MORE SPOILERS! RUN AWAY IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!
Ok, everybody left has already seen the movie or doesn’t care about spoilers, right? So let’s go.
Along with the business about Rey, there are also speculations and theories about whether or not Finn is a Jedi as well. Similar to Luke and Leia and Rey, he was separated from his family as a child. So he doesn’t know his background. He could be… maybe. But let me say this: I DON’T CARE. And frankly, I DON’T WANT HIM TO BE. Finn was mentally programmed to be a storm trooper, to work for and kill for the First Order. But what I find so damn incredible about Finn is that he woke up from that and could see the First Order for what it really was: an oppressive regime with no respect for individuality and a belief in leadership by dictatorial power. It reminded me of the the character in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” (which I admit I haven’t read in years but it is on my 2016 must re-read book list). Where a black character surrounded by whiteness realizes he doesn’t belong. When Finn takes off his helmet, Captain Phasma tells him to put it back on. He has to comply, stay in line, assimilate, just do what he’s told and be who he’s programmed to be. Just a number, not a person. It’s also very Nazi-ish. Ok, my theory gets complicated and debunked by the fact that Captain Phasma wears all black but you get the point. He’s a black man in a white man’s world who finally wakes the fuck up.
“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.” ― Ralph Ellison,
My son is biracial with light skin but his light skin will not “hide” him. I won’t let him try to hide behind his skin color, to “pass”, to sleepwalk, to be invisible. Or to think that living in a predominately white community will shield him. I want him to be seen, to WANT to be seen. I also want him to be his own person in all ways. As a biracial person who identifies with and is influenced by multiple cultures and communities. As a boy who likes to wear pink socks and admires One Direction despite the bullies who tease him and call him “gay.” Narrow-minded little fucks. And as a kid who will readily check you should you assume he has a dad (“THIS KID has TWO MOMS.” chest bursting, big smile).
Today it was announced that the officers involved in the Tamir Rice shooting will NOT be charged. Every time one of these will not be charged announcements are made, I hear Billy Holiday singing Strange Fruit. Except we’re no longer hanging, but laying on the ground, left to rot. How many more of us need to wake up to achieve the critical mass necessary to really effect change?
I really don’t know the answer to that. I don’t even know if that’s the right question to be asking. I’m also not surprised by the ruling, because I expected this. It’s as if things are just so fucked up that sometimes I cannot see the change happening, I have no vision of what it could look like, where black bodies are no longer a body count. There is only surmounting disgust and disappointment and distrust. As if I’m sleepwalking. Just going along with it and accepting it for what it is. But I cannot raise my son that way. That’s not the behavior I want to model for my son. So every once in a a while, like today, I have to say “WAKE THE FUCK UP, JENNY!”