When the reaction to calling out racism is… More racism?

It’s been two months and I still get the best reactions to my post “Dear Comic Fans: We Get it. You’re racist and racebending scares you.” And by best, I mean that I get some of the most condescending and willfully ignorant responses out there.

Way to prove my point, fellow comic fans. How weird is it that the majority of the people that have sent me nasty tweets or left rude comments on my blog (the majority of which have probably been eaten by my spam filter because it’s super strict) are people who have gotten so angry about racebending and my calling out racism, that they need to react angrily to them?

It’s like they read my post, didn’t register anything, and decided to behave in such a way that validated my comments on fandom’s racist reactions to people wanting or working on more diversity in comic canon or superhero media.

Wild, right?

Today’s ridiculously mockable comment comes from someone that I will graciously refer to G. They know who they are. G read my post today (probably from Facebook as that’s where the majority of my views have come from today) and decided to write me a comment that was over seven hundred words long.

Yes, you read that right.

I made a nerd on the internet so mad that they wrote me an actual essay to refute my post. (An essay almost a third of the original post by the way). I mean, they tried their best. I mean, we got a bit of “Real fans keep their mouths shut and enjoy the show/comic” and some “reality television is full of drama so young people are naturally going to do this”.

G even called me entitled as if he was trying to hurt my feelings (and um… nope. I know that I am perceived as entitled because I have strong opinions about what content should fill the media I consumed but that doesn’t mean that I actually am!)

This commenter also threw in a bit of weirdness with “well if a white actor was cast as a Black character everyone would be pissed” and “POC would send death threats if that happen”.


The first part of that is a false equivalency. Most “white” characters in books don’t need to be white. Sometimes, they’re not even described as white. All Black characters in comics have to be Black. Their blackness is a part of their identity and you literally can’t cast a white actor in the role without removing the nuance and cheapening the history of the character.

And the second part wouldn’t happen. We’ve seen multiple whitewashed characters go out in different movies in the past few years and the reaction is to protest and plan and persuade white film directors and writers to do better. That’s what POC do. Because we know about guys like G that’ll rush to be like “see, POC are just as racist” in moments like these and we won’t give them the satisfaction.

But okay, you argue that until you turn blue.

I am fascinated by the responses that I got from this post. When I wrote it in August, I wasn’t actually mad. I was mildly annoyed and frustrated by the racist fans’ desire to be centered in every form of media everywhere. I was bugged by the constant Iris and Wally West hate that I was seeing. But the negative responses that I’ve gotten have acted as if I was stomping on their fanboy dreams and telling them that they weren’t shit for liking white characters.

I’m not.

Like… not at all.

Some of my favorite characters are white (in Earth Prime)!

Many of the comments that I get on this post (including G’s comment) act as if my post was twenty-five hundred words of steaming scorn and hatred heaped onto white comic fans. They act like I’m oppressing people by pointing out that comic fans are a bunch of pretty racist folks and then they come piling into my mentions or my comments to let me know that they definitely are not racist (despite acting racist towards me…).

Okay. That… makes no sense at all.

My post on racebending isn’t the nicest post out there, but I’m not a kindergarten teacher.

It’s literally not my job to hold your hand and make you feel comfortable in your bigotry and ignorance. If you read my racebending post (or any of my posts on oppression or identity) and you feel angry, chances are that you need to reevaluate yourself. You need to figure out why a simple snark-filled post on racebending and racism triggered that anger and your need to try and reassert nerd dominance over me.

G ends their comment-essay in tone policing. Of course. Because I am not nice in calling out oppression that has affected me and colored my interactions with fandom, I’m not worth listening to. Look at this mess of a tone-policing attempt (the only thing from G’s comment that is going to make it onto this blog):

I’m fairly certain that a good chunk of the comic fans being assholes really IS because of racism, but pointing the finger and hissing “RACIST!” at someone who doesn’t share your view is more than a little childish, and it makes you look an awful lot like you’re looking specifically for a reason to shout racism at someone.

Just take that in. The cartoonish image that G wants to paint of me. The way they willfully act as if I’m making things up despite linking to several different posts within the article that point out racism in comic fandom. But because I don’t couch it in terms that G feels comfortable with (and what would that be, I wonder since this is the mildest way I could frame this whole thing), I’m looking for a reason to get mad. I must be looking for racism.

Because that’s always fun and not at all alienating…

I write about nerdy things for a living.

I’m Black in America.

It’s not surprising that those two things intersect on a regular basis. G is saying that I shouldn’t assume anything about what other people are thinking but it’s my job to do that. It’s my job to go “well this happens often so there’s probably a relationship between the two”.

Comic fans are racist and afraid to deal with racebending in their favorite forms of media. It’s the truth. I don’t need to add a qualifier because if you’re not racist, you’re not going to fly off the handle by this post. You’re not going to write me an essay telling me that you almost agree with me if not for my tone.

You wanna talk about assumptions?

Let’s talk about how G didn’t bother to do their homework. A few minutes on my blog will show that I have a background in discussing race and gender in nerdy media. It’ll show that I am well versed on anti-black racism in America especially in our comics and books. And if you bothered to do any research on me, you’d know that I research everything before I write an article.

You want to come and whine because I’m not holding your hand or reassuring you that not all comic fans are racist? Go ahead. But know from now that I’m only going to mock you on twitter and move on. There’s no point.

By reacting with condescension and/or anger, you’ve willfully missed the point of my post.

There’s nothing that I can or want to say to you to try and change that. You’re not the kind of comic fan that I’d want to interact with in the first place and your old-fashioned opinions are boring me.



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