stop and take a look at the sky. notice how you are alive right now - your breathing, the blood pumping through your veins. cold air against your skin, the color of leaves and the smell of the earth after rain
for those not understanding why people are making ‘such a big deal’ out of this, read:
Because it perpetuates the narrative that a police officer just has to smile at the crowd to fix all of the things they are protesting. Because it makes protestors look mean and threatening if they don’t accept the smile of a police officer. Because it minimizes the way protest functions, and the fact that people are protesting the whole broken and racist system of violence and police brutality, particularly against people of color, not necessarily the specific officers who are standing in front of them. Because it communicates that if we just did a nice thing for a person on a different side from us, we could solve all of our problems, and protestors just need to take that step. This commercial is tone-deaf and damaging to the protest movement in the United States, a movement based on our most fundamental civil rights.
Summary: In which Jeon Jungkook is that friendly neighborhood superhero, you’re the face in the hallway that saved his high school career, and he can’t ever seem to get a grip around you. Even when he makes you scream after a fated accident—not for the reason you may be thinking; get the thought out of your head! Pairing: Jungkook | Reader Genre: Fluff/Smut; Spiderman AU Word Count: 14,838 Author’s Note: Honestly though, it was only a matter of time before I got around to writing a story like this. I am obsessed with Spiderman, so this might just be the foundational guideline for many future Jungkook Spiderman AU drabbles to come in the future.
The story was also heavily inspired by this photo that made me cry for seven days and seven nights. +photo credit !!!!!!!
If Jeon Jungkook is against anything in his life, it’s one’s ability to exaggerate certain situations or problems to make those things seem much bigger than they probably were. Well, actually, take that back. It’s not that he’s against it per say, it’s just that his peer’s daily struggles of pop quizzes and missing the morning bus aren’t exactly headliner news—especially in comparison to what he has to go through.
Jeon Jungkook is against exaggeration, probably because he can’t get away with it himself. It’s not that he doesn’t like to exchange his fair share of embellished stories or fabricated events weaved into true experiences, it’s that he can’t afford to do so. Sharing stories of his nightly routines and dashing superhero adventures may seem great, but only if he could manage the burden of a personal life and a masked life intertwining.
As an 18-year-old boy, he can probably say it’s safe to assume that he cannot. Manage the overwhelming, opposite pressure both of his lives take him, that is. It’s difficult enough being a college freshman, a tiny fish in an ocean of whales and sharks, but throw in his late night Spiderman facade would be too much of a tale to share with other people and peers who probably ask too many questions and know too much about him. He’s never liked the exposure that comes with being in the spotlight, and he can’t hide behind his mask if people knew who he was.
Oh. Right. Speaking of his Spiderman facade, that’s who is he. Haven’t heard of him? You know, the dashing hero of Seoul, red and blue spandex attire with a web shooter, fine tuned senses and amazingly quick reflexes? The boy who swings around the city, volunteering for trouble and always coming out right on top? The boy who constantly maintains that casual, slightly amused tone throughout a majority of his rescues?
Phrases to avoid at all costs when referencing women of color:
Any word or phrase that reduces their appearance to skin color, or relates their skin color to food (or some other inanimate object), or anything that objectifies their racial identity/dehumanizes their racial identity is fetishistic, racist, and misogynistic. I understand that people are trying to disseminate positivity for all women, but please be careful when talking about women of color because language can lend itself very quickly to racist/fetishistic/sexualized territory. It is that kind of language that has been used against women of color, in the long, long history of white people (especially cishet white men) colonizing, trafficking, and commodifying the bodies of women of color.
There are ways to uplift and celebrate the beauty of women of color without treating them as a monolith, sexualizing them, dehumanizing them, or infantilizing them. It’s very simple and easy. Finally, uplifting women of color isn’t just about emphasizing positivity for their skin color or shade - it’s also about racialized features (such as noses and body hair) that women of color are frequently mocked about and targeted for.
If you, as a white person, do not think that you have the capability to avoid dehumanizing a woman of color or viewing her as an equal, refrain from trying to performatively spread positivity about her. Trust me - we don’t need it.
Stereotyped vs Nuanced Characters and Audience Perception
Writing with color receives many questions regarding the stereotypes Characters of Color and their story lines may possess.
There’s a difference between having a three-dimensional character with trait variance and flaws, versus one who walks the footsteps of a role people of their race/ethnicity are constantly put into. Let’s discuss this, as well as how sometimes, while there’s not much issue with the character, a biased audience will not allow the character to be dimensional.
But first: it’s crucial to consider the thinking behind your literary decisions.
When it comes to the roles and traits you assign your characters, it’s important to ask yourself why you made them the way they are. This is especially true for your marginalized characters.
So you need an intimidating, scary character. What does intimidating look like on first brainstorm? Is it a Black man, large in size or presence? (aka a Scary Black Man) A Latino with trouble with the law? If so, why?
Really dig, even as it gets uncomfortable. You’ll likely find you’re conditioned to think of certain people in certain roles on the spot.
It’s a vicious cycle; we see a group of people represented a certain way in media, and in our own works depict them in the way we know. Whether you consciously believe it’s the truest depiction of them all or not, we’re conditioned to select them for these roles again and again. Actors of Color report on being told in auditions they’re not performing stereotypical enough and have been encouraged to act more “ethnic.”
This ugly merry-go-round scarcely applies to (cis, straight) white people as they are allowed a multitude of roles in media. Well, then again, I do notice a funny trend of using white characters when stories need a leader, a hero, royalty, a love interest…
Today’s the day to break free from this preconditioned role-assigning.
“I plan to marry me a dark-skinned sister. Have the ashiest, blackest babies possible.” Says the character of Reggie (Marques Richardson) to his group of friends as they’re taking a stroll on the campus of Winchester University, the fictional university set in the world of Dear White People. Reggie’s proclamation came during a conversation about the character of Sam’s (Logan Browning) new white boyfriend.
The statement echoes a conversation that Sam has earlier in the series with her group of friends where she says that she prefers her men like she prefers her coffee “full-bodied with preferably Keyan origins.” Prompting Muffy (Caitlin Carver) to ask Sam, in Muffy’s words, “a dumb white girl question,” why it would be racist if Muffy was to only date white men, but not racist for Sam to only date black men. Sam goes onto explain that there are parts of her identity that white men will never understand in the ways a black man could. However, Sam does eventually start dating a white guy named Gabe (John Patrick Amedori), who only after being outed on his Instagram account, does she go public with.
Sam’s relationship with a white man becomes a point of contention for many of her closest friends, sparking an ongoing discussion in the series of whether a black person can really be pro-black, while also having a white significant other.
Reggie’s politics, however, are never challenged in the same ways that Sam’s are. His declaration of love for dark-skinned women, is dead upon arrival considering that the only other thing that he is known for outside of his pro-blackness, is his crush on Sam. A light-skinned biracial woman.
Based on the 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People is a satire set at a PWI about college campus politics through the lens of black students. The show also explores the theme of identity. How often people assume identities or have identities projected onto them that contradicts who they really are. Identities such as being“woke.”
Used to describe a person who is socially and politically conscious, the word “woke” has surged in popularity within recent years due to social media and the rise of social movements such as Black Lives Matter. But what once was a way to describe someone’s political awareness, being, or staying woke, has seemingly dissolved more into a competition of who is more educated on race and other social issues.
Performative wokeness is examined within the world of Dear White People, with episode five featuring a scene where Reggie shows off an app he created called Woke or Not. The app shows photos of students at Winchester University and with a push of a button app users can determine whether a person is woke. Or not.
Even though Dear White People pokes fun at the absurdity and arrogance that comes from people who think they have the moral authority to decide who is or isn’t woke, the show itself falls into many of the same traps that it attempts to satirize.
In an episode centered around Gabe, he’s sitting at a table surrounded by Sam and other black women while they discuss white male privilege and how women of color are often passed over for opportunities that usually end up being given to mediocre white men. While he’s silently listening on, Gabe imagines himself banging his fist against the table as he looks directly into the camera and exclaims that sometimes people actually earn the things they get and that just because he’s a white man doesn’t make him an “asshole.”
“Asshole,” of course, seems just a tad bit reductive considering that being an “asshole” in this scenario is about benefiting from a society that prioritizes average white men over hard working black women. While the narrator says that only “a tiny part” of Gabe wishes he could make such a statement, it’s still concerning that Gabe, who is supposedly enlightened on issues of racism and sexism, is secretly harboring resentment against women of color for venting their frustrations about the institutions that systematically hold them back from opportunities
Is it possible that Gabe is being used as a conduit to discuss liberal racism? After all, episode five deals with how even “good” white people can be guilty of the same racism that they like to think they’re above. But this wasn’t Gabe’s first time making racially tone deaf statements without being taken to task. In the first episode, Gabe tells Sam that he wouldn’t let his friends make her feel like she didn’t belong in his “world,” after Gabe’s first uncomfortable meeting with Sam’s friends where he made a series of half-hearted attempts at trying to relate to the struggles of black students.
However, the most egregious occurrence of Dear White People’s lack of self awareness about their own performative wokeness comes with their handling of discussions surrounding colorism.
The most improved upon element from Dear White People the movie is the colorism. In the movie, the character of Coco (Teyonah Parris,) a dark-skinned black woman, existed solely as a foil to Tessa Thompson’s version of Sam, a light-skinned biracial woman. With the movie being turned into a series, we see Coco, now played by Antoinette Robertson, develop into a fleshed out, fully realized character. But even with the series upgrading on the movie’s shortcomings, even going as far as calling Sam out on her light-skin privilege, the series began developing flaws of their own in regards to its colorism.
Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson) outside of being Sam’s best friend, also has feelings for Reggie, the guy who has feelings for Sam. This scenario is reminiscent to a flashback scene in episode four in which Coco longingly looks on as Troy, (Brandon Bell) a guy she has feelings for, flirt with Sam. Even though in that particular situation, the scene was a part of an episode that explores Coco’s relationship to colorism and how it affects her love life, the same motivation doesn’t appear to be behind the love triangle of Sam, Joelle, and Reggie.
The fact that the only light-skinned biracial woman of the show is constantly shown as the object of affection, while the two principle dark-skinned women of the show are depicted as coveting over color struck black men who constantly overlook them for said light-skinned biracial woman is disheartening to watch.
What makes this even more disheartening, is the fact that Joelle was walking right beside Reggie, struggling to contain her smile, as he declared that he was going to “marry him a dark-skinned sister,” only later to hook up with Sam. But Joelle, nor does anyone else, call him out about how his preference doesn’t align with who we actually see him dating.
Has Dear White People found itself stuck in the same tiny confines of identity that it sought out to expose through its characters? Can the contradictions that arise within the show merely be chalked up to poor writing? Or does it prove that inconsistency will inevitably happen when trying to voice the concerns of multiple people with varying opinions? A light skin woman can not speak to the struggles of colorism that a dark skin woman faces. A white man can’t relate to the problems a black man has. And one show cannot voice the opinions of all within a community.