Stop Trying to Control How Black People Respond to Racism
John Boyega says he hates racists. That’s not a cause for debate.
In the wake of the heinous murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, people are angry, and justifiably so. Police brutality continues to claim the lives of Black men, women, and children. The four officers involved have been fired, but that has done nothing to quell the growing resentment toward the police system. Many have taken to the streets to protest in the wake of Floyd’s death, while others express discontent on social media.
Actor John Boyega, best known for his work on the most recent Star Wars trilogy, was among those expressing his hurt and outrage over Floyd’s death. But his tweets immediately prompted backlash.
A question: What’s so wrong about hating racists?
If Merriam-Webster’s definition of racism — “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” — holds, Boyega’s statement is a valid one. But that didn’t stop Twitter users from taking furious issue with his comments. (I won’t link to the tweets I’m referring to because they’ve already received backlash, and I don’t want to subject them to further harassment.)
A man is dead, and you expect us to argue over semantics?
One user had a problem with Boyega’s explicit language. Apparently, the actor needed to be more delicate when discussing the thing that causes the deaths of young men who look like him. They chided him and told them that there are kids on the platform. If reports are accurate, a nine-year-old girl watched Floyd die. For a moment…