“Star Wars” actor John Boyega tweeted a simple message in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died after being suffocated by the cop arresting him while Floyd said repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.”
First, Boyega posted this Wednesday on Twitter: “This just burns. Seems to be a never-ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death this man was given zero empathy,” with the hashtags #RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd accompanied by a photo of Floyd.
Next, Boyega tweeted that he “really f*cking” hates racists.
But some people were offended by his direct and clear words, saying he was discriminatory towards white people. Others criticized his word choices as a Disney star.
But Boyega isn’t backing down. He’s sticking by what he said.
He’s being applauded for doing so. One person tweeted, “I can’t believe someone has to defend hating racists.”
Boyega cemented his stance in another tweet that read, “I said what I said. Speak for yourself at all times.”
The debate went to Instagram, where Boyega reportedly went on Instagram Live to further solidify his statement. In a video reposted to Twitter by fans, Boyega cited the “continuous cycle” of police brutality in America, and doubled down on his original statement: “I’m Black. So I say it again, f*ck you racist white people. I said what I said,” Bustle reported.
Boyega has been vocal about racism before. In 2014, some people said a Black actor should not have been cast in his role as a stormtrooper in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and threatened to boycott.
Boyega responded on Instagram with a simple, “Get used to it.” In an interview with the Guardian in 2018, he said he was initially told to react with “grace” and stay silent on the matter.
“I was like, be graceful? Are you mad? If anyone comes talking nonsense, I’m going to shut them down,” Boyega said. “You have to fight fire with fire sometimes.”
In the wake of Floyd’s death, Boyega went back to Twitter and added that “WHITE on BLACK racism” had “ruined the world.” This sparked more hate tweets against him.
One person tweeted that “racism can come from anyone”. Boyega replied, “I don’t care. That’s not what I’m talking about.”
In the impassioned Instagram live, Boyega explained: “There’s no way that I have the opinion that there’s no other forms of racism. Of course there’s other forms of racism.
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“But a Black man was just murdered in cold blood in the street Stateside again, while saying he can’t breathe. That’s a continuous cycle going on. Although I don’t live in the States, I’m Black.”
He continued: “It’s not about career, it’s not about money, because a lot of people like to bring that up… That’s got nothing to do with how you treat people. It’s a madness.
“So when I say it, I mean it, and you lot can’t rattle me. I’m not the guy to be rattled. I wasn’t raised by no weak people, you understand?”