I can literally hold readers’ hands and lead them all the way to the conclusion of why something fandom does/is into is/appears racist (or, more specifically, antiblack) and still I get those wide eyed reactions of “um, this thing isn’t racist” from folks.

I’ve all but made a map to the conclusion, but I guess because folks still don’t see Black people as people in fandom, they’re not required to like… see when our ideas have merit or listen to us when we talk about the racism we/Black characters face in fandom.

Like I’m not using super complicated language half the time. Half the time, I’m literally like “this thing dehumanizes Black people like historically in media and its usage in fandom is also dehumanizing” and still some absolute walnut will roll up like…

“oh, well… because it’s not a problem when fandom does this to white characters, i don’t see why it’s racist here”.

When the point I’m constantly trying to make is that things that aren’t racist/wouldn’t be racist with Black characters become racist because fandom doesn’t do it to white characters or because there isn’t the same historical significance. 

The point is that the Star Wars fandom is unbelievably unsympathetic to Finn in a way they aren’t to Kylo Ren (like that one fucker who keeps showing up who basically sees him as a confusing commodity that the First Order lost).  They think Kylo deserves love (and Rey) and Finn would be better off dying in a fiery conflagration in the last fifteen minutes of The Last Jedi.

The point is that fandom doesn’t treat Sugar Daddy!T’challa as a person the way they do rich white male characters like Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne. They treat him like a fuckable ATM and Wakanda as a resource that exists solely to churn out vibranium weapons and armor for their favorite white characters (who then claim some part of the throne due to their relationship with T’challa). 

It’s really not that hard to understand.

I’m holding hands harder than I’ve ever held anyone’s hands in my life. I use small words. I provide links instead of assuming you all get what I mean. I make myself available for clarification. I don’t deep-dive into the theorists I’ve worked with my school.

And still, it’s like running up against a wall. A big ole racist wall.

Author: Zeenah

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.