December 1, 2014 8:00 am -

[su_right_ad]Perhaps at some point early in its development, the addition of comments under YouTube videos was probably seen as a positive societal advancement in which consumers were encouraged to help sculpt content via accompanying feedback — to idealistically form a community where new-media is a two-way road for both creators and the audience, unlike old-media formats like television and print where content delivery is chiefly one-way.

The awful reality of comment sections, however, is obvious to anyone who’s clicked on a video: YouTube threads are hellscapes of pointless, barely literate vitriol posted by sociopaths who prove with every misspelled word why they shouldn’t be allowed the privilege of unsupervised internet access. Each and every thread is a total waste of space, bandwidth and design resources. The only value, optimistically speaking, is as a sociological case study into why the unwashed mob is totally undeserving of a public platform, and why perhaps the media gatekeepers should be allowed to reassume their posts.

[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Take the comments under the new Star Wars trailer, of all things. The usual nitpickery of the villain’s triple-bladed lightsaber and an appearance by JJ Abrams’ signature use of a lens flare were annoying but to be expected. Mostly, however, the comments are populated by mindblowingly racist remarks about John Boyega’s role as an Imperial Stormtrooper in the opening shot. Suffice to say, the word “nigger” is alive and well in the Cuckoo’s Nest that is the YouTube “community.” (In fairness to YouTube, it’s all over Twitter and social media, too.)

Here’s probably the most mild of the comments, posted by an anonymous bigot who calls himself “ACFM hd”:

“Disney has no shame. Using the Star Wars platform to push the Race-mixing, ‘diversity is good’ agenda. I have officially resigned my Star wars fanboyism. To Hell with all involved with this.”

Race-mixing? Is this “fanboy” 97-years-old? Either way, it gets much worse from there.

Again, we’re talking about a three-second shot in a movie trailer for Star Wars in which Boyega wears Stormtrooper armor while being black (Boyega was born in Nigeria and raised in London). For this, he must be punished, obviously.

Sadly, the reaction prompted Boyega to… CONTINUE READING

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

6 responses to Between Ferguson And The Reaction To The Star Wars Trailer, Racism Is Alive and Louder Than Ever

  1. crc3 December 1st, 2014 at 9:21 am

    When I first saw the SW trailor all I saw was a storm trooper without a helmet. I saw no color. No black storm trooper…just a storm trooper. Why does race enter every conversation? Because of hate and bigotry that’s why. It should be as clear as the nose on your face and all one has to do is look at the way people react. Discrimination…bigotry and hate is alive and well in America and deep rooted in a history no one should be proud of….

  2. Khary A December 1st, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I don’t know whats more upset at this? My innate anger at the poison and spite thrown at my racial heritage or my nerd rage that only keeps screaming LANDO CALRISSIAN!!! How are you “race mixing” when Lando has been in the movies since Empire?

    • R.J. Carter December 1st, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Exactly. It’s not exactly like different skin colors are a new thing in Star Wars.

      Hell, the only thing that ran through my mind during that micro-scene that I maybe should be a bit ashamed of was that I flashed on that scene from “Spaceballs” where Dark Helmet’s troopers were “combing the desert.”

  3. FatRat December 1st, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Who ever thought Stormtroopers could upset Stormfront? lol