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"Black Panther" screenings spawn white lies

by Nicholas Mazur - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Feb 27th 2018 07:00 pm
The latest installment in the Marvel cinematic universe has had black fans feeling empowered. However, whenever black people are feeling great, you can almost always count on racists to sneak in and try to ruin as much of it as possible.
The latest installment in the Marvel cinematic universe has had black fans feeling empowered. However, whenever black people are feeling great, you can almost always count on racists to sneak in and try to ruin as much of it as possible.

“Black Panther” was a smash hit for Marvel Studios, and a dream come true for people of color, but primarily black audiences and eveyone tired of going to the movies and feeling like they were watching a polar bear eat vanilla ice cream in a blizzard. So naturally, with so much good to go around because of this movie, someone had to come along and spread a little evil. 

According to CBS, after the movie’s release, white people on Twitter began posting tweets and claiming that black people had assaulted them at a “Black Panther” screening. Of course it was clear and later revealed that these accusations were all false. What a surprise it must have been for people taken in by these tweets to find out that black people aren’t as violent and destructive as they desperately wish they were. It sure would make being racist and spreading lies about them a whole lot easier. 

CBS reported that the LAPD even reported that no related calls to assaults at “Black Panther” screenings were made. According to fortune.com, many other Twitter users quickly discredited the posts by identifying the pictures used as “proof” as coming from various other sources.

What really does it for me on this issue is, well, everything. But, to narrow it down for time’s sake, let's talk about two things in particular; the first is the kind of situation this is. This scenario struck me as oddly familiar at first. I thought on this, after all, “Black Panther” surely hasn’t premiered before, so where was this deja vu coming from? Then, of course, the dread of realization set in. I’ve been learning about white people accusing imaginary black people of fake crimes for centuries. Minorities are often the first ones to be offered up as scapegoats when something goes wrong. But, they can also be offered up when nothing bad at all actually happens. 

It rang eerily close to something like Emmett Till, though thankfully this scenario seemed to end without any genuine bloodshed. However, the fact that today we are still seeing white people invent fake crimes and fake black people to commit them isn’t surprising, it’s just grotesque and makes me want to spit at them.

The other thing I take particular issue with in regards to these false accusations is the fact that it surrounds “Black Panther” and its premiere. For many people of color, particularly black people, this movie represented a lot of good. A chance for them to go out and have a good time, and to have a good time being black and watching an almost entirely black-oriented movie. Then, they have to find out that white people are falsely accusing them of crimes. All these people wanted was to go out and enjoy a movie and, you know, not be accused of a crime they didn’t commit.

As a white person, I do not connect with “Black Panter” the way that so many black people are doing all across the United States and across the world. Even so, I can see that they are connecting with that, and how beautiful of a thing it is. Certainly they have so much more of a right to be mad at this situation than I am, but I cannot help but see other white people trying to tarnish this beautiful thing as something that should be enough to make anyone mad.

I’ve seen so much other positive feedback on social media, about how happy people are about this movie, and how much they are enjoying it. To see that we, the white people, are at it once again, like we just can’t quit, just straight-up pisses me off. T’Challa himself might say that it’s their fear that is making them lash out like this, but he also wouldn’t take any crap from people like that. White people doing things like this are afraid of progress and the threat it poses to them. Eventually, they’re going to have to accept this change, or be left behind by it.

 

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