The "Space Traders" Commentary on Racism
"Space Traders" is a short story written by Derrick Bell, a current professor of law at NYU. Bell is not a science fiction writer, nor does he claim to be, but he uses science fiction to portray a story of racism that sounds ludicrous upon first reading. However it does in fact tell a story that is relevant to the issues America faces on racism today. Being a lawyer, Bell approaches this story from a political standpoint, giving symbolic meaning to even the smallest details throughout the story. So how does "Space Traders" apply to the problems the world faces with racism and prejudice? The "Space Traders" solution offers many of the same ideals Hitler shared with the Nazi party concerning his "final solution". Bell uses this analogy to show how African Americans have been sacrificed in the past and how it is in fact still a problem America faces with racism today. "Space Traders" is an allegory that confronts the issues of racism that continues to occur in modern society. Bell uses the analogy to the Holocaust to remind the reader of how America has used African Americans as a scapegoat; also he believes that racism is as prevalent of a problem today as it was at the end of slavery. The "Space Traders" story shares many of the same philosophies and characteristics that Hitler expressed during his reign over Germany in the 1930's and 40's. In a sense, the aliens represent him in this story. As Hitler promised the "removal" of Jews, as well as other groups of people, would solve the nations economic tribulations, the aliens promised the same to America. In return they desired the entire African American population, for reasons unknown. The white population obsessed so greatly on this promise of prosperity that they became blinded by greed. The lives of an entire group of people were put second to their own selfish desires. In a very similar fashion, the Holocaust was born. Hitler promised economic opulence to the dominant...
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