different regions have been in contact with each other for a long time, and have abandoned prejudice and embraced logic a long time ago. So wouldn't it be logical to think that the different ethnicities on Vulcan would be more intermixed and that an entirely 'black' vulcan would be highly unlikely, especially considering the logical benefits of having a partner with different genes. 


Because Black men should only be with white women. If your intermixed theory stands, then wholely white couples should not exist either. What are those logical benefits of having a partner with different genes? I haven't heard that one before.



Victory is Life!

2takesfrakes

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POSTS: 3683

Report this Sep. 26 2013, 2:43 am

It's cool that Voyager tried to
go against type, such as that
found within its own ranks, and
decided to cast Tim Russ as Tuvok.
Obviously, he was the perfect choice.
At the same time, I wouldn't overthink
it too much. Made-up alien races should
be inclusive of all actors, though, I do
subscribe to that. I just wouldn't make a
Federal Case out of it, when STAR TREK has a
fine tradition of ethnic diversity in its casting.


Utopia Planetia

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POSTS: 88

Report this Sep. 27 2013, 11:30 am

Well, I for one am tired of encountering this simplistic and entirely unexamined assumption that, because you're sleeping with someone of a different ethnicity, you're perforce not racist -- the 'F*ck like Rabbits' theory of human development, I like to call it. Thomas Jefferson slept with an African woman for many years -- he also held a deed on that woman's life for each of those years and while writing the most degenerate, disgusting screeds about Africans. Brazil and the Dominican Republic are two of the most ethnically mixed countries on earth, the majority of their populations being part or fully African. And yet, they are two of the most virulently anti-African racist countries certainly in the hemisphere, if not the world.


The fact that someone finds beauty in their on reflection, and seeks out romantic partners who reflect that beauty (just as we seek out friends, business partners, and neighbors who reflect our values and ourselves) is not an indication that they are unadvanced or xenophobic -- it's just an indication that they like people who look like them. Star Trek has traditionally placed high value on this kind of ethnic symmatry along with its conscious moves to prominently place various human ethnicities onscreen. Picard, Sisko, and Janeway showing obvious affection for their French, Yoruba, and Indiana heritages while serving with Klingon, Bajoran, and Vulcan senior staffs is meant to show in part that you can love yourself and your heritage without disparaging others'. Everytime these kinds of Star Trek ethnicity 'questions' and 'concerns' come up, I'm always struck by how some people are 'distracted' by Tuvok's ethnicity and 'distracted' by Sisko's art collection, and Vic Fontain politics, and Benny Russel flashbacks, but somehow completely unperturbed by Picard's visits to French vineyards, and Chakotay's vision quests, and Kirk's constant harping on Pax Americana. How some think the all-African planet in Next Generation's 'Code of Honor' episode is 'racist,' but are completely unbothered by the all-European planets everywhere else in Star Trek.


OP, perhaps what's distracting you isn't Tuvok's wife (oh, AND son, oh AND daughter). Perhaps the distraction is all in your head. Perhaps it's your own illogical obsession with Africans that's distracting you.

stovokor2000-A

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POSTS: 2001

Report this Sep. 27 2013, 8:34 pm

I dont think its logical to assume that black vulcans are a minority.


when you really think about it,we've ever only seen, what can be caklled "a handfull" of members of any given race.Thats never enough to make such a generalization of what all the billions or more members of that race look like.


besides, we have seen black romulans as well.


 


 


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randy kerr

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Report this Sep. 28 2013, 7:37 pm

it is a great  that they started doing that.

miklamar

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Report this Oct. 17 2013, 3:50 pm

On a hot planet like Vulcan, darker skin would be beneficial to the inhabitants.  Cooler climates (and perhaps) higher elevations or maybe aquatic environments might be beneficial to lighter-skinned natives.  We actually do not know how many different races there were on Vulcan in ancient times.


There is also the possibility Vulcans interacted with species from other planets, through the millennia.  And, I always thought the Romulans looked a bit darker in complexion.


Of course, a variety of appearances keeps Star Trek interesting to everyone.  Diversity is the spice of life, and Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

CommanderSTRONG

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POSTS: 1324

Report this Nov. 12 2013, 1:57 pm

You raise a good point:


 


Why weren't there any interracial pairs in star trek?


why aren't there agy gays in Trek?


 


i think it comes down to the simple fact that the viewing american public isnt ready for too much of that.


at least it's not as bad as Lord of the rings where there are no black people at all!


 


as for an in-series answer: i just accepted it that even for an advanced race like the vulcans, there are still separate communities with their own distinct cultures, just like on earth. I dont think the entire population of vulcans are future-minded space travellers, some i guess are more traditional and stick to what they know.


 


maybe even vulcans have arranged marriages? Lol

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