#STARWARSMONTH: #BoycottStarWars and How to Deal with Such Stupidity (a special editorial by Benjamin Harter)

As many of you know by now, there is a new hashtag movement gaining a lot of attention as of late. The hashtag is #BoycottStarWars. That alone should be enough to send shockwaves of disdain through most of you. What is even more repugnant and sinister, however, is the reason that some would actually want to take part in such a hashtag movement. Apparently, there are some people that are so upset that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will have a black person for a main character that they think of it as “white genocide” (actual quote). That’s right folks: apparently, Star Wars is racist against white people because it has a person of color playing one of the heroes. Sigh. This hashtag “movement” (which worth noting, is only a small minority of Star Wars “fans”) has included several racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic jabs that will NOT even be mentioned here

There’s a lot I have to say about this, so please allow me to just get right down to it…

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(photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

I’m going to start with the obvious: this is stupid.
This is not the first time a non-white person has played a main character or a good guy in the franchise. Not even the second or third time. Of course, that shouldn’t even need to be stated as a counterpoint: having a black hero is no more anti-white than having a white hero would be anti-black, or anti-any-race-at-all. Most of the time, a person is only one race, so taking the selection of a hero of a certain race to be a statement against any other race assumes that any heroic story is about a race war.

Oh. Wait. I get it. Nevermind.

I just realized that these people actually do think that everything is a race war. They believe that everyone is taking some side, either by choice or apathy, in some grand racial struggle that is happening everywhere at every moment. When I word it that way, it doesn’t seem so irrational: most civil rights activists also believe that we daily engage in the battle of systemic oppression, either through action or apathy. The difference is that they believe the point is to not cause racial tension, while the #BoycottStarWars people are clearly trying to irritate racial tension. Personally, I don’t view things either way, but that’s because I’m not an activist or an idealist.

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Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford, two of the actors also playing main protagonist roles. (photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

When we see things like #BoycottStarWars, our gut reaction is moral outrage at these small-minded bigots. I want to tell you now: please don’t.  It’s not even worth your stress. There are more appropriate times for that. Here, what we should feel is pity. To let you in a little bit: I am going through one of the roughest times in my personal life. When I see #BoycottStarWars, all I can think is, “at least I am not upset over something that miniscule. That must be a very difficult world to live in.” Next time you see someone post the hashtag, don’t troll them. Instead, say this to them:

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you are so misguided. I’m sorry that misguidance has led you to irrationally care about such silly things. I’m sorry that, despite the fact that you clearly care about the franchse so much, you have forgotten so much about it. I’m sorry you forgot about Lando Calrissian. I’m sorry you forgot about Mace Windu. I want to forget about Mace Windu (and everything about the prequel trilogy), but you are clearly a different case. I’m sorry that you forgot that the new prequels informed us that the Fetts aren’t white. I’m sorry you probably liked Jar Jar Binks, since he is a comedic composite of racial stereotypes. I’m even sorry you forgot about Captain Panaka. I’m sorry that you are so emotionally wrapped up in such an untruth. I’m sorry you get so worked up about problems that aren’t even real. My heart goes out to you. That must be so hard.”

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John Boyega, as Finn – the new protagonist character that apparently is the reason for the recent “hashtag controversy” (photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

I am not proposing that bigotry is a disease, but in many ways it works like one. It is a persistent mindset that can cause such convoluted logic to justify its position, that it is hard for the bigot to untangle themselves. Bigots do not wake up in the morning and think, “how can I b.s. myself today so I can continue to perpetuate my delusions?” That’s why, in such a small case as this, nothing more than pity is worth your energy. If you tell them what I told you, you need to make sure that you do not come across as sarcastic. Not that saying it will change anything, it won’t alter their opinions in the slightest. But you cannot put a price on reaching out, even if it doesn’t work. It’s the only good way to fight these people. So don’t lash out… and remember: “Anger, fear, aggression: the Dark Side of the Force are they.”

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May the Force be with you all,
-Benjamin Harter
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine

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Please Note: The views and opinions presented by Mr. Harter are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Nerd Nation Magazine, our sponsors, or anyone else for that matter. Although, on this particular article, our editor and staff do happen to wholeheartedly agree with him here (and also happen to be VERY excited for the new Star Wars) – we just have to write this legal disclaimer. Please don’t be a d-bag and try to sue, protest, or heaven forbid cyber-boycott anyone over the stuff he writes. It’s called an opinion, folks. Don’t like it? The internet is a big place, just go read something else… preferably right here at Nerd Nation! =)

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