Is Silicon Valley Saving the World or Just Making Money?
John Boyega has responded to racism after the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was posted online.
The British actor, who appears in the clip dressed as a stormtrooper, told critics of his casting to “get used to it” on Instagram.
In the message he also thanked fans “for all the love and support” after the teaser was posted online.
His comments followed some questioning director JJ Abrams for casting a black actor in a seemingly prominent role.
One YouTube comment suggested the film “didn’t need some black Jedi”.
Another read: “Dear Black People, We are forced to include you into everything awesome we do.”
The official trailer has been viewed nearly 10m times since being put online on Friday.
Boyega, who has previously appeared in Attack the Block and 24, said: “A year is a long time to wait, but it will be worth it.”
Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L Jackson are among the black actors to appear in previous Star Wars films
Other Star Wars fans were quick to remind critics of Boyega’s casting of other black actors who have featured in the franchise.
Samuel L Jackson played Mace Windu in Episode I The Phantom Menace and again in Clone Wars, while Billy Dee Williams appeared as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Many fans have pointed out that there is no reason to believe stormtroopers couldn’t be black.
In the prequels – and let’s be honest Star Wars fans do not accept the prequels – Obi-Wan Kenobi travels to the planet of Kamino, where he discovers the existence of a clone army that would feed the so-called Clone Wars. But those clones weren’t necessarily white.
Bounty hunter Jango Fett, who served as the genetic template, was an ethnic “Mandalorian”. He was played by New Zealand-born actor Temuera Morrison, of partial Maori descent.
But even if he had chosen to pass himself off as white, Boyega’s “black stormtrooper” character would’ve existed in a time when stormtroopers were more than likely recruited rather than created from the general population.
Therefore stormtroopers could probably be of any race.
Also let’s remember that the events of Episode 7 take place more than 50 years after the Clone Wars. It may well be that the Empire, or what’s left of it, has changed its stormtrooper recruitment policy (perhaps as a result of having had its stormtrooper-defended Death Stars blow up a couple of times.)
It should also be pointed out Boyega may not even be a stormtrooper – he could be a rebel in a stormtrooper uniform, like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Hopefully it’ll all fit into place – just another year to go!
1 December 2014 – Ferguson cop resigns
Darren Wilson, Officer in Ferguson Shooting, Resigns From Police Dept.
Jack Healy (The New York Times)
FERGUSON, Mo. — The white police officer a grand jury declined to indict last week in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager has resigned from this city’s Police Department, his lawyer said on Saturday night.
The officer, Darren Wilson, who had worked in the department since 2011, submitted a resignation letter, said Neil J. Bruntrager, the lawyer. In the letter, first published in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mr. Wilson said: “It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal.”
For months, some here had called for Mr. Wilson, 28, to step down or be fired following the killing of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed, in August and then again last Monday, after the grand jury decision was announced.
No severance for Ferguson cop who resigned over safety concerns
Daniel Wallis and Edward McAllister (The Chicago Tribune)
“There will be no severance or extension of benefits for Darren Wilson following his resignation,” Mayor James Knowles told a news conference. Knowles also outlined new incentives to bring more African-Americans into the Ferguson police force.
Brown’s death galvanized critics of the way police and the criminal justice system treat African-Americans and other minority groups. Protests in Ferguson have taken place for months and erupted into violence when the grand jury decided last Monday not to charge Wilson.
The protests have spread around the country and over the past week, there have been demonstrations in more than 100 cities around the country, on public roadways, in shopping malls and government buildings.
Obama to hold meetings Monday on Ferguson
Staff (USA Today)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will discuss the situation in Ferguson on Monday with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others.
The White House says Obama’s Cabinet meeting will focus on his administration’s review of federal programs that provide military-style equipment to law enforcement agencies.
The White House says the president also will meet with young civil rights leaders to discuss the challenges posed by “mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.” He’ll then meet with government and law enforcement officials, as well as other community leaders, to discuss how to strengthen neighborhoods.
In Ferguson, after a week of strife, some signs of hope and healing
David Montgomery and Wesley Lowery (The Washington Post)
FERGUSON, Mo. — On the seventh day they could not exactly rest, but there were signs that residents, protesters, police and business owners were beginning to turn an important corner amid the strife of the past week and the bitter divisions of the past months.
That is not to say the passions and tensions are evaporating on Ferguson’s streets, where plywood covers shattered windows and the National Guard stands vigil after dark over a dozen burned-out shells of small businesses. The looting and destruction came last Monday night, after it was announced that a grand jury would not indict Officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.
The Rev. Al Sharpton electrified a congregation of several hundred in a St. Louis church with a 50-minute address that was part protest speech, part theological call to action. Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., and mother, Lesley McSpadden, sat in the front row.
|Vocabulary for debates and discussionWhen you want to state an opinion: INFORMAL
|When you want someone to repeat or explain:
|When you want to agree with someone (in ascending order of formality):
|When you want to disagree with someone (in ascending order of formality):
|Informal disagreement (between people you know very well)
|When you want to persuade someone: