Great thread. Z, if they were giving awards for best thread starter, it'd be yours hands down.
There are people from all walks of life all over the world who love Star Trek and, unfortunately, not everyone is enlightened. (I don't just speak of the United States, I speak of people all over the planet since Star Trek is popular world wide.)
I also think there's a vast difference between "hate" and "intolerance." I haven't seen any hate-filled rants on this board. I've seen some intolerance, sure, but I think the phrase "hate speech" has become such a media driven term to mean anything that we disagree with that has a racial/sexual/societal tone to it.
I'm as conservative as they come and, you know what? I love gay people. I really do. I have great gay friends and my best friend on this Earth--my sister--is a lesbian. I'm like Kathy Griffin... I have "my gays" and they identify as such. It's really a riot. I don't have a problem with anyone based on the color of their skin or who they love. To me, they're just people and I couldn't care any less about the adjective that modifies the noun. (My problems with people generally start with what comes out of their mouths. LOL)
I guess there are people out there who are able to separate Star Trek's good storytelling from Roddenberry's concept of "infinite diversity." I suppose that, in its truest sense, a diversity of infinite combinations would theoretically also include those who shunned diversity. You know, much like the Framers of the Constitution were men who were smart enough to know that we had to have freedom of religion in this country--but that also meant the freedom to not worship any God because people would exist who didn't believe in it.
I don't honestly think it's about contempt for humanity. I really don't. I think it's more "nurture" than "nature" honestly.
Star Trek wasn't without its biases, though. Some humans didn't like Vulcans. The Vulcans split with the Romulans over emotion. The Andorians hated and feared EVERYONE and...well...even the iconic James T. Kirk hated Klingons and wanted them to die before he was, shall we say, enlightened.
One thing is certain, though. There will likely always be some shred of intolerance in any society. I don't have to like it, but it is a common theme be it in real life or in the world of Star Trek.
There was some good discussion.
Was there intolerance? Sure.
Was it grossly uninformed and naive? Yeah, in my opinion, it definitely was.
Did I agree with it? No. HELL no.
Was it hatred
? I'm not so sold on that.
We've seen hatred in action before over history and, well...a mostly civil discussion where people disagree (regardless of how uninformed their opinion is) just isn't hatred.
It's also not just a microview of America, it's a microview of our whole world. The fault or the root cause doesn't lie in this country but with humans in general.
Maybe the Vulcans were onto something...