Race & Humaity

The use of the word race as a cultural determinate and as a tool of exclusivity, control and inhumanity is a very important issue to EJO. He believes that the abuse of the term takes away self-worth, self-respect, and self-dignity from our fellow human being.

Battlestar Glactica is widely praised for tackling current issues – including many that are controversial and difficult. It’s bravery for addressing perhaps some of the most important topics and problems facing the collective “us” on the planet, was recognized and rewarded by the United Nations.A special BSG Panel was held at the UN, where leaders from the different United Nations Councils showed clips from the show and discussed the shows importance in attacking the same issues they fight on a daily basis. A forum for discussion was then opened to some cast members and creators of the show, EJO was one of them. During the panel a Council Leader used the word “race” when speaking of the UN Charter on Human Rights, which lead to the following remarks by EJO:

"I still find it incredible that we still use word “race” as a cultural determinant… I detest what we’ve done to ourselves. Out of a need to make ourselves different from one another, we’ve made the word “race” a way of expressing culture. There’s no such thing... I just heard one of the most prolific statements done by one of the great humanitarians, he’s really trying to organize and bring us together, and he used the word “race” as if there is a Latino race, an Asian race, an indigenous race, a Caucasian race. There’s no such thing as a Latino race. There never has been. There never will be. There’s only one race, and that’s what the show brought out. That is the human race, period."

A few weeks later, the panel was brought to Los Angeles and while there it was mentioned to EJO that his words had a resonating effect, and that in fact the issue of misuse of the word “race” was on it’s way to being corrected in policy by the UN. EJO interpreted this to mean the UN Charter on Human Rights, but alas it was not. Still his passion and opportunity collided and his words did not fall on deaf ears:

Note: Though Edward James Olmos was correct in the United Nations changing its language on race, their actions were reflected in their Durban Review Conference, global summit on combating racism, which now states: "6. Reaffirms that all peoples and individuals constitute one human family, rich in diversity, and that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights; and strongly rejects any doctrine of racial superiority along with theories which attempt to determine the existence of so-called distinct human races." Though the United Nations' Charter has not been amended, Olmos' strong advocacy for human rights on behalf of Battlestar Galactica has clearly influenced the mindset of the global organization.

--Taken from the G4 Blog: Attack of the Show--

©2024 Edward James Olmos