One thing I love about this episode is how they cut all the legal and philosophical arguments being deployed initially down to a level of fundamental morality.
What mattered wasn’t whether or not Data has achieved some vague condition of “sapience” or “consciousness”, concepts vaguely defined and ultimately unprovable (as Picard put it “prove that I’m conscious”), but rather, the moral matter. Do we want a future where slavery is revived, or do we want a future of continued equality?
Measure of A Man is the best STNG episode.
I love that they put these words in the mouth of an alien played by a black woman, an alien who has, in this story, never known this kind of racial discrimination, but whose appearance must remind someone as educated and socially aware as Picard of what used to happen down on his home planet, specifically to people who looked exactly like Guinan.
And that he, SJW that he is (oh he is) hadn’t come to this very obvious conclusion on his own is a very nice example of how unchecked privilege can deceive us.