The Ukari and Society

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The Ukari are not well liked.

By that, I mean that there is an incredible racism against the Ukari, actively supported and encouraged by the Universal Church. At best - in al-Malik lands - they are treated like colonial subjects in the model of continental powers in Africa - and in most places, their relationship with everyone else is much more like Jews or Muslims in medieval Europe.

Are the crops bad? Blame an Ukari. Did a child disappear? It's an Ukari who kidnapped her and ate her. The Ukari are enemies of humanity, the Church preaches, and indeed, the first-ever interstellar war was fought against the Ukari. They are a conquered people who live in poverty on their homeworld in a near-constant state of rebellion, much like Ireland under the years of direct British rule. In a setting where aliens are all mistrusted, the Ukari are the lowest of the low, with the possible exception of the Ascorbites, which don't deal with human beings at all.

The particular state of dislike the Ukari currently enjoy hasn't always been the case. Towards the end of the Second Republic, they began to get a measure of acceptance. The Ukari 'buddy cop' was a fixture of holovids, and units of the Presidential Guard were composed entirely of Ukari. Indeed, there is even a legend that the Ukar spirited away the heir of the last President of the Republic to some now-Lost World.

This is, however, not very relevant to the current state of mistrust the Ukar are held in. Because their acceptance was linked so inexorably with the Second Republic, the decline of that state led to a decline in their respect - and indeed, the Second Republic's acceptance of aliens (such as Ukari) is in these latter days pointed to as a measure of its moral degradation.

What does this mean practically? It means that being seen to associate openly in a respectful way with the Ukari is an easy way to earn quick public scorn, and actively supporting them will get you labeled as a menace to society, formenting rebellion amongst the aliens. There are, certainly, those who do help the Ukari - some al-Malik, and others - but they do so quietly, almost guiltily, because if it was found out they would suffer for the revelation.