Star Wars, Krystina Arielle & Why White Whine Really Doesn't Age Well
Damn, white people are funny. I don't mean "funny" as in "ha-ha" or "wocka-wocka." More like sad, pathetic, and potentially deadly type of funny. Like how that milk that's ten days past its expiration date smells funny. Because if there's one thing I've learned over the past week, it's that there are a sh**load of people out there who share my skin color (and nothing else) that doesn't take losing well. I'm talking, "trying to overthrow the government and kill members of Congress"-level sore losers. And it's a motley crew that you have: white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Confederacy sympathizers, "Krazy Karens," those who think Batman and Robin is misunderstood, people who thought the ending to Lost sucked- you see what I'm getting at. But eventually, someone sat them down and showed them that 80 million > 74 million, and after what I assumed was another hour of ranting, raving, and feces-flinging? It sunk in just enough for them to readjust the frequencies that connect all of their tinfoil hats together to shift their focus from the downfall of President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and our very democracy to the downfall of… The High Republic Show host Krystina Arielle?
Recently announced as the host of the upcoming bi-monthly web series in support of Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The High Republic" publishing initiative, Arielle has come under attack on social media for past tweets where she condemns the systemic racism that been at the heart of this nation since its very founding. Basically, she was posting a personal perspective based on historically-accurate truths. But in the minds of those who resent knowledge and believe any fact that complicates their sad tapestry of ignorance, close-mindedness, and hate must be part of some "Devil-worshipping, pizza shop pedophile ring," the only thing they heard? "She's calling all white people racist!"
Now let me be clear. I'm not sweeping in to be some kind of "savior" who needs to "save the damsel in distress" because Arielle doesn't need saving or defending by me or anyone else because she's doing just fine, thank you very much. She is genuine talent committed to the geek culture, with an impressive-and-still-growing resume that more than makes the case for her. Personally, I hope she ends up on the revamped G4 because she would be a welcome addition. But since she's been accused of racism towards white people (and we won't get into a deep-dive on how racism involves power and structure so she couldn't be racist anyway), I've been self-appointed an ambassador for white people to take a look at some of the tweets in question to render a judgment. So here we go…
Nope. Don't see a problem here. We are the ones who've been shoveling it out for nearly a quarter of a century here. It's not her job to educate white people to not be ignorant- it's white people's job to get up-to-speed on the real realities of things. And as for that last part, it just makes sense. Why waste time with people too busy waiting to throw out their "yeah, but" or "both sides" bullshit to actually hear what you have to say.
Nope. Still no problems. White women deserve to be called out right along with the white dudes. Too many "closeted Karens" out there raising one hand in the air like a fist in solidarity with women of color while the other's either voting for or donating to Trump ad the right-wingers.
Not only are there no problems here, but Arielle gets bonus points for calling out a D-grade actor for pretending to care about racism when all he was actually doing was going elbow-deep on the "yeah, but" and "both sides" nonsense.
Yeah, so it looks like whiney white folks aren't doing well with the examples I'm looking at. Yang gets verbally and physically assaulted by a raging "Karen" so Arielle responds with anger and outrage that I would hope all of us who actually give two-shits about the general well-being of those around us would feel. But when it's crystal clear that it's white people but you can't narrow it down to a name or million, you call out the common denominator.
Ouch. Looks like whiney white folks went 0/4 on that one. You know what, maybe we should look at Arielle's tweets like a Rorschach test? If you read them and you feel like she's calling you a racist, well… then… maybe find the closest mirror and book yourself some time for a long, hard look. For me, there's nothing in those tweets that says, "You're a racist, Ray!"- but maybe that's because I give a shit about history. Saying that the very foundation of the U.S. democracy is built upon the kidnapping, subjugating, beating, raping, and murdering of Black people isn't an "opinion" or a "perspective." It's a red, white, and blue fact. It doesn't make you a "snowflake" or an "SJW" to know the ugly historical truths behind this nation's origin story. Yet there are still way too many white folks out there looking to whitewash history (the fact that most textbooks still generate from Texas is both ironic and tragic) or compare their family's "harsh immigration history' to the Black experience- as if Mama Giuseppe's difficulties getting her paperwork processed on Ellis Island are even close to being on par with being loaded by the hundreds onto the bottom of a slave ship only to be trotted out into town squares to be auctioned off like cattle. Not comparable. Not even close. Not opinion. Fact.
So with all of that in mind, it was nice to see "Star Wars" throw its support behind Arielle because it's important to push back on nonsense like this. Beyond the franchise, every square inch of the pop culture landscape should be about hope and inclusivity, and punch bullying and racism in the face any time it rears its ugly head. Geekdom isn't supposed to supply haters the cover they need to work like cowards in the shadows- they need to be dragged into the light and their weaknesses exposed before the world we all used to enjoy as a means of escape becomes nothing more than a hopeless mirror on the real world. Oh, one last thing? Please stop comparing this non-issue with The Mandalorian star Gina Carano. Carano has split her career between taking punches to the head and taking fake punches to the head- that makes her about as much an expert on wearing masks and fair elections as I am. Biggest difference? I don't think I know more than the science- just like white people shouldn't think they know about the experiences Arielle's been through. And they're definitely not in a position to speak for her.
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