"Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense. Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential."
Junot Diaz stay not fucking up. This is a really good interview.
THIS RINGS SO SO SOOOOOO TRUE.
Yes, yes, yessss. All of this yes. James Baldwin touched on it some in this piece of writing.
It is not really a “Negro revolution” that is upsetting the country. What is upsetting the country is a sense of its own identity. If, for example, one managed to change the curriculum in all the schools so that Negroes learned more about themselves and their real contributions to this culture, you would be liberating not only Negroes, you’d be liberating white people who know nothing about their own history. And the reason is that if you are compelled to lie about one aspect of anybody’s history, you must lie about it all. If you have to lie about my real role here, if you have to pretend that I hoed all that cotton just because I loved you, then you have done something to yourself. You are mad.
Long story short, there’s the notion of the white narrative wishing to make themselves heroes in the stories they tell, but in real life, they are a part of the privileged oppressive system that’s created the strife for peoples of colour (slavery, colonialism, marginalization etc), but they can’t deal, so even with the narratives of oppression, they have to make the oppressed white (be it mutants, inhabitants of Dune, etc) because as a whole, the white narrative can’t really see the people of colour, because that would be too real.
It’s like X-men - Stan Lee modeled Charles Xavier and Magneto after Martin Luther King Jnr and Malcolm X in terms of their attitudes towards a world that hates and fears them (black people, doesn’t this sound familiar), but made them mutants, and for the first couple of volumes of the comics, you didn’t really get a key black character until Storm (she came in the early 80s, whereas X-men was around since the late sixties, off and on).
In X-men: First Class, they actually set the timeline in the 1960s, appropriated the entire Civil Rights struggle and highlights, with Lehnsherr and Xavier at the Washington monument where Martin Luther King Jr gave his “I have a dream” speech, and yet in the movie, they killed the black guy, and the black female turned traitor. They took all the trappings of the unrest of the 1960s (it wasn’t just Cuba and the Bay of Pigs), and whitewashed it. As a comic book nerd, my heart hurt over that one.
Yes Diaz, yes. Yessss. All of this.
We are the X-Men, the aliens, the context for all your geeky shit.