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BLKWRAP: Black to the Future!

by Jason Johnson /

This week we’re going Black to the Future.

The entire media landscape was dominated this week by 80’s nostalgia and two movies that defined the era. Whether you were rocking hover boards or light sabers or both in the 80’s you couldn’t change the channel, go online or check the news without someone talking about the new Star Wars trailer or Back to the Future’s 30 year anniversary.

In "Back to the Future II", Marty McFly travels from October 21st 1985 to October 21st 2015, so the whole country got to look at what the family action sci-fi film got right and where they were totally off.

Mind you, while most people cared about whether or not we’re close to having real hover boards or how amazing it is that the movie predicted the Cubs getting close to the world series (and they were close – at least on Wednesday before they got swept) that wasn’t the biggest prediction in "Back to the Future" for me. I was caught up on this scene:

In the 1965 of Back to the Future, Goldie Wilson is a young black man mopping floors for the soda shop owner Mr. Carruthers. But he’s got that ambition baby, look in his eyes – Goldie tells the McFlys that he’s going to night school and is going to make something of himself.

When Marty McFly blurts out that Goldie is mayor in 1985 the die is already cast despite a gruff “Black Mayor? That’ll be the day,” by Mr. Carruthers.

If Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis could predict a black mayor in a small racist California town from 1965 to 1985, I’m pretty sure they’re impressed that there’s a black president by 2015. Who's to say science fiction can’t be science fact? Thanks Obama!

Pop Off of the Week: #BoycottStarWars

Speaking of black folks and science fiction, the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer premier on Monday Night football this week elicited joy, nostalgia and of course insane amounts of social media bigotry.

When John Boyega (a Black British actor) was featured as a main character in the trailer the hashtag #BoycottStarWars popped up on a few racist twitter feeds.

A few white supremacists believe the new Star Wars is going to be anti-white and Boyega is just the first salvo of an attack on whites in Hollywood, which was crazy for lots of reasons.

First, Boyega (Whose best movie so far is the alien invasion movie “Attack the Block”) is the ONLY non-white person featured in any Star Wars trailer. These movies look less diverse than the prequels.

Moreover since when are mainstream news sites shocked that racists hate something? I’m pretty sure some bigot out there thought the cast of Inside Out was promoting miscegenation and Nickelodeon is promoting weird racial and sexual fetishes on kids.

Three: EBONY vs. Cosby

And since we’re talking about whether or not it’s worth it for the press to shine a light on bad behavior let’s give three cheers to Ebony Magazine and the incredibly provocative cover they released this last week.

Ebony pulled no punches with their broken image cover of the Cosby family. An image that echoes the heartbreak that many Americans, especially black ones, felt when the accusations of Bill Cosby’s predatory sexual behavior towards women moved from rumors to 30 plus alleged victims.

Some people argue that the man who may have committed these acts of sexual violence shouldn’t sully years of philanthropic work, some great comedy specials and the best sitcom in American history. I calmly and respectfully ask those people to take a stadium full of Cubs World Series seats (Get it? Because the Cubs DIDN’T make the world series so the seats are empty?! I know, I don’t care about baseball either.)

Anybody’s hurt feelings or sense of childhood being smudged pales in comparison to what Bill Cosby allegedly did to over 30 women, and any magazine has a right and darn near obligation to cover the story.

 November 2015 cover of Ebony magazine. Ebony

TWO: Jim Webb, You're Out of Here!

Besides the Cubs there’s a pretty long list of long-shot contenders who just bowed out this week. Jim Webb dropped out of the Democratic primary, so I guess now he’ll have all of that time he was complaining he didn’t get in the first debate.

Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the Democratic race today as well, a move that affects literally one person in America, Kyle Mooney on SNL.

 WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 20: Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) speaks as his wife Hong Le Webb listens during a news conference at the National Press Club October 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Sen. Webb announced that he is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race. Alex Wong / Getty Images

ONE: #BidenWatch is Over

Joe Biden finally ended the long national tease this week as well, admitting that he just didn’t have enough time to run an effective campaign for president. The greatest tragedy in all of this is that he’s denying us a year’s worth of great memes from the every corner of the internet. Biden never really stood a chance to beat Hillary anyway, and after her winning “Survivor Benghazi” against the Republicans yesterday I don’t think most of the GOP can either.

 President Barack Obama meets with Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office prior to the Vice President announcing that he will not be a candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign, Oct. 21, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Pete Souza

In a week where black folks jump in the future and a galaxy far far away it’s good to know that the America of the future is almost always going to be better than the past. Even if it means that a former Senator married to a 90’s throwback president might be the person to take us there.