YOU ARE ALL FIRED FOR NOT WARNING ME ABOUT THE OMEGA GLORY, WHICH IS AN EPISODE THAT IS RACIST ON SO MANY LEVELS I CAN BARELY COMPREHEND THEM ALL.
So there's the generic 'primitive' Asians. Then there's the even more primitive white people. Of course, the white starship captain (not Kirk) is exploiting the Asians by being their Mighty Whitey. We do get to 'meet' one Asian, but he sort of disappears after he explains that he is very old, which is why Mighty Whitey is so interested in him. On the other hand, we meet one white dude, who is a chief of his tribe and hangs around until the end of the episode.
The scantily clad woman of this episode is a white person, because of course, Asian women are either (a) not attractive or (b) only attractive when white people are fetishizing their racialized features.
Oh, and that is barely scratching the surface.
A brief history of this planet reveals that it resembles Earth (of course). The reason why the white people are primitive? They were driven from their cities! And now they wear animal skins and use spears "just like the American Indians." Wording not exact, but yeah, that idea was CONVEYED. Because yes, OH NO, WHITE PEOPLE BEHAVING LIKE NATIVES IS STRANGE AND SCARY AND GROSS. Also, totally fails to acknowledge that these things are not the sum total of Native culture and that Native culture still lives on in the future past those stereotypes. (Yay, Chakotay.)
Then, we find out that the Asians are Communists and the white people are Yankees, and the Asians won the war. Woohoo. And then there's stuff where the white people have the American flag, the pledge of allegiance, and the Constitution. Some of this stuff is read aloud by William Shatner, which MAKES ME LAUGH. I would maybe have loved to hear him sing "O, Canada" instead. And okay, I am kind of a SUCKER for patriotism, but this was just really bad and hackish and dumb (not mention really racist. Have I mentioned that this episode is racist yet?)
Anyway, yeah. What have we learned today, kids? Asians = Communists and white people = Americans, of course ignoring the fact that the racial breakdown of the Cold War did not look like that at all. Let's just handwave the entire Soviet bloc, why don't we? Also, the Asian countries that were decidedly not-Communist during the Cold War. And don't get me started on the number of Americans who are decidedly not-white. *coughcough*
Oh, and they use Sulu as sort of deflecting Asian friend, because he gets to be acting captain while Kirk and Spock are gone, and then he gets to save the day by arresting the evil starship captain. Yeah, you know what? That sort of thing never works. The fail is still showing.
EVERYONE KEEPS TALKING ABOUT SPOCK'S BRAIN. I'VE SEEN SPOCK'S BRAIN. IT IS BETTER THAN THIS SHIT BY A MILE.
I AM DYING HERE, YOU GUYS.