As a kid I loved the original Star Trek series, with Capt. Kirk, Spock and Lt. Uhuru (my first “crush” on a t.v star..lol). I later realized as an adult that some of the themes the show dealt with during that era was indeed ground-breaking. The one which was my favorite dealt with the issue of racial prejudice and I watched it again today. It was first broadcasted in 1969 and entitled: “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield“.
The episode deals with bigotry based on the color of one’s skin. The character “Bele” on the left, is a chief officer who is hunting for “Lokai”, a political refugee, the character on the right. Although they both have half black and half white skin, Bele is black on the right side while Lokai is black on the left side. Their societal hierarchy is based on this difference, with Bele representing the dominant culture. Lokai describes in familiar detail, the prejuduce and oppression he and those who look like him endure in their society, while Bele justifies and minimizes this treatment of those whom he sees as inferiors. Bele uses familiar arguments such as “they are animals”, “they want changes to happen too quickly”, ” they want to destroy our society”, “they are criminals”, “we trying to help them but they are ungrateful”, etc. Very deep and still relevant for today much less for 1969. After a series of events they arrive back to their home world to find that the racial hatred between the groups have completely destroyed their planet. Everyone is dead except them. Although they see the ultimate outcome of their racial bigotry, they blame each other for the destruction of their world and instead of attempting some form of reconciliation to preserve their lives, they return to the planet to continue their fight with each other. Their hate for each other is all they know. That is all they have left to live for…. the destruction of each other.
Sometimes I contemplate that as people of African descent, primarily in the diaspora, we are so caught up with “racial” issues. It dominates our life. It dominates our time. It dominates our energy. It dominates our focus. Some of us more than others. We really do need to find a way, individually and collectively, to rise above theses issues to be truly free. To free ourselves…. if not of hate…. then of mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual slavery. If we cannot accomplish this, I am afraid that we may end up like Bele and Lokai…. knowing nothing but the continuing struggle to destroy ourselves…. and seeing this as some sort of worthy cause.
Following the news yesterday, I heard a story that President Bush had a meeting with the Pope in Rome and one of the topic of their discussions was the plight of Iraqi Christians. It was really the first time this issue captured my attention. The primary focus has been the civil conflict between the Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites, and there has been little to no media coverage, that I can remember, on what Iraqi Christians were experiencing.
A little internet research provided me with some information that the situation for Iraqi Christians is not good in the least. They are victims of daily targeted attacks by Muslims in general and not just the militant Islamists. Some of this is because they are associated with the “Christian West”, who are seen as invaders and “crusaders” by the Muslim population of Iraq. Christians have been threatened, kidnapped, tortured and killed; churches have been vandalized and bombed; Christian women have been forced to wear the veil; priests murdered and nuns raped and killed. On Sunday June 3rd, a priest Father Ragheed and 3 of his deacons were executed after performing mass in Mosul, northern Iraq. The car in which they were driving was rigged with a bomb after they were murdered so that their bodies would remain in full view for a time, to send the message that Christianity was no longer being tolerated.
Here are a couple of sources of information:
Let’s keep them in our prayers, as well as all the innocent people of Iraq who are suffering due to this conflict.
I just bought a new set of books and my reading list is getting crazy. My wife is starting to comment on when will I get time to read all these books I’ve been buying, especially with a baby on the way in August. I’ve been spending a lot of time blogging over at AfroSpear and have neglected my reading and posting on this site.
As you can see I have transformed the look and feel of this page. It’s almost like a cleansing. I am now committing some time and effort to get into my reading list and post here more often. Here is my planned reading list:
- The God Delusion. Richard Dawkins
- Epicenter. Joel C. Rosenberg
- The Jesus I Never Knew. Philip Yancey
- Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion. Robert Cialdini
- Social Intelligence. Daniel Goldman
- The Bluest Eyes. Toni Morrison
- A Long Way Home. Ishmael Beah
- Slave. Mende Nazer
- The Narrative of Sojourner Truth
- Infidel. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
- An Ordinary Man. Paul Rusesabagina
- The Assassination of the Black Male Image. Earl O. Hutchinson
- The Slave Community. John W. Blassingame.
What are you currently reading and what do you plan to read in the next while?