Can we talk about Harry Kim for a moment?
The whole of Voyager messed up pretty bad when it came to Terran ethnicities and nationalities, and of course I’m talking about Chakotay, but Harry Kim was pretty bad too?
Garret Wang is Chinese-American and Kim is a Korean last name. This is a pretty common move, same with Robert Beltran being Mexican-American and Chakotay being… well.
(This might’ve been okay — Chakotay’s people are supposed to be their own pre-Aztec line, right? Having an Aztec [under the assumption that Beltran is even Aztec descended and not Spanish] would be as accurate as you can get). Not American Indian, is the point. So that’s one thing.
But for another thing, why is Harry Americanized? Er, I suppose just Westernized, perhaps? Why is anyone westernized? Harry Kim is very specifically westernized — his parents names are John and Mary. And his name is Harry.
By this time Earth has been long Unified - international politics basically came to a stand still when intergalactic relations were charted with First Contact - so, what? The world became a melting pot?
But Nyota Uhura kept names of Swahili descent.
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk TOS real fast? Hikaru Sulu is another instance of Generic Asian. (
Where Chakotay is Generic American Indian. You still with me? Does this all make sense?) Hikaru is Japanese, but Sulu is not a Japanese surname. It could be Filipino, because the Sulu Sea is off the Philippines, but George Takei is, of course, Japanese. In the Japanese airing of Star Trek, Hikaru’s surname is changed to Kato. But this is the 60’s. Let’s truly take a moment to remember how important it was for so many Asian-Americans to see George Takei at the helm, regardless of his character’s surname. But John Cho is Korean.
Now let’s head back to the Delta Quadrant.
Chakotay’s fault, as everyone has already discussed in further depth and understanding than I will ever achieve, is that too much was said. Too many racially stereotyped spirit-quests, too many proverbs, too much detail on his fake tribe.
Harry Kim, as I have
brieflydiscussed, might carry fault in that nothing at all is said.
i feel like this is what would happen if pokemon gym leaders were real