Yesterday, social media was overwhelmed with the tragedy of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white officer was caught on tape kneeling on his neck. In Minneapolis, protesters took to the streets to demand justice and were met with brutal police intervention that included teargas. Meanwhile, millions watched from home, safe behind our computer screens, but sharing in the righteous outrage of those protesters. Many took to Twitter to join the cause. Among them was John Boyega, who tweeted an image of the slain man, along with Floyd’s last known words, which were a plea for his life.
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. #RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/gyuaoC6vUh— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Then, Boyega tweeted this:
I really fucking hate racists.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Somehow, this tweet sparked fury from among the 28-year-old English actor’s followers. To be clear, he didn’t get ratioed. The tweet has over 1.3 million likes, and only 10,000+ replies, many of which were in support of his statement. However, among those replies were comments like these:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to #Hate— National Emergency #433aDay (@ReelLungsOfHope) May 28, 2020
Hate leads to suffering”#Yoda points out how indulging our fears gives them power to hold us back.
John, try not to hate but find inner strength to be a more better you. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd RIP pic.twitter.com/DqfWxyGVU5
The Star Wars leading man responded to some.
I said what I said. Speak for yourself at all times x— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
I am talking about WHITE on BLACK racism. The kind that has ruined the world not caused a lil break up with your girlfriend.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
I don’t care. That’s not what I’m talking about.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
I am not talking about other perspectives given the current situation is that okay?— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Twitter academics tend to make something out of nothing. Fack em. https://t.co/U7XEFZdEzb— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
As this all blew up, several repliers deleted their tweets or switched to “private” to avoid public scrutiny. Among those seems to be a tweeter that suggested a role model to children—like Boyega—shouldn’t say such things.
This is my own personal account. I am not here for the kids.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Despite drawing Twitter fire, Boyega didn’t back down. He doubled down, retweeting #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd posts as well as posts critical of “Central Park Karen” Amy Cooper. Then, he expounded on his initial “I really f*cking hate racists” tweet, taking to Instagram live to post a video.
John Boyega is currently on Insta live and telling white racists to fuck off and folks, it is glorious. pic.twitter.com/ojxnkGKDV5— San (@sansdn) May 27, 2020
“I’m not even apologizing, first of all,” Boyega declares. “You lot better f*cking believe that…F*ck you racist white people. I said what I said.”
He notes that some say speaking out like this might hurt his career. “You can’t rattle me,” he states, “I’m not the guy to be rattled. I wasn’t raised by no weak people. You understand?” Also, Boyega won’t abide racist comments in his replies. He’s happy to block, adding, “F*ck off, you racist d*ckheads.”
In short, Boyega’s not sweating the backlash.
Feathers so rattled I got consistent breeze on this hot day ❤️ pic.twitter.com/hHDqtpRM30— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
My mum "Good boy" 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Header Image Source: Getty