Why do we support Katniss but not Baltimore protestors?

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I would assume most folks that look down on the violent protesters have never met anyone in that situation on a personal level, and never listened to their stories.


I will assume that we all know the difference between movies and realities.

We all know that while a movie might be compelling and great at making a point…most films are not hindered by nuance.

Of course we all rooted for katniss, she went up against a one-dimensional group of cartoonishly villainous people.

Are the baltimore protesters like katniss? yes sure. but are all the baltimore protesters all the same? the same motivations? the same ideas?

let’s stop arguing and debating from false starting points and empty rhetoric. Let’s all start being a bit more objective no?


Did you actually read the article?

I mean the whole article that’s linked, not just the excerpts posted at BoingBoing.

I think if you did you would find its rather more objective than your criticism suggests.


What davide505 said. Actually, Yes, like you, Nicole Black is asking that we stop being so subjective. That those of us who don’t live in embattled inner cities start trying, at least, to empathize instead. I got so sick during the Baltimore uprising of tut-tutting white people, speaking very much as if they lived in a real-world parallel of the Capitol. Very much as if “those people” should be reasonable, and start acting more like us comfortable, well-fed, middle-class white people.

I think Black’s comparison is totally appropriate, even if the protesters were not “all the same.” The people who live in inner cities don’t have to all be the same for us to realize that our view of their acts of frustration and rebellion are absolutely filtered through lenses of privilege, comfort, fear and prejudice, and that those lenses blind us to what life is really like for other people in other places.

I thought the best part of Black’s article was the penultimate paragraph, which says it better than I’m trying to say it:

The uprising in Baltimore is ultimately a response to racism. To suggest otherwise is victim blaming. And just like we have learned not to blame the woman in the cute outfit for her rape, or the wife for her husband’s choice to beat her, eventually we will learn to stop blaming Black people for the decades of systemic oppression they have suffered at the hands of the American government. Black people did not enslave themselves, make themselves sharecroppers, redline themselves into poor neighborhoods and then systematically pull funding, investment, and services from those neighborhoods. Black people did not segregate themselves into bad schools and then pull funding from those schools, and they did not create legal loopholes like stand your ground laws to make it easy for law enforcement officers and citizens alike to escape punishment for murder. Black people did not create racism. And Black people’s response to that abuse will never be an adequate reason for why it happened. The reason is white supremacy, and until we have eradicated it from our country there will continue to be uprisings like this one. Because whether or not you have found empathy for Black people, we are human. And you can only push a human being so far before something breaks. And I think we have proven, that what breaks will not be our spirit.


The next time your brother, sister, father, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin or otherwise family member is shot to death for running away from the cops, and when those cops tell you, “yeah, we looked at the evidence and meh”, and when your elected leaders tell you not to worry they’ll handle it and make things better only to find that they’ve instead voted to put a bridge/highway/tunnel/garbage dump where your house used to be and too bad if you don’t like it…then you can talk about villains and false starting points and rhetoric and objectivity, no?


sad to think that there are people so unplugged from humanity that they would need to access something looking like empathy via an escapist pop culture meme.


I think I’ve figured out @seanpbahr

He’s got two posts, both in threads that challenge racism, and both indicating that he made a cursory examination of the idea before throwing out a condescending appeal for rational behavior.

@seanpbahr is an anti-anti-racist troll. We’re wasting our time responding to him because he’s said his piece and will never even look in this thread again.


Good question! Here are a few others:

Why do we support Jack Bauer but not the CIA/NSA?

Why do we love Frank Underwood but hate Richard Nixon?

Why are we obsessed with Don Draper but not the megacorps he valorizes?

It’s almost as if the question is absurd on its face!

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The “simcity” theory of rioting is the most intuitive to me; riots are a symptom of your society/structure catastrophically failing to meet the needs of the people that it exists for.

Going by Facebook posts, the “thugs” theory of rioting seems to be more intuitive to some people. :-/


That’s extremely unusual. Coming back over a YEAR later for a second run at the comments. I expected a new account, and was surprised that it wasn’t. Though, it still is, as far as actual participation is concerned.

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We also cheered the small group of religious extremists that deny the reality of the universe who infiltrated our country, converted citizens to their cause, killed soldiers, and crashed an aircraft into a building. At least when it was The Matrix.


Looks like I’m on the side of a pariah here, but the comparison is absurd. The Hunger Games is about a privileged few living off the backs of the downtrodden many, if my recollection is correct. It’s about keeping the poor toiling away and providing resources to the rich. That is not what the privileged are doing to black people in this country. It’s not what the economically privileged or the pigmentally privileged are doing to black people. It’s a bad comparison, and since it’s the central idea of the article, I started with the assumption that the writer isn’t too skilled.

Now to the point…racism exists, it’s deeply ingrained and endemic. It’s subtle, it’s loud, it’s personal, it’s institutional. It’s literally killing black men (at a rate we don’t know, since law enforcement won’t provide the data). I think the police officers involved should be locked up for the rest of their lives. One metric in sentencing is whether the person would be likely to commit the same act again, and I think these police officers would. The reality, of course, is that they not only avoid prosecution, but also get to keep their jobs, guns, and authority. It’s an absolute outrage.

But the writer goes on about many other ills, which I won’t get into other than to say this: to sit back and say that poor black Americans are helplessly stuck until American people, institutions and the racist fabric woven through American culture changes is only slightly crazier than concluding that every single problem that currently exists in poor black communities has been caused by racist white people.

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Is Caroline 13 years old? Sheesh!
Well, how about this: Katniss didn’t burn down and loot her own district.

Actually, this is pretty much how I’d describe the police as I saw them presented. I mean, they’re over-equipped to the point of being better armed than the military forces of most of the world, fully masked so they have no real individual identity, pointing weaponry designed for front-line combat at civilians who are mostly doing nothing more problematic than standing in the road and being noisy.

I don’t know about you, but they certainly seem to be /trying/ for one-dimensional cartoonish villainy.


We probably support Katniss because it a movie set up so that she is the hero and the Capitol are the bad guys. Things are not always that simple in real life. Once can support the struggle and not always agree with the implementation.

In the U.S., a large percentage of the population imagines themselves to be as hardworking and controlled by the government as those in District 12 so they identify with Katniss. They don’t recognize that they’ve actually grown up in The Capitol, which is why in real life they stand against the downtrodden.


Jack Bauer was a torturer, fuck him. Frank Underwood will get his comeuppance, and if not, he richly deserves a horrible fate, just like fucking fuckhead Nixon. Don Draper. Meh. It’s almost like your metaphors are absurd.

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That’s funny. I drove past Sandtown/Winchester yesterday and the ‘district’ wasn’t burned down.

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You don’t like 'em? Fine. Plenty of people do. But you missed the point.

The question is absurd because fiction reduces complexity in favor of coherence; real life is too messy to have “sides,” let alone one you could “support” like the protagonist of a story (even a flawed antihero).