If you have already had enough of the whining about Black Panther from White comic fans or just crazy White people in general, then you might not want to read this. Because I will repeat a few of the things said in comment windows and it might trigger you. But if you push on, I promise you will be rewarded for your efforts.
I am damn tired of hearing complaints about a movie which has not even released. Some of the complaints have been staggering in their racist, bigoted or outright unbelievable perspectives. You won’t have to imagine, I will share a couple with you.
“It’s too hard for me to imagine a nation of Blacks who could create technology better than anything a White person could create. Wasn’t Tony Stark supposed to be the smartest person in the world?”
“Where are all the White people? Are you sure this is a Marvel movie?”
IT GETS BETTER…
“What if a movie company created a movie called “KKK” and promoted it across the nation? How would Black people feel then? Probably accuse us of plotting to kill them all.”
In fact, there was a movie which FEATURED the KKK called Birth of a Nation  — no relation to the Black movie of the same name which featured the Klan saving the day from those dastardly Black folks…
These are just a sampling of the ignorant shit (damn, I was trying to keep this clean — I will get this on the rewrite) I have heard since this movie has been slated to be released.
Every time a financial projection comes out, more wailing is heard from the cheap fanboi section who can’t possibly understand how a movie with no White people has any chance of success. “It’s simply not possible,” or words to that effect.
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Dear Disturbed White People:
If ‘Black Panther’ doesn’t disturb you, go sit down with some red wine and have a quiet Friday evening. (#NotAllWhitePeople)
If you are disturbed by the blackness, the sheer mega-melination of the cast of Black Panther, their Nubian features, their magnificent carriage on the screen, filling every scene with their charismatic fervor, depicting a nation which has never known the boot of colonization, never known the sting of marginalization, or the continued degradation of four hundred years of chattel slavery, the lionization of Confederate heroes, and the theft of culture, ideas and overall swagger of the Black community trapped in America, then I only have a few words of comfort for you…
I don’t care.
Get over your damn selves. Black Panther isn’t for you. Just like Luke Cage wasn’t written for you. It was filled with references just for us. Just like Black Lightning (damn, I love that show) isn’t for you. Showing a beautiful, Black metahuman talented family that loves itself and its community may be too much for you.
Black Panther is for us. The oppressed. The downtrodden. The forgotten members of American society, who, for four hundred years have known no surcease in the American beauty standard which does not include us. No opportunity to make pay equal to Whites, no benefit of living in your society, no chance to truly experience equality without the fear of sudden death at the hands of a police officer, acting as judge, jury and executioner which could take place at the market or a traffic stop.
This movie is for us. It is to celebrate a mythical ideal, yes, it is in Africa, yes it was created by White Men (Jack Kirby and Stan Lee), yes, it comes with inherent baggage (wasn’t filmed in Africa, didn’t help any Africans, doesn’t connect any People of Color in America with their African brethren) and yet none of that matters right now.
What matters is we exist: in a future which is wonderfully, beautifully, intelligently, optimistically Black.
Yes, I realize that might be disturbing because let’s face it: White people have been running a good portion of the world for the last 1500 years, give or take, and you have pretty much made a mess of it. And anyplace they didn’t own, they bombed, or cowed into submission with the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Your women are often emotionally-subjugated even at their most free. Your society is stratified and caste-oriented, literally the worst possible design for a supposedly free society. You haven’t managed to give your people free healthcare, though almost all of the world, even so-called second world nations have managed to do that. You have the highest incarceration rates in the world, mostly due to an inequitable justice system which favors you and disadvantages anyone you don’t like.
The best part of your government structure, in your mind, is it FAVORS you, white men in particular with choice opportunities for wealth from venture capitalists to corporate welfare. It goes out of its way to create laws for paying White executives the most money possible even if it means the company goes bankrupt and the people doing the work go without. Your current government favors giving money to the wealthiest members of society, people who already have more money than they can ever spend and still they get more, every day, while your newspapers talk of increasing homelessness, social disparity, cultural disharmony and rampant misogyny. Even your president partakes of these things at an epic scale. He has proven to be an embarrassment at a global level.
Is every White person benefiting from this delightful corruption buffet? Of course not, but they promise to share the wealth one day, if the poor keep voting with them.
Those poor bastards don’t see you for what you are: monsters of the highest order. They don’t realize you will never be sharing anything you don’t legally have to. Ever.
Forgive the impending viewers of Black Panther if they want to imagine, just for a moment a world more fair, just and verdant, a world where you have never been, where your colonizing footsteps have never trod, where your pale shadow has never fallen on the hearts, minds and souls of Blackness somewhere in the world. Even if it’s just a mythic world, even if its just for a few hours.
If it manages to inspire our children to rise up and fight the oppression that is your system, well — can you blame them?
I would think you don’t fear our children being inspired. I think you fear those of your own, who suffer under your rule, and who might begin to think, maybe there could be something better, if they just backed a different set of horses.
Yeah, I think that may have more to do with it than just 12% of the population being 1000% enthused over a Marvel movie. What you fear is the rebellion brewing beneath the surface, of a people suddenly inspired with a taste for real freedom.
The last time anyone said something in your nation I respect, it was these words from your previous president:
We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.
— Barack Obama
Oh, and by the way: Did you notice the lineup of the Avengers at any time during the last ten years? Here’s a reminder.
From this? Not a peep. Of course not. In a world with fifty percent women, only 2 of 8 of these characters are women and they are the weakest members, relatively speaking. The rest? Scientists, industrialists, engineers and gods. And scientific experiments who couldn’t legally be called mutants. For you, seeing yourselves in power is job one.
I never hear a single word about White superheroes making up 97% of all superheroes in print in the major companies and thus promoting the idea superheroes are a White concept embodying White power. Read into that what you like…
You whining fanboys? Stock up on tissues. I suspect you have generations of weeping ahead.
May this first spear of Blackness inspire a thousand, thousand more! (The Operative Network, Lion Forge Comics, NPC Comics, Rosarium Publishing, Chuck Collin’s ‘Bounce’, Brandon Easton, Joe Illige, Brandon Thomas, Reginal Hudlin, David Walker, and many, many others.)
Long Live the King!
Long live Wakanda!
This essay references a number of Quora articles on the Black Panther written by the Answer-Man on Quora.com and Medium.com.
- Does T’challa have a last name?
- If vibranium is the strongest metal in the universe, how could it be cut to make Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit?
- Black Panther: Issues #1–3
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. Thaddeus writes about comics, superheroes, and comic history on Quora.com, KryptonRadio.com and Panel & Frame.
“This is the Black Age of Comics. We don’t fear the future. We transcend it.”