Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson accused the upcoming movie War for the Planet of the Apes of “dehumanising” him and black people because one of the apes was wearing a blue vest similar to the one he usually wears.
That was until he realised that the movie poster might have been making reference to the 1968 original Planet of the Apes film in which some of the ape characters wore a blue vest.
He has since deleted the tweets.
He pointed out that history has often rendered black people as apes and believed that the film was making that association.
When the Black Lives Matter movement marched in the streets, holding up traffic, and disrupting commerce, they were refusing to accept as “normal” a system that allows for police and vigilantes to murder predominantly men and women with impunity.
People found themselves having tense conversations in real life and online about privilege and racism. Discussions about police brutality and lack of training, as well as institutionalised racism, are still not easy to address and are met with some defensiveness.
Discussions about police brutality and lack of training, as well as institutionalised racism, are still not easy to address and are met with some defensiveness.
Rather than a positive culture where transformation takes place, we find that conversations are often more defined by being against something rather than standing for what you believe in.
We have forgotten how to be wrong about things and how we can all offend people at some point while being opened to the complexity of being flawed human beings.
And that’s where the racists win.
Constantly “calling people out” doesn’t usually lead to a positive response of any kind and it often strengthens the point of people whose views don’t belong in modern society.
There is a constant need to belittle and “shame” others or “shut them down” instead of focusing on building bridges and coming up with solutions.
Plus, it drives people away from what the point is. By calling everyone a racist, we divert attention from the awkward discussions we should be having.
By calling everyone a racist, we divert attention from the awkward discussions we should be having.
We need to stop looking out for opportunities to put someone down and instead force society to treat real issues with the respect the deserve.