You want to see the face of entitlement, privilege and the general lack of empathy we all suspect is far more rampant and insidious than we wish it were? Let me introduce you to Larry’s Comics.
Larry, who runs the twitter account for his comic book store, has in the past been called out for racist bullshit. See, back when the other universe version of Peter Parker was killed, there would be, of course, a new Spider-Man! Miles Morales, a mixed race teen in NY, would pick up the mantle of Spider-Man.
Larry, on twitter, had this to say (and then delete, a day or so later once people started going “you said fucking what?!” – but Bleedingcool had screenshots):
So yeah that shows you where we are with this.
So last night, Christian Beranek (an out and open transgender (MtoF) writer) and Larry got into it quickly:
Since then he has expressed shock that people could be upset since he was “obviously kidding.” I find it telling that he never expressed shock or confusion as if he didn’t know he was being insulting – though some have pointed out it may have been beneficial to make clearer why “sir” was offensive, it isn’t the ponit, the fact that it was is the point). And then this:
You know that current bizarre trend of calling someone intolerant because they called you on your intolerance? Like “If you weren’t such an intolerant jerk you would accept my homophobia!” which misses the entire point? Larry is not only trying that he is tossing in a dose of keyword warping to boot. “Entitled.”
He is shocked at someone else’s supposed entitlement. And, of course, the exchange last night was “light hearted” because Larry doesn’t give a fuck. Mmm-hmmm. And here’s the truth of the matter:
This is someone who, at best, can not see their own privilege and entitlement and flexes them both because it is found to be “fun” and/or “funny.” Why don’t they get the joke – that’s what these folks want to know. It shows a basic level misunderstanding of how the world works.
Where is the fucking joke when people disrespect you, shun you, hate you, and attack you for simply trying to be yourself? How is that funny? How is it acceptable? If you don’t live with that sort of bullshit corrupting your peace of mind every day you can not imagine how evil it truly is.
Imagine, seriously stop and try to imagine, what it is like to know that some people will hate you simply for being yourself. That your friends and family might turn their backs on you – that people have attacked and killed people just for being like you. And that a lot of motherfuckers think it isn’t a problem, but is something to joke and poke at because, hey, they don’t get attacked.
I’ll be honest here – I am the type of person who firmly believes that everything can be funny. It’s a matter of context and respect. Larry shows neither. He also shows he doesn’t understand “no” at all. When a stranger asks you to stop a behavior, and you ignore them, that’s disrespectful.
Now there are certainly times to be disrespectful, but in a discussion online, over a salutation? What was gained by ignoring the wishes, and then going further and mocking it with later tweets keeping it going? What was gained except for Larry to thumb his nose at someone else and disrespect them? That’s not in good fun, that isn’t light hearted, that’s a small child who is let run free and wild and needs a parent to teach them how to behave like an adult.
And you know what – I’m sick of it. I’ve seen Larry online doing this shit before and I’ll say something and get annoyed and then go about my day. I’m lucky that way. But, you know what?
No more blind eyes. No more ignoring the bigots and racists. I write comics. I am proud to and I love the industry. Some of the single best human beings I know work in comics – from retailing to journalists to writers and editors and artists. And I can’t, we collectively can not, continue to allow people like this to define us and to turn blind eyes toward their behavior.