Black Lives Matter Accuse Pokemon Go of Inherent Racism. No, Seriously.
Privileged White People Run Blue Eyed Avatars Through Their Neighborhoods, Knowing the Police Won't Shoot
July 23, 2016
Leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement have charged Pokemon Go, Nintendo's new hit game app, with inherent racism. No, I'm not making this up.
There are three respects in which Pokemon Go is regarded as racist by those in the know in the BLM movement. The first respect, is that it's much safer to play Pokemon Go, which requires you to walk around your own neighborhood; if you're white and living in your own neighborhood. Second, if you're black and you play Pokemon in Beverly Hills, chances are the police are going to stop you, question you and see what you're REALLY up to.
The third respect in which Pokemon Go is racist is that you can set yourself up as a white Avatar, hunting down and collecting--or shooting--the black monsters in your own neighborhood.
Yes, LIke Jar Jar Binks before them, large eyed Pokemon Go characters like FireRed, LeafGreen, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black, White, Black 2, White 2, X, Y, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire; are all really just stand ins for black people. This is in the tradition of Al Jolson and the Jazz singer, black face doesn't mean you're a minstrel, it means you're a--well you know what.
And has anyone else noticed that you can design your own Avatar, to be a blue eyed blond redneck hunting colored demons across the land? And that most of the monsters, have colored names?
In Inglewood tonight, Black Lives Matter protestors have shut down the 405 freeway by LAX airport. So if you're walking along the 405 freeway trying to find Pokemon characters; well, there's a couple of reasons not to go there.
See for example: Pokémon Go Could Be A Death Sentence For A Black Man by North Carolina Based Author Omar Akil:
When my brain started combining the complexity of being Black in America with the real world proposal of wandering and exploration that is designed into the gamplay of Pokémon Go, there was only one conclusion. I might die if I keep playing.
The breakdown is simple:
There is a statistically disproportionate chance that someone could call the police to investigate me for walking around in circles in the complex.
There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I would be approached by law enforcement with fear or aggression, even when no laws have been broken.
There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I will be shot while reaching for my identification that I always keep in my back right pocket.
There is a statistically disproportionate chance that more shots will be fired and I will be dead before any medical assistance is available.
The premise of Pokémon Go asks me to put my life in danger if I choose to play it as it is intended and with enthusiasm. Let's just go ahead and add Pokémon Go to the extremely long list of things white people can do without fear of being killed, while Black people have to realistically be wary.
Honestly, I wish this was a joke post or satire of some sort. It isn't. Something needs to change.
This same Omar Akil is cited at Tech.mic: The Dangerous Double Standard for People of Color Playing Pokemon https://mic.com/articles/148367/the-dangerous-double-standard-for-people-of-color-playing-pok-mon-go#.a9aU0Z8r9
A Tumblr post that explains how to walk around and play Pokémon as a black person, including tips: Dress cute, bringing a non-black friend with you, avoid white neighborhoods. Walk a dog, go into stores and buying something. "Basically you gotta put white people at ease by seeming as childish and/or bookish as possible," says Tumblr.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. BLM regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.
White and brown folks like myself, have responded that Black Lives Matter is a reflection of Black paranoia, that the police must be treating "people in the community" differently than they, the police, treat people not in the community. They probably also treat people with guns differently, and police know that Black people are more likely to have a concealed carry, just saying.
In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City.
Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody, including those of Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose, and Freddie Gray, which led to protests and rioting in Baltimore. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter began to publicly challenge politicians-including politicians in the 2016 United States presidential election-to state their positions on BLM issues. The overall Black Lives Matter movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy or structure.
Before you reject this logic, as yourself one question: "Seriously, would any White Person in America, have Unprotected Sex with a Pokemon Go character?"
It's going to be a long, hot summer in these United States. I can practically guarantee it.