Equality isn’t just for superheroes


Evan Delannoy

Marvel’s latest installment into their cinematic universe “Black Panther” comes out this Friday, and there seems to be quite a bit of controversy about who this movie is for. On the cancer that is the internet, a narrative is going around claiming that this movie is only for black people, and that white people should not be allowed to see it.

Yet, this is not the first black superhero movie. The “Blade” trilogy, which ran from 1998 to 2004, saw box office success and was enjoyed by audiences of all colors. Just because “Black Panther” is the most recent superhero movie featuring a black protagonist doesn’t mean that a white viewer or a brown viewer would be any less entertained by the film.

Instead, seeing a lead character that looks different from audience members could send the message that everyone can be powerful, regardless of what they look like or where they come from.

There should be a more diverse set of characters in Hollywood, because, historically, it seems like black actors and actresses only seem to be recognized for their work when they are portraying slaves and housekeepers, or are experiencing some type of trauma. Some would even argue that the black entertainment business is the selling of trauma, and Hollywood is purposefully exploiting their pain for monetary gain.

I can understand why some might feel possessive of a black superhero movie and a chance to see someone who they identify with in a way they’ve never really gotten to see before.

The idea of excluding others from seeing the film is just a way to further divide people and turn the release of a highly anticipated film into a battle of identity politics, which does nothing for the advancement of our culture.

Moreover, people need to see the bigger picture with this issue. The fact that “Black Panther” hasn’t even come out yet and we’re experiencing this kind of controversy speaks volumes about how divided and increasingly exclusionary we’re becoming.

The only way to effectively move forward in terms of equal rights is from some type of unification, and as cliche as that may sound at this point, it’s the truth.

The less we see each other for what color we are and the more we see each other as human beings, the better. It’s ridiculous that this controversy even needed a national discussion to be had about it, especially since we live in the most advanced society ever.

It’s a tough time in America to get along. We’re still dealing with race issues. Things that were hidden in this country have come to light, and it feels like we are constantly being bombarded with negativity from the media.
Tolerance is good, but, trying to hear people out can be exhausting and seemingly unproductive.

But if positive change is what you want, look no further than yourself. Be what you expect of others and don’t give in to the narratives that do nothing but try and separate people from each other. Whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, change starts with us, not “Black Panther.”