For the betterment of fandom, Katelyn urges the fan community to embrace #ForceOutHate to create a positive future for us all
The world just keeps getting smaller, doesn’t it? We can reach people on the other side of the world in seconds, literally. Unfortunately, this amazing power comes with consequences and responsibilities. Neither, it seems, are things people are prepared to deal with. With the recent events of Black Lives Matter, the issues within some Star Wars clubs, and the ousting of several toxic and abusive Star Wars fandom members has led to divides and unkind words.
Remember #ForceOutHate? I think it’s time to bring it back.
#ForceOutHate was created to bring awareness to individuals who had taken it upon themselves to bully Star Wars directors, writers, and even actors. The Star Wars fandom has always had its ups and downs, but with so much new material to work with, some just can’t help getting mean. To quote an Aesop Fable, The Wolf and The Lamb, “The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny, and it is useless for the innocent to try by reasoning to get justice when the oppressor intends to be unjust.” Sometimes, people just want to do what they want to do. So, #ForceOutHate was born.
What #ForceOutHate Isn’t
#ForceOutHate is not an avenue to spread hate. One of my favorite examples is seen below. Calling out haters everywhere with a hashtag is one thing. Calling an entire race and gender of people is UNACCEPTABLE. If you agree with this tweet, unfollow me immediately and let me know you did so I can also block you. #ForceOutHate is not a logical reason for you to spread hate about other types of people.
It is not your personal slogan. Everyone can use it and everyone should want to. Who wants hate in their fandom like this? It should bring people together, not separate.
It is not a reason to hate people who disagree with anything. We are a diverse fandom with lots of varying opinions. People love and hate different aspects of the material. It’s perfectly fine for someone to say they didn’t enjoy a story, film, tv series, or book. It doesn’t make them haters. It makes them people with opinions. Voicing an opinion and voicing hate are two different things. Find the line before accusing someone of being a troll.
It also isn’t a reason to call out entire political parties. Believe it or not, the star wars universe is vast and, although we like to say everyone can be a Star Wars fan, some don’t mean a word they say.
Friends, this is unacceptable. I have seen threads like these popping up for some time, and I am so sad. I’m going to be 100% honest, I don’t give a crap what your political affiliation is. I don’t. I am a registered libertarian. Does that mean I’m not less of a Star Wars fan? That I’m not allowed to be here? Absolutely not! A few bad people obviously don’t speak for an entire group of people. If you think otherwise, kindly unfollow me at this time.
What #ForceOutHate Is
#ForceOutHate is a way to support your fandom. I know this seems to be a Star Wars movement, but I believe it applies elsewhere. I am genuinely sorry to those who have been the brunt of such attacks. They are cruel and should never happen. But, they do, so we are left dealing with them. Support each other. Support that individuals will have different opinions. We are in this together. Let’s make sure everyone can have open and honest conversations about real-world issues inside of this fandom.
It’s a way to spread some love. Instead of just using the hashtag to call out haters, use it to distribute positive thoughts. We have individuals in our fandom that are dealing with some powerful issues. Let them know they aren’t alone; that they are accepted and can get help. Everyone has issues. Let’s make sure no one feels like they have nowhere to get help.
#ForceOutHate can be an amazing tool or just another clickbait hashtag that goes nowhere and means nothing. We, as a fandom and community, have the opportunity and responsibility to help those we meet online have better experiences. It can be difficult to comprehend the human behind the screen, but they’re there. Let’s make sure we treat everyone like we would like to be treated, ignore the hate, and point out the good. Make #ForceOutHate a #ForceForGood.
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Katelyn Mathis is a Senior Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the go-to source for Force Knowledge. Follow her on Twitter @ForceKnowledge where she uses the force frequently!
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