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Boycotts and “Ironic” Racism

So a handful of trolls decided to start a Boycott Star Wars VII hashtag on Twitter, claiming that the movie erases white male heroes and promotes white genocide and whatever. Star Wars: Aftermath author Chuck Wendig talks about it a bit here. The Mary Sue weighs in here. There’s been plenty of mockery, as well as folks pointing out some of the obvious irony. (Y’all know the most iconic figure in the franchise was voiced by a black man, right?)

There’s also folks pointing out that this was nothing but trolls begging for attention, and that the internet fell for it. Ah, internet. So gullible!

Nelson - Ha ha!

I read some of the 4chan board so you don’t have to. I can’t read minds, but yeah, there’s a good chance folks were stirring shit for attention and LOLs. But here’s the thing. You know Clarke’s Law? The one that says any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic? Well…

Any sufficiently hateful trolling is indistinguishable from bigotry.

The same folks crowing about how they suckered those stupid SJWs into reacting are also going on about how the black protagonist in The Force Awakens looks like a gorilla, how they can’t reshoot the film just because the protagonist is a n****r, and worse. Are these people trying to be ironically racist, or are they just bigoted assholes?

As it turns out, I don’t actually give a shit. Whether they truly believe a more diverse cast in Star Wars = promoting white genocide, that’s the message they’ve chosen to spread, and whatever the original intent, that message has attracted others. It’s become a magnet for spreading racism and antisemitism and hate.

If you punch me in the face, do you think I care whether or not you were doing it “ironically”?

If you truly believe that casting a black man and a white woman as leads in a Star Wars movie should be equated to genocide, you’re a racist asshole. But if you believe stirring up talk of boycotting Star Wars because they cast a black man and a white woman is a good way to get attention? You’re also a racist asshole.

Stormtrooper: middle fingers

Go ahead, please boycott the new Star Wars movie. I find I enjoy my movies more when there are fewer whiny, bigoted assholes in the theater. Better boycott Star Trek as well. I mean, you wouldn’t want to catch any of those icky “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” cooties. Boycott Marvel, where they’ve introduced a black Captain America and a black/Latino Spider-Man and an Asian-American Hulk. Boycott Legend of Korra and their non-white, non-straight heroines. Boycott video games for including transgender characters and nonwhite characters and more. As the push for diversity and inclusion continues to grow, you might want to boycott the whole damn field of science fiction and fantasy.

So either grow the hell up and stop fighting a losing battle to build a wall around the genre, or else boycott yourself right out of fandom, and let the rest of us enjoy a community with a few less bigoted assholes.

You can even boycott “ironically,” if that’s what it takes to get you to leave.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)
everyone in SF movies are Aliens, so they should get over that too.
Oct. 22nd, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
Any sufficiently hateful trolling is indistinguishable from bigotry.

This. This in spades.
Oct. 22nd, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC)
I love you so much. That is all. (Not said ironically, I promise.)
Oct. 22nd, 2015 07:11 pm (UTC)
Jim? Would you mind if I posted a link to this on Tumblr?
Oct. 22nd, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
Not at all.

You could also share the link at http://jimhines.tumblr.com/post/131697226486/boycotts-and-ironic-racism

Whatever works :-)
Oct. 22nd, 2015 07:31 pm (UTC)
I did not know you had a Tumblr! Thanks, I'll use that link instead.
Oct. 22nd, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
Had a feeling this one was pure trolling, it was too absurd to possibly be real.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 23rd, 2015 10:10 am (UTC)
Well, yes. We now live in a world where the British Prime Minister was alleged to have put his genitals in the mouth of a dead pig, and didn't sue, and kept his job. Nothing is too strange anymore.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 05:15 am (UTC)
After the sadly real objections to a black character being portrayed by a black actress in the Hunger Games, it didn't seem unbelievable as such, but it did seem like it was a tiny group at best, and a lot more reaction.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 10:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, they made a lot of news channels with it didn't they.

I find it interesting these days how they don't actually seem to need many Twitter accounts to create a twitter storm that can take over the internet with outrage for a few days. Even just a hundred or so people can create a twitter storm.

Which is fascinating, that so few can have such power, if they hit the right chord.

Well, I say 'power', all they did was create a bunch of outrage and eye-rolling at the hapless man-baby phenomena. But still.
Oct. 22nd, 2015 09:23 pm (UTC)
Trolls pass the Turing Test and are mistaken for real human beings.
Oct. 22nd, 2015 10:38 pm (UTC)
"Any sufficiently hateful trolling is indistinguishable from bigotry."

Oct. 23rd, 2015 02:51 am (UTC)
Bless you for saying the shit I no longer have the spoons for. <3 and for doing it in a way that is much, much smarter and more effective than I ever could.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 04:52 am (UTC)
Are you unfamiliar with Poe's Law? Without a clear indicator of the author's intent, parodies of extreme views will, to some readers, be indistinguishable from sincere expressions of the parodied views.

I thought it was pretty obviously Poe's Law at work.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 05:01 am (UTC)
It isn't just that the two are indistinguishable; it's that any distinction between them is essentially meaningless. It doesn't matter whether somebody is acting like a bigot in the sense of behaving that way, or acting like a bigot in the sense of consciously performing that behavior: even if I could tell which one it is, I don't care.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 05:26 am (UTC)
There is a term that exists called "Poe's Law" and I'm surprised that people aren't familiar with it.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 05:46 am (UTC)
Given that I was responding to a comment wherein you had mentioned Poe's Law, I don't see why you think I'd be unfamiliar with it. In fact, I knew of Poe's Law before you ever brought it up. My point is that even if the author expresses their intent and says it's meant to be parody, there is a point at which the parody is not meaningfully different from the thing it's supposedly mocking.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 05:51 am (UTC)
Once upon a time there was a blog post. In the post, the author was defining a concept they did not have vocabulary for.

A passerby recognized there was a word for this concept already and shared the word and the definition of the word.

Another commenter somehow interpreted the sharing of a vocabulary word with pushing some kind of opinion and/or agenda they disagree with, and that commenter decided to correct the passer by's opinion. (This is called a 'strawman' argument).

But the passerby doesn't have that opinion... they were just sharing a word and explaining the definition.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 12:48 pm (UTC)
What the passerby may not have realized is that they were assuming others were unaware of the term in question. When the commenter tried to point out that the discussion went beyond that term, the passerby doubled down on the assumption, and instead accused the commenter of straw-manning.

The original poster looked upon this with puzzlement and bemusement. He debated simply locking the thread, but decided against it for now, trusting that the passerby had said their piece about the existence of a vocabulary word, but that they would understand and accept if the conversation moved beyond that definition.

Then everything changed when the fire nation attacked...
Oct. 23rd, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
If the opinion is: "Poe's law isn't funny, it's offensive".

Oh yeah, of course. I totally agree.
Oct. 23rd, 2015 06:17 am (UTC)
Wow. People are actually doing this? Why is casting a black man in the lead even a thing any more?

Okay, I realise race issues are more fraught in the US than here in the UK, but still...
Oct. 23rd, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah. It's almost like black heads of state and black Jedi never existed.

Edited at 2015-10-23 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oct. 23rd, 2015 06:51 am (UTC)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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