By Convergency legal expert Javier Valentis
Featured in The Celestial Caller, 2869 Issue #4
In a Convergency where the words “racist” and “bigot” are used so frequently that they have become meaningless, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish legitimate instances of racism from baseless grievances made by recreational victims. The Communal PCBC loudly declares that the “peaceful, nonviolent Shatarins” are devastatingly misunderstood by us uneducated bigots, and that we are simply intolerant of their culture when we denounce their undeniable love of raping women and children; the “marginalized, exploited Xaztechuans” are helpless victims of the evil taxpayer who is forced to support their nonproductive lifestyles with his own hard-earned income. But the PCBC conveniently neglects to mention those groups who suffer the injustice of true, real-life racism. With such widespread debate about mandatory drug sentencing, one truly marginalized group stands out among them in my mind: the spacefaring Gameer, of whom most of the Convergent population has little, if any, direct knowledge, save what they hear on television.
Discrimination against the Gameer is all too common these days, and they are frequently stereotyped as illiterate nomads who wander from star to star in an endless crime spree of stealing local jobs or even stealing natives’ belongings! When one of their many caravans passes through a star cluster, law enforcement is immediately placed on high alert, and swarms of police vessels flash out of the dark to track the Gameer throughout the duration of their visit. Yes, it is true that local space stations will have a significantly higher number of young Gameer inmates in their brigs than their representation in the wider population, but in order to fairly assess the situation, we must look deeper than just basic incarceration statistics.
There are a number of variables at play here, but first and foremost, there is little reliable data available on the exact size of the Gameer population. Because we don’t know how many unaligned, non-Arterran/non-Communal Sapiens escaped Earth after the fall, we have no way of projecting their current population size. And since the Gameer straddle Convergency borders, there are few conventional, feasible means of tracking them. Ultimately, it seems we may never know how many, or how few, Gameer dwell in the darkness between the stars. It is doubtful that even the Gameer themselves know their true numbers, as their caravans operate independently from one another, and have no sense of unity other than their unfair reputation as lawless nomads.
The second variable that must be explored is the rate of recreational drug use among the Gameer and other Convergent populations. A 2866 Æx. Ayn Rand University study into galactic drug use, crime and employment found that the average Gameer male aged 18-32 consumes recreational drugs at only a slightly higher rate than Arterrans (note that most recreational drugs are legal in the League of Arterra), and a slightly lower rate than Communals, at a greatly lower rate than Shatarins, and at a virtually identical rate as Caspians, Rosc and Mei Zhi. So if the rate of drug use among Gameer youth is more or less similar to the rest of the Convergency, then why are they overrepresented in the prison population?
The answer is quite simple, though too often ignored, either out of convenience for a political agenda, or legitimate prejudice. There are widespread mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug possession, with the exclusion of the League of Arterra, and their ideologically aligned worlds like Bhalenjar and T’jan. Keep in mind that, as I mentioned earlier, as soon as a Gameer caravan enters a star cluster, local law enforcement becomes hypervigilant in their patrolling of orbital transit routes and random cargo inspections. The Gameer are confronted with real, observable racism, not fabricated claims of bias and discrimination consistently made by corporatist collectivists, and are surrounded by a radically higher police presence than any other ethnic group while engaging in drug use at the same rate as those other groups. It doesn’t take a statistician to deduce that there will be a higher instance of drug-related conviction among the Gameer. Under the nonsensical mandatory minimum sentencing laws, young Gameer are guaranteed a temporary stay in a local jail, the length of which averages at five years across the Convergency.
After several years of incarceration they become accustomed to a life among criminals—real criminals—and by the time they are released, their caravan has already moved a vast distance across the galaxy. A newly released inmate does not have the means to return to his home caravan, and oftentimes finds himself joining the same criminal networks that he was surrounded by in prison. The cycle is never-ending, and instead of making an effort to understand the root causes behind the disproportionate number of arrests of Gameer males, most people choose to dismiss them as natural-born thieves and addicts, and treat them as such without further proof.
None of this should be misinterpreted as me advocating special treatment for Gameer under the law; furthermore, I am a strong opponent of their integration into the Interstellar Convergency, unless they are to be settled in the Commune or other distant regions of the Outer Rim. However, even as non-citizens of the Convergency, they are entitled to the same judicial rights as any other Sentient group. While the prison-industrial complex championed by ABAC may not touch our citizens in the League of Arterra, we must fight to ensure that it does not consume those over whom it has no jurisdiction. We would be hypocrites to sit by idly and watch as true racism claims a true victim. Judicial reform is needed, though not for the parasitic Communals who noisily call for it. There are real victims in this galaxy, and it is not the pregnant Xaztechuan whose water breaks while she scales a border fence, or the Shatarin man who is arrested for raping, beating and eating his neighbor’s infant daughter. It is the Gameer, that timeless galactic pariah, and it is they who deserve our attention, and not the petty Communal criminal who claims you are personally responsible for both his suffering and his wellbeing.