If You Liked the Chewbacca Mask Video, You’re Probably a Racist June 4, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
You may recall the post from a couple of weeks ago, wherein we shared the Facebook video of the Texas mom laughing her posterior off when she donned a Chewbacca mask. Pretty funny, and her family was subsequently gifted with Star Wars merchandise from Kohl’s (where she originally bought the mask) and full-ride scholarships to Southeastern University for her whole family.
Cute story, with the gifts being, IMO, good-natured attempts by Kohl’s and SU to piggy-back some advertising on her 150 million Facebook views. Win-win. And the gifts were essentially useless – the odds that any of her family will use those scholarships are pretty low.
But for some sourpusses, everything must be viewed through the lens of a victim group, so it’s completely unsurprising to run across idiocy like this:
It’s true, free tuition is an oversized prize for such easily begotten fame. It’s also true that the real rewards typically reaped for online success tend to heavily favor insta-celebrities who are white. Content derived from black users of Twitter, Vine, or Snapchat is often sidelined as part of a monolithic Black Twitter. Black users of social media often have a comparable—if not larger—effect on the digital conversation and create moments, pictures, jokes, and movements that deeply root themselves into the mass culture. Yet, as Payne’s success highlights, that’s often ignored when it comes to big payouts for fleeting social media fame.
It might seem ridiculous to receive such praise and material gain for donning a Chewbacca mask at all, but platforms and marketers spend billions every year attempting to recreate the kind of spontaneity that can sell anything from Star Wars memorabilia to white Vans.
Users of all races can and do generate these moments for them, but it seems that only when the subject is white that they see any of the credit.
Yes, the author thinks that this incredibly rare event, which involved the most popular Facebook video of all time, somehow reflects systematic racial bias because it happened to a white person.
Thank God it wasn’t a man in the video, or the column would still be going.