Dear Prof. J. William Snyder:

I enjoyed your essay, "Star Trek: A Phenomenon and Social Statement on
the 1960s," which I found on the internet.  However, I do offer the
following analysis of your remarks concerning militant black groups.  In
your essay, you write:

	Malcolm X, a  radical Black activist, advocated a violent uprising by
Blacks 	against Whites (in essence, "Kill Whitey!). There was also the
Black Panthers, a 	militant Black organization that was prepared to
seemingly start another civil 	war with all the weaponry it managed to
procure. On the other side of the 	spectrum, there were the Ku Klux Klan
and other White hate groups. What all 	these individuals and groups have
in common is a fierce, uncontrolable hatred of 	those opposed to them,
much like Bele and Lokai in this episode.

While I understand and agree with the parallel between Bele/Lokai and
"extreme" whites and blacks during the civil rights movement, I believe
your characterizations tend to be stereotypical and historically
inexact.  First, Malcolm X never "advocated a violent uprising by blacks
against whites (in essence, "Kill Whitey!")," as you suggest.  Even
within the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X never advocated a "Kill Whitey!"
policy.  What Malcolm X advocated was that blacks ought to defend
themselves against racist oppression if the police and the government
either would not or could not provide such protection.  Your analysis of
Malcolm is further incorrect, because by the time Malcolm did advocate
revolution, he was not advocating black nationalism as he had before his
pilgrimage.  Malcolm did eventually advocate "violent uprising," but he
defined it in more conventional revolutionary terms--not black vs.
white.  Indeed, as a full fledged revolutionist (1964-1965), Malcolm X
anticipated the involvement of whites who were struggling with blacks
for their freedom against oppressive forces.  

You similarly misrepresent the Black Panthers--who were NOT organized
"to seemingly start another civil war," but to police the police in
Oakland, California, where law enforcement was notoriously abusive and
racist.  This ideology of aggressive self defense was never focused on
the white community, but on white policemen in the black community. 
Other interests of the Black Panther Party was to meets needs within the
black community.  Hardly advocates of civil or race war.  Of course, the
Black Panther Party did imbibe the teachings of Malcolm X and
revolutionary ideology from other parts of the world.  But once again,
they saw themselves in partnership with white revolutionaries also
locked in ideological warfare against the ruling classes.  Finally, the
Panthers were hardly well armed enough to start any kind of war.  The
Panthers were minimally armed and out-gunned by the police and FBI. 
Indeed, Panthers were MURDERED by police, as the case of Fred Hampton
proves.  If any "radical" group was armed it was--and continues to
be--white racists who stockpiled weaponry in preparation for the
ultimate "race war."  Black organizations, even the most "radical," have
never been about preparing for "race war."  Even those with the
bitterest rhetoric have invariably placed economic development and
intra-community harmony as their main themes.  

Finally, while militant black groups certainly reflect "hate" in their
rhetoric, I think you hyperbolize by suggesting their rage was
uncontrollable.  The fact is, the Nation of Islam was very controlled
and self-contained, and Malcolm X should be credited for actually
keeping his rallies and audiences controlled.  Malcolm always emphasized
"intelligent" behavior and I think it is more a characteristic of the
KKK and white supremacist groups to speak of uncontrolled hatreds.  As a
rule, African Americans have always exercised a great deal of
self-control and patience when it came to racism.  A riot here, a slave
uprising there, to be sure.  Amazingly few for 200+ years of conflict. 
Yet it is quite amazing that blacks never did what American Indians
did.  Had blacks wished to engage in violent race wars, they could have
wreaked a great deal of damage to "Whitey" before being taken out
themselves.  "Radical" groups in the black community have always showed
a willingness to cooperate with sensitive whites and to avoid violent
attacks on whites in general.  Furthermore, when innocent whites are
killed in black "uprisings," it is generally the rage of the common man
and woman that explodes (look at the L.A. riots not in 1992), not the
rhetorically-based "radical" groups.

I thank you for your excellent essay on Star Trek.  However, as a
scholar in this field (Malcolm X), I felt it necessary to offer my
criticism in the hope you will refine your statements in a manner worthy
of the social history you are writing.  Certainly, my points need not
detract from your analysis, and will only serve to enhance the work.

Yours truly,
Lou DeCaro, Jr.