I’m angry, nerds. I’m angry at you.
Well, ok, not all of you, just some of you, some of you I have to forver be associated with, and the rest of us would really wish you’d just go away already. Honestly, you’re making the rest of look bad… we look bad enough, carrying on adamantium vs lightsaber debates, and wearing our vintage 1980s Transformers t-shirts with exactly 0 sense of irony.
You see, I have class tomorrow, and so, like a responsibly 27-year old who, in no way at all acts like an agitated toddler when she’s stayed up well beyond being tired, I was about to go to bed when I read about DC making an Arab-Muslim Green Lantern. “Cool” I thought, and then I did he thing I always tell myself to never do, I looked at the comments.
(though I should mention that on the article itself there are no comments, however the facebook feed I read this from is a different story altogether).
Jesus fuck nerds! I mean, seriously! What is the big deal about the newest iteration of Green Lantern being an Arab-American? There have been 5, I think, iterations already, and one of them, John Stewart, was black (back in the 70s).
What is the big fucking issue about having a superhero be not white? I don’t get it, I just don’t get it.
I can kind of understand the upset with Spiderman, but only because DC has a larger history of killing off their characters to replace them with a new version. Peter Parker’s been around since the ’60s. Newer comic fans probably don’t know who Alan Scott is. So, in DC, the costume becomes a character itself, and should be a symbol of something bigger than the person inside.
But you know, some of you nerds are getting what that symbol means wrong. It doesn’t mean that [Green Lantern of your choice] is there, it means that [Green Lantern of your choice] was specifically chosen to be up to the task of defending the Earth. It means that whoever puts the mantle of [x superhero] on is up to, and worthy of, the task of saving humanity.
So now, with Spiderman, instead of having that symbolize Peter Parker, it can symbolize something else – that the person inside the suit it up to, and worthy of, the task of protecting the world. And NYC.
And as for Green Lantern?
Well, like I’ve been saying, it doesn’t change a goddamn thing.
Nerds, you have to be better than saying “I’ not saying this out of racism, it’s just that…” because unless you make a really excellent, compelling point as to why a new Green Lantern makes no goddamned sense, you’re saying it out of racism.
Hold up, you may say, what about John Stewart, he was Green Lantern for a while, and he was black!
And that’s exactly my point, he was Green Lantern back in the 70s, which had a different social climate towards black people – I will not be so insane as to say there’s no racism against black people nowadays, but in the 70s it was ok to be overt about hating people based on the color of their skin. Do you know much about the social climate today towards any person who can say they are from the Middle East? Let’s call it “not nice” and say that some people have a way of “justifying” themselves by saying “9/11” – and that these people don’t know the difference between a Pakistani and an Indian person. Look, I’m not saying I can – I can barely tell which one of the three me’s in the mirror is actually me, and which ones are my brain saying I’ve had too much to drink – I am the person you can know for 20 years but still can’t be bothered to remember your face when trying to find you in a crowd – but I can recognize a terrorist when I see one. And I can usually tell by the fact that they’re not killing me in a dramatic fashion, along with hundreds or thousands of other people in a very public and well known space, and by the fact that they’re not kidnapping me and holding me for ransom or something (by the way terrorists and potential kidnappers of any race: this is a really dumb idea, for one I’m pretty sure my government doesn’t care as much about me as they pretend to, and for two I am pretty poor and the only thing you can really get from me is my debt. You’re totally welcome to my debt though!).*
….I got off track, sorry. I just mean that DC has set a precedence for this. It’s there. It’s no big deal. And if you think it’s a big deal, check yourself because there’s nothing here to make an issue out of.
I think it’ll be good for young readers to see a more racially diverse cast of superheroes. Children of different ethnicities will have more fictional people to look up to (and let’s face it, fictional heroes tend to be waaaay cooler when you’re younger) and will feel more welcomed into the world of comics, and some white children, who are taught things like “all Muslims are terrorists”, “all black people are…” “all [x ethnic background] are [something horrible]”, will get a bit of cognitive dissonance from seeing comic book superheroes (Superheroes! Not just villains or sidekicks or random characters we never see again) saving the world and helping people, and rethink what they were taught, whether it was by parents, or a media that wants to create a certain narrative about how the world works, or a society that has, historically, acted a certain way about how certain people look.
Sorry for the tangent, I am quite tired.
*I really do feel that the only way a person like me could tell that someone was terrorist would be after the fact. I’m pretty gullible and naive. Never trust me, ever. And please don’t try to put one over on me, I’ll probably fall for it, and then feel embarrassed about it for years and never talk to you again.
PS, it’s now 4:30. I’m not sure if anything I’ve written after “Well, like I’ve been saying, it doesn’t change a goddamn thing” makes any sense.