By Chris Crass (October 20, 2015)
While the #BoycottStarWarsVII is easy to laugh at, and the diversity = white genocide people help expose the white supremacist roots of white fears and resentment of multiracial democracy, there are two key points to remember:
1. Shifts in culture have a profound impact on what is considered “common sense” understandings of the world. What people learn subconsciously through images and emotional experiences through art and culture.
I learned how important this was from my right wing Grandfather who explained how the mainstreaming of LGBT in sitcoms and movies like Philadelphia threatened heteropatriarchy on an even deeper level then radical queer direct action that could be marginalized and denounced.
But in true Marxist Gramscian analysis, which my Grandfather understood better then most people on the Left, there is a relationship between radical democratic grassroots movements disrupting unequal power and cultural shifts that advance elements of that agenda in easily digestible pedagogy, like blockbuster movies.
Art and culture help us understand who we are, the values and norms around us, and can help us imagine different and better futures. Yes the movies only represent narrow aspects of that agenda, but as that cultural shift of Black leading s/heroes in Star Wars, it gives space for radical movements to gain broader support for an expansive agenda.
What we on the Left do in these moments is what makes the difference: Black Lives Matter movement gains support as white supremacist denounce Black and other people of color characters in a story line at the heart of pop culture in our country.
2. #TheForceIsWithUs! The white supremacists have helped make it clear, the Force is on the side of collective liberation and Jedis and rebels are on the side of ending anti-Black racism and working for Black liberation. I honestly trace the roots of my political values to the rebel alliance against the Empire. I was four and those movies where the landscape of my cultural imagination. We are Jedis for Collective Liberation and we are winning! Step by step, we are on the move. #TheForceAwakens