Oh, come on people. This is 2014, not 1914.
The most anticipated movie trailer in a long time came out last week, for the movie “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens.” It was quite awesome to say the least.
It also awakened a social media firestorm, but not for the reasons you'd expect. Instead, it was a black Stormtrooper in the trailer which sparked controversy on Twitter and other social media platforms.
It amazes me that something so silly and trivial as one character being portrayed by a black man still - in this day and age - spark such a fierce reaction. According to many diehard Star Wars fans, their issue isn’t based on racism (though I can’t imagine any racist will admit to that fact anyway), but rather it is based on the premise that stormtroopers are clones of the same white man, so therefore how could one be black?
Nice try. Talking to another Star Wars diehard and reading other comments, it is clear that this logic is a stretch, due to the fact that even in the Star Wars galaxy and stories, there was evolution of plot and that stormtrooper numbers had to and did grow in other ways in subsequent campaigns. So that excuse just doesn’t fly.
More interesting to me is the fact that it took just a few seconds of a clip to set these people off. That kind of intense and visceral reaction stems from something much deeper in their psyche. Without any knowledge of the story or plot of this new movie, whether that quick scens was of an actual stormtrooper or someone who maybe disguised himself as a stormtrooper to escape trouble, did not even enter the thought process of these haters. All it took was seeing a black man in a stormtrooper uniform to put them over the edge and bring out their color issues.
Frankly, the actor who plays that controversial character in the movie and the trailer, John Boyega, had the best response possible to all this craziness. He took to his Instagram and posted the simple words, “Get used to it.”
Well said, Boyega, well said indeed. People of color are here and they will be there in the the distant future in a land far far away, as Star Wars puts it. Get used to it now people. And please recognize that these films and books are fictional stories. They are not real, so the creators can do whatever they want with the characters. You would swear people forget stormtroopers are not actually in existence. Real or not, however, the extreme anger over black characters reflects just how real and ingrained racism is in our society today. Anyone who argues that racism is a "thing of the past" need look no further than Twitter #blackstormtrooper.