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Miss_Silvervine_11

Are Vulcans Racist?

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Hey everybody. I have had this burning question for quite some time now, and I would love to hear others' opinions on the subject: do you think Vulcans are racist? Vulcans are complex and at times contradictory, so of course the ultimate answer is that some are and some aren't. However, I'm curious about what people see as the general trend.

Can't wait to hear what you think!

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Oh, I think there's a fair segment that are bigoted. they believe that suppressing their emotions put them on a higher plane and they look down upon creatures that embrace their feelings.

 

Welcome to the forum, btw.

Edited by prometheus59650

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Hey everybody. I have had this burning question for quite some time now, and I would love to hear others' opinions on the subject: do you think Vulcans are racist? Vulcans are complex and at times contradictory, so of course the ultimate answer is that some are and some aren't. However, I'm curious about what people see as the general trend.

Can't wait to hear what you think!

First, welcome aboard Miss Silvervine (love the name!).

Post often and prosper.


Are Vulcans racist?  Well, I think that they, like any group of people, have their good and their bad people.   As a society, I'd say no.  They have preferences for social behavior, but they also understand that their preferences are not necessarily the galaxy's; these are also the people who coined the acronym (and philosophy) of IDIC.  

I would also imagine that if one approached a Vulcan with sensitivity and respect for their values (and acted accordingly), they would be quite amenable.  If you egg them on, as humans on ST tend to do, the encounter will probably not go well. 

 

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Humans needling Vulcans? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo............

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Interesting question. Prior to ENT I would have said no. But ENT showed us a very different type of Vulcan society. One, that for as emotionless as they were supposed to be, showed quite a disdain for humans. 

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Interesting question. Prior to ENT I would have said no. But ENT showed us a very different type of Vulcan society. One, that for as emotionless as they were supposed to be, showed quite a disdain for humans. 

It didn't start with ENT ... ENT just picked up this interpretation of Vulcan "smugness" from non-canon fiction.

I realized that when I read "Spock's World" by Diane Duane. IIRC, that novel is from the early/mid-80s. In that novel, and a couple of others, is basically the blueprint for ENT's "arrogant Vulcans".

First hints in that direction had been sown by the mentions of how Spock was treated by his peers as a child, in TOS "Journey to Babel" and TAS "Yesteryear".

 

I like the idea that even Vulcans aren't perfect, but are much more prone to the very human flaw of pride and arrogance, than both they themselves and humans (and the audience) likes to think. :)

Edited by Sim

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Interesting question. Prior to ENT I would have said no. But ENT showed us a very different type of Vulcan society. One, that for as emotionless as they were supposed to be, showed quite a disdain for humans. 

It didn't start with ENT ... ENT just picked up this interpretation of Vulcan "smugness" from non-canon fiction.

I realized that when I read "Spock's World" by Diane Duane. IIRC, that novel is from the early/mid-80s. In that novel, and a couple of others, is basically the blueprint for ENT's "arrogant Vulcans".

First hints in that direction had been sown by the mentions of how Spock was treated by his peers as a child, in TOS "Journey to Babel" and TAS "Yesteryear".

 

I like the idea that even Vulcans aren't perfect, but are much more prone to the very human flaw of pride and arrogance, than both they themselves and humans (and the audience) likes to think. :)

Yes.  I think that the way that Spock was treated by his peers quite evidently shows Vulcans have some bigotry.  I really thought Star Trek (2009) did a great job of showing Spock as a child of "two worlds."  They showed him being subjected to the ridicule of his peers, and the moment when he turns down the Vulcan Science Academy because of his "disadvantage" is even more reflective of Vulcan shortcomings.  Even a doctrine such as IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) could not have been born out of a vacuum.  In all likelihood, that concept came as a response to other cultural factors that militated against that doctrine.  Thankfully, IDIC eventually seemed to have prevailed over the majority of Vulcans.  

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Interesting question. Prior to ENT I would have said no. But ENT showed us a very different type of Vulcan society. One, that for as emotionless as they were supposed to be, showed quite a disdain for humans. 

It didn't start with ENT ... ENT just picked up this interpretation of Vulcan "smugness" from non-canon fiction.

I realized that when I read "Spock's World" by Diane Duane. IIRC, that novel is from the early/mid-80s. In that novel, and a couple of others, is basically the blueprint for ENT's "arrogant Vulcans".

First hints in that direction had been sown by the mentions of how Spock was treated by his peers as a child, in TOS "Journey to Babel" and TAS "Yesteryear".

 

I like the idea that even Vulcans aren't perfect, but are much more prone to the very human flaw of pride and arrogance, than both they themselves and humans (and the audience) likes to think. :)

Yes.  I think that the way that Spock was treated by his peers quite evidently shows Vulcans have some bigotry.  I really thought Star Trek (2009) did a great job of showing Spock as a child of "two worlds."  They showed him being subjected to the ridicule of his peers, and the moment when he turns down the Vulcan Science Academy because of his "disadvantage" is even more reflective of Vulcan shortcomings. 

^
And TAS' "Yesteryear" did it first; in fact, the bullying scene of ST09 was almost lifted whole from that classic TAS episode.... ;)

And agreeing with Sim, I like the idea of Vulcans having personality flaws; makes them more relatable.  It's long been established that Vulcans have many of the same emotional weaknesses as their human counterparts, but they've just become more expert at hiding them. 

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Racist against whom? You mean within their own species? Like "white" Vulcans racist against "black" Vulcans? Or do you mean Vulcans being xenophobic against other aliens?

They (or at least some of them) clearly look down on other alien races. But I think it is more of a "shock" at how other aliens embrace their emotions while Vulcans have crafted a culture that teaches not to do that or it could mean your extinction. As a result, Vulcans "clash" with other aliens (mostly humans) and that breeds distrust and resentment.

Plus, the Vulcans do try to help but are often rebuked as being "slow" and too methodical. However, since Vulcans are long-lived - they can afford to move at a slower pace. I think humans like Archer misinterpreted this as hatred towards his species. But the Vulcans knew a little of "what is out there" and were simply trying to help the fledgling humans to approach it in a cautious manner.

However, Vulcans should recognize that humans can't afford to "wait" as we don't have their life spans and we do things differently.

A lot of the bigotry between Vulcans/Humans seems to be from a series of misunderstandings between the two. Which is pretty true to life.

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Racist against whom? You mean within their own species? Like "white" Vulcans racist against "black" Vulcans? Or do you mean Vulcans being xenophobic against other aliens?

They (or at least some of them) clearly look down on other alien races. But I think it is more of a "shock" at how other aliens embrace their emotions while Vulcans have crafted a culture that teaches not to do that or it could mean your extinction. As a result, Vulcans "clash" with other aliens (mostly humans) and that breeds distrust and resentment.

Plus, the Vulcans do try to help but are often rebuked as being "slow" and too methodical. However, since Vulcans are long-lived - they can afford to move at a slower pace. I think humans like Archer misinterpreted this as hatred towards his species. But the Vulcans knew a little of "what is out there" and were simply trying to help the fledgling humans to approach it in a cautious manner.

However, Vulcans should recognize that humans can't afford to "wait" as we don't have their life spans and we do things differently.

A lot of the bigotry between Vulcans/Humans seems to be from a series of misunderstandings between the two. Which is pretty true to life.

Agreed, esp. on your last two points.  And yes, they probably think human impetuousness is attributed to our doglike lifespans (in contrast to theirs, anyway). 

But, as a longtime "Vulcanophile" on these boards (:P), I think much of their attitude towards humans is based on what we always see on Star Trek; humans trying to get them to 'loosen up' or 'crack a smile' or do something else culturally offensive to them.  

Now imagine how we'd feel if we encountered an alien race that was constantly trying to get under our skin by making us smell their farts (okay, an admittedly crude example; but that's how offensive overt displays of emotion are to Vulcans).    We would probably NOT welcome a visit by such aliens, would we?  It'd be like having an elegant dinner party crashed by one's dimwitted uncouth cousin who likes to embarrass you by giving you wedgies and making lewd comments to your spouse.  

Humans' emotional displays embarrass and offend Vulcans, yet we keep trying to get them to 'open up' about them.  We always see Kirk, Bones, Archer and Trip trying to tease or otherwise taunt their Vulcan shipmates into displaying emotion; knowing that such displays are taboo to Vulcans.    It's culturally insensitive, really.

Not hard to imagine them being just a little bit bigoted against beings who constantly take delight in embarrassing and offending them at every turn.

 

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Racist against whom? You mean within their own species? Like "white" Vulcans racist against "black" Vulcans? Or do you mean Vulcans being xenophobic against other aliens?

They (or at least some of them) clearly look down on other alien races. But I think it is more of a "shock" at how other aliens embrace their emotions while Vulcans have crafted a culture that teaches not to do that or it could mean your extinction. As a result, Vulcans "clash" with other aliens (mostly humans) and that breeds distrust and resentment.

Plus, the Vulcans do try to help but are often rebuked as being "slow" and too methodical. However, since Vulcans are long-lived - they can afford to move at a slower pace. I think humans like Archer misinterpreted this as hatred towards his species. But the Vulcans knew a little of "what is out there" and were simply trying to help the fledgling humans to approach it in a cautious manner.

However, Vulcans should recognize that humans can't afford to "wait" as we don't have their life spans and we do things differently.

A lot of the bigotry between Vulcans/Humans seems to be from a series of misunderstandings between the two. Which is pretty true to life.

Agreed, esp. on your last two points.  And yes, they probably think human impetuousness is attributed to our doglike lifespans (in contrast to theirs, anyway). 

But, as a longtime "Vulcanophile" on these boards (:P), I think much of their attitude towards humans is based on what we always see on Star Trek; humans trying to get them to 'loosen up' or 'crack a smile' or do something else culturally offensive to them.  

Now imagine how we'd feel if we encountered an alien race that was constantly trying to get under our skin by making us smell their farts (okay, an admittedly crude example; but that's how offensive overt displays of emotion are to Vulcans).    We would probably NOT welcome a visit by such aliens, would we?  It'd be like having an elegant dinner party crashed by one's dimwitted uncouth cousin who likes to embarrass you by giving you wedgies and making lewd comments to your spouse.  

Humans' emotional displays embarrass and offend Vulcans, yet we keep trying to get them to 'open up' about them.  We always see Kirk, Bones, Archer and Trip trying to tease or otherwise taunt their Vulcan shipmates into displaying emotion; knowing that such displays are taboo to Vulcans.    It's culturally insensitive, really.

Not hard to imagine them being just a little bit bigoted against beings who constantly take delight in embarrassing and offending them at every turn.

 

My thoughts exactly. I'm 100% behind any Vulcan who gets snarky when humans try to push him/her into displaying emotions. It's offensive, it's rude and not to mention incredibly annoying. (I find it equally offensive when it's being done to me by insensitive and inconsiderate people who have no idea what it's like when you struggle with your own emotions on a daily basis.)

That doesn't mean there aren't any racist Vulcans, of course - but the species as a whole? Nah. 

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I think Vulcans are very, very patient. 

The Vulcans of ENT are supposed to show an earlier era of Vulcan thinking and reasoning, too - and there's certainly antipathy there. Xenophobia in this new era, amongst humans, certainly hasn't been educated out of society yet. Can't recall the name of the episode, but isn't there one where Phlox finds himself confronted by bad blood, after Florida gets zapped by the Xindi? Like he was personally responsible! 

But racist Vulcans? Across the board? They seem to become more enlightened after ENT, and perhaps that is partially due to their dealings with Earth. it's difficult to talk about a whole race of beings, though. As with all human societies, one needs to look at how the law, government institutions and education affect a society. And how similar does it on a case-by-case basis. The Vulcan ambassador, for example, isn't going to have the same attitude to humans as the old Vulcan hermit living on top of Mt. Tlexus, who's never met one.  

Edited by Robin Bland

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I think Vulcans are very, very patient. 

The Vulcans of ENT are supposed to show an earlier era of Vulcan thinking and reasoning, too - and there's certainly antipathy there. Xenophobia in this new era, amongst humans, certainly hasn't been educated out of society yet. Can't recall the name of the episode, but isn't there one where Phlox finds himself confronted by bad blood, after Florida gets zapped by the Xindi? Like he was personally responsible! 

But racist Vulcans? Across the board? They seem to become more enlightened after ENT, and perhaps that is partially due to their dealings with Earth. it's difficult to talk about a whole race of beings, though. As with all human societies, one needs to look at how the law, government institutions and education affect a society. And how similar does it on a case-by-case basis. The Vulcan ambassador, for example, isn't going to have the same attitude to humans as the old Vulcan hermit living on top of Mt. Tlexus, who's never met one.  

I believe the episode you're referring to is ENT's S4 episode, "Home"; when Phlox is accosted in a bar on Earth during leave, and a fight breaks out between Phlox, Trip, Reed & the surly xenophobes (I loved Phlox's 'puffer fish' defense).

latest?cb=20100417204058&path-prefix=de  << Phlox Rox! :thumbup:

And yes, good point that you bring up about how laws, education and institutions impact personal behavior.   Prejudices are often learned behaviors, not preprogrammed ones.   I see little children of all types playing together at the park up my street.   Little girls in hijabs playing with little boys in baseball caps; this is a typical sight on any given weekend.   No problems.  I always hold a hope that they won't grow up and 'learn' to be prejudiced...

If an isolated Vulcan is told that humans are embarrassing, rude, offensive, smelly throwbacks but never encounter one personally then that prejudice is entirely hearsay and not actual firsthand experience.   T'Pol in ENT is a very brave person when you look at it from her people's perspective; not unlike when Riker volunteers to serve aboard the Klingon vessel in TNG's "Matter Of Honor."  She agrees to serve aboard a ship of rude, foul-smelling, boorish bumpkins for an indeterminate length.   She truly IS going where no one has gone before, from a Vulcan perspective.   And what happens during much of the mission?  She is goaded, teased, cajoled and otherwise endlessly coerced into trying to reveal emotions (a shocking taboo for her people) just because her cohorts want her to 'loosen up.'  

What humans don't seem to understand (and Archer finally comes to understand when he temporarily gains Surak's katra in S4's Vulcan arc) is that emotion and passion nearly DESTROYED the Vulcan race.  Perhaps their near-total suppression of emotion was an overreaction, but not entirely impossible to understand.   I'm a fairly emotional person myself (I've no shame in crying at a good movie or book sometimes... or even a profound piece of music), but if such behavior were truly shocking to my hosts/friends?   I would be careful and mind my Ps and Qs (for their sake).    

There was an interesting scene in VGR's S3 episode "Flashback"; I Netflixed this episode not too long ago, and Tuvok was having an exchange with his bunkmate Valtaine aboard the USS Excelsior.  I'm cutting and pasting the dialogue from a VGR transcription site (chakoteya.net):

VALTANE: Hey. Tuvok. Are you asleep? 
TUVOK: No. 
VALTANE: Me neither. I can't believe we're going to do this. I didn't think the Captain [Sulu] had it in him. 
TUVOK: Had what in him? 
VALTANE: You know. The guts to defy an order and run off on some rescue mission to save old friends. 
TUVOK: I take it from the tone of your voice that you admire this trait. 
VALTANE: Well, yeah. It's courageous. 
TUVOK: It's illogical and reckless, which I attempted to point out to him on the bridge. 
VALTANE: Oh, come on, Tuvok. Isn't it more fun than charting gaseous anomalies? 
TUVOK: The human fascination with fun has led to many tragedies in your short, but violent, history. One wonders how your race has survived having so much fun. 
VALTANE: Vulcans. You guys need to relax. 
TUVOK: No, I will not relax. Ever since I entered the Academy, I've had to endure the egocentric nature of humanity. You believe that everyone in the galaxy should be like you, that we should all share your sense of humour and your human values.

^

This is a prime example of the 'my-way-or-the-highway' attitude of ST humans towards Vulcans.

I don't know why we never see humans in Star Trek just ACCEPTING the Vulcans for how they are, instead of trying to constantly ridiculing them or trying to get them to 'loosen up.'   Cultural sensitivity on humanity's part would go a long way in its relationship with Vulcans in the ST universe, I think...

 

 

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^ Jean-Luc does nicely with Vulcans, though. Probably because he himself has "an almost Vulcan quality", as Spock puts it. Same goes for the moment in which he comments that "satisfactory" is "high praise" from a Vulcan when he learns that this is the term that Sarek uses to describe his career. 

But yeah, more extroverted characters are pretty much always poking and nudging poor Vulcans.

And that VOY conversation? Reminds me of Neelix and Tuvok. IMO Neelix is actually seriously HARRASSING poor Tuvok.

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Racist against whom? You mean within their own species? Like "white" Vulcans racist against "black" Vulcans? Or do you mean Vulcans being xenophobic against other aliens?

They (or at least some of them) clearly look down on other alien races. But I think it is more of a "shock" at how other aliens embrace their emotions while Vulcans have crafted a culture that teaches not to do that or it could mean your extinction. As a result, Vulcans "clash" with other aliens (mostly humans) and that breeds distrust and resentment.

Plus, the Vulcans do try to help but are often rebuked as being "slow" and too methodical. However, since Vulcans are long-lived - they can afford to move at a slower pace. I think humans like Archer misinterpreted this as hatred towards his species. But the Vulcans knew a little of "what is out there" and were simply trying to help the fledgling humans to approach it in a cautious manner.

However, Vulcans should recognize that humans can't afford to "wait" as we don't have their life spans and we do things differently.

A lot of the bigotry between Vulcans/Humans seems to be from a series of misunderstandings between the two. Which is pretty true to life.

Agreed, esp. on your last two points.  And yes, they probably think human impetuousness is attributed to our doglike lifespans (in contrast to theirs, anyway). 

But, as a longtime "Vulcanophile" on these boards (:P), I think much of their attitude towards humans is based on what we always see on Star Trek; humans trying to get them to 'loosen up' or 'crack a smile' or do something else culturally offensive to them.  

Now imagine how we'd feel if we encountered an alien race that was constantly trying to get under our skin by making us smell their farts (okay, an admittedly crude example; but that's how offensive overt displays of emotion are to Vulcans).    We would probably NOT welcome a visit by such aliens, would we?  It'd be like having an elegant dinner party crashed by one's dimwitted uncouth cousin who likes to embarrass you by giving you wedgies and making lewd comments to your spouse.  

Humans' emotional displays embarrass and offend Vulcans, yet we keep trying to get them to 'open up' about them.  We always see Kirk, Bones, Archer and Trip trying to tease or otherwise taunt their Vulcan shipmates into displaying emotion; knowing that such displays are taboo to Vulcans.    It's culturally insensitive, really.

Not hard to imagine them being just a little bit bigoted against beings who constantly take delight in embarrassing and offending them at every turn.

 

I completely agree with you. Humans have this really aggressive behavior towards Vulcans. Your analogy is on point. It's weird because humans constantly emphasize that it is important to understand other alien cultures/races. But Vulcans seem to be the odd exception to this rule and they constantly want them to change. I feel like it is school boy stuff. "Who here can force a Vulcan to smile?" but the problem is ... adults are making these challenges. Not children.

Although, one has to wonder why those children in ST09 were so bigoted. I mean - how often did they interact with humans?

^ Jean-Luc does nicely with Vulcans, though. Probably because he himself has "an almost Vulcan quality", as Spock puts it. Same goes for the moment in which he comments that "satisfactory" is "high praise" from a Vulcan when he learns that this is the term that Sarek uses to describe his career. 

But yeah, more extroverted characters are pretty much always poking and nudging poor Vulcans.

And that VOY conversation? Reminds me of Neelix and Tuvok. IMO Neelix is actually seriously HARRASSING poor Tuvok.

No wonder Tuvok "fantasized" about choking Neelix. :P But Neelix is a good example (not human of course) of someone that constantly harasses a particular Vulcan.

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Fantasizing about strangling Neelix is something all species can bond over, I think. :)

And, just to say about Neelix, while he seemed to be particularly disrespectful to Tuvok, I think he honestly harassed pretty much everyone. 

Edited by prometheus59650

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I wonder if Neelix being clueless and offensive was a species trait or is it just him. It is unreasonable to expect Vulcan's to show emotions, But if all of Neelix's species are as clueless and offensive as Neelix, is it reasonable to expect them to show empathy for other races feelings?

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I wonder if Neelix being clueless and offensive was a species trait or is it just him. It is unreasonable to expect Vulcan's to show emotions, But if all of Neelix's species are as clueless and offensive as Neelix, is it reasonable to expect them to show empathy for other races feelings?

I never got that sense from the other Talaxians that popped up over the years, but, maybe that's just me.

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Racism - the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

According to the definition, you have to say that the Vulcans are racist.  They have the belief that all members of their species, even children, are superior to humans due to a characteristic that all of their race possess - their logic and emotional control.

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Racism - the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

According to the definition, you have to say that the Vulcans are racist.  They have the belief that all members of their species, even children, are superior to humans due to a characteristic that all of their race possess - their logic and emotional control.

Not sure if Vulcans think that's indeed because of the race, meaning it's genetic -- or much rather think it's cultural. Always got the sense from them that it's a cultural chauvinism at worst ("our logical culture is superior to your's"), not racial.

After all, Vulcans apparently have different races too.

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Racism - the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

According to the definition, you have to say that the Vulcans are racist.  They have the belief that all members of their species, even children, are superior to humans due to a characteristic that all of their race possess - their logic and emotional control.

Not sure if Vulcans think that's indeed because of the race, meaning it's genetic -- or much rather think it's cultural. Always got the sense from them that it's a cultural chauvinism at worst ("our logical culture is superior to your's"), not racial.

After all, Vulcans apparently have different races too.

Right, Sim.

Emotional suppression is not genetic or native to the Vulcanoid species; it's a characteristic of their culture.  However, believing one's culture to be superior isn't necessarily 'racist' per se.   Many people living in western democracies tend to believe that our way of life is superior to say, a middle eastern theocracy or a totalitarian regime; does that make us racist?  Not necessarily.  One could label it as cultural elitism or ethnocentrism perhaps, but not necessarily racist.  

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Racism - the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

According to the definition, you have to say that the Vulcans are racist.  They have the belief that all members of their species, even children, are superior to humans due to a characteristic that all of their race possess - their logic and emotional control.

Not sure if Vulcans think that's indeed because of the race, meaning it's genetic -- or much rather think it's cultural. Always got the sense from them that it's a cultural chauvinism at worst ("our logical culture is superior to your's"), not racial.

After all, Vulcans apparently have different races too.

Right, Sim.

Emotional suppression is not genetic or native to the Vulcanoid species; it's a characteristic of their culture.  However, believing one's culture to be superior isn't necessarily 'racist' per se.   Many people living in western democracies tend to believe that our way of life is superior to say, a middle eastern theocracy or a totalitarian regime; does that make us racist?  Not necessarily.  One could label it as cultural elitism or ethnocentrism perhaps, but not necessarily racist.  

I guess I have a broader definition of racism that goes beyond genetic.  

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Racism - the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

According to the definition, you have to say that the Vulcans are racist.  They have the belief that all members of their species, even children, are superior to humans due to a characteristic that all of their race possess - their logic and emotional control.

Not sure if Vulcans think that's indeed because of the race, meaning it's genetic -- or much rather think it's cultural. Always got the sense from them that it's a cultural chauvinism at worst ("our logical culture is superior to your's"), not racial.

After all, Vulcans apparently have different races too.

Right, Sim.

Emotional suppression is not genetic or native to the Vulcanoid species; it's a characteristic of their culture.  However, believing one's culture to be superior isn't necessarily 'racist' per se.   Many people living in western democracies tend to believe that our way of life is superior to say, a middle eastern theocracy or a totalitarian regime; does that make us racist?  Not necessarily.  One could label it as cultural elitism or ethnocentrism perhaps, but not necessarily racist.  

I guess I have a broader definition of racism that goes beyond genetic.  

But since Vulcans evolved on a different planet with a different biological makeup, wouldn't they be a different species?  "Race" implies subtle differences within the same species. 

I mean, if one looked at extraterrestrial life realistically, humans would have more in common with a carrot than a Vulcan (no matter how 'human' they appeared), so just from their isolated evolution, they would be a different species; to say nothing of their culture.   And Sim has a point; we see different looking Vulcans (lighter, darker and even greener skinned versions) but they all consider themselves equally Vulcan, so within their own culture?  I would say Vulcans are definitely not racist.  
In regards to other species (like humans)?  I would say some are, some aren't.   But I would also accuse humans of grotesque cultural insensitivity as well... 

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I think there's a big difference between having a superiority complex and being racist. If Vulcans were racist, then logically, they'd want to be separatists, and they have the technology to allow for that. It's likely they'd practise a kind of cultural apartheid and want to be apart from all the other species they encounter - not just humans, but Andorians, Tellarites and certainly Romulans. But they don't. They get involved and while their attempts to guide and help humankind might be interpreted as interference, it is often benign in nature. Humans must seem like powerful, willful little kids to them. But whatever the cultural differences, Vulcans are always there to help humankind, to be a part of their ever-expanding plans - to the point that they help them co-found the Federation.

Like Vie said, it is humans' attitudes to Vulcans that should really be examined. Grotesque cultural insensitivity seems to be the norm when interacting with them. How Spock remained on the 1701 and tolerated all he was subjected to is beyond me. T'pol - same.  

Do Vulcans consider themselves superior to Romulans? 

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I think there's a big difference between having a superiority complex and being racist. If Vulcans were racist, then logically, they'd want to be separatists, and they have the technology to allow for that. It's likely they'd practise a kind of cultural apartheid and want to be apart from all the other species they encounter - not just humans, but Andorians, Tellarites and certainly Romulans. But they don't. They get involved and while their attempts to guide and help humankind might be interpreted as interference, it is often benign in nature. Humans must seem like powerful, willful little kids to them. But whatever the cultural differences, Vulcans are always there to help humankind, to be a part of their ever-expanding plans - to the point that they help them co-found the Federation.

Like Vie said, it is humans' attitudes to Vulcans that should really be examined. Grotesque cultural insensitivity seems to be the norm when interacting with them. How Spock remained on the 1701 and tolerated all he was subjected to is beyond me. T'pol - same.  

Do Vulcans consider themselves superior to Romulans? 

^
Now that last line is a VERY intriguing question; and there may be a partial answer. 

Spock's effort to guide the Romulans toward a Vulcan-style enlightenment in "Unification" may speak to that, as does your point about Vulcans being altruistic with other species despite their reservations about their emotions.   I would say (for Spock, at least) the answer is no.   He sees great potential within the Romulans toward ultimately achieving the same kind of spiritual enlightenment that his own species' has enjoyed.  I don't think he would believe that if he assumed the Romulans were inferior.   He wouldn't waste his time.

But then again, you have Sarek; who tried to persuade his son that such a 'missionary attempt' for Romulus was fruitless and illogical.  Clearly Sarek is (at the very least) close-minded.  Whether that constitutes prejudice or not is open to interpretation.    We also see Sarek taunt Tellarites in "Journey To Babel" ("Tellarites do not argue for reasons... they simply argue.").   Making a blanket statement for an entire race/species would seem to be the very definition of prejudice, right?   There must be SOME Tellarites who don't always argue, or whose arguments are constructive.  Sarek's comments (about Romulans and Tellarites) comes off as very dismissive, doesn't it? 

 

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