Star Wars actor John Boyega inadvertently courted backlash after the 28-year-old tweeted on Tuesday, his reaction to the killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis on Monday. The Nigerian-British film star chose not to mince words when he spoke on the issue that has sparked protests in Minneapolis.
“I f–cking hate racists,” Boyega wrote on Tuesday afternoon. The tweet has so far garnered over 250 thousand retweets, as well as more than 10 thousand replies.
Some of the replies to Boyega’s tweet challenged him on what he feels about anti-black racism from white people. While many asserted that hating racists is a bad way to combat racism, others found problems with the explicit language in his original tweet and further replies.
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“So you hate a group of people who hate a group of people. Pat yourself on the back,” responded one person to Boyega. That feeling seemed to have been shared by many more who insisted that the actor was thinly masking a hatred for white people.
Others thought he should have exclaimed his hatred for “all kinds of racism” and not just “white to black” racism. This angle on Tuesday afternoon triggered a Twitter debate in the US and the UK on reverse racism.
Reverse racism is the idea that individuals who are thought to have benefited from a racist social and political system could themselves be victims of racism in that same social and political system.
But Boyega fought back: “I am talking about WHITE on BLACK racism. The kind that has ruined the world…”.
One person who tried to explain tweeted at the actor, “All I see is you arguing blindly king. You clearly just want it to be the WHITE to BLACK racism and not the other way. But yeah I’ll shut up too.”
To which the actor replied brazenly: “Please do shut up. I am being specific to a topic. I am not talking about any other way. Given what is happening right now. So the wise thing for you to do is defo shut up. Do it well too my G.”
He later took to Instagram to air a live video where he promised he was never going to apologize for what he had tweeted.
“F–ck you racist white people. I said what I said, and if you don’t f–cking like it, go suck a d–ck. Seriously”.
Meanwhile, protests continued in Minneapolis, two days after the killing of George Floyd by an on-duty police officer, who was part of a team that alleged they were arresting him for fraud.