There’s a positive Twitter campaign going on involving #ComicsGate. The way it works is this: whenever you buy comics based on the recommendations of people associated with #ComicsGate, Diversity & Comics, Capn Cummings, Yellow Flash, Douglas Ernst, etc., you take a photo of the comics you bought and post it on Twitter along with the hashtag #MoveTheNeedle.
It hopefully shows that the same customers often maligned and disparaged by some (not all) comic book professionals because of their backing of the ideas behind #ComicsGate support the comic book industry by actually buying books. Imagine that.
Our comic book purchases are helping the comics industry by moving the needle.
It’s the mastermind of Richard C Meyer of Diversity & Comics. At least I think his name is Richard. Sometimes I think it’s Zack. Other times I think it’s Diana’s dad.
Here’s one I just posted on Twitter:
What I like about the #MoveTheNeedle campaign is its positivity. It’s not attacking anyone for supposedly supporting social justice infused books that nobody wants to read, or more importantly, buy. It’s showing the comic book industry that customers want to buy good comics when given the opportunity. Good comics sell. Bad comics don’t.
Hopefully, the #MoveTheNeedle campaign will make it more difficult for the comic book industry to dismiss the points raised by customers who support #ComicsGate. At least that’s the idea.
The term social justice is one of those terms that seems to have as many meanings as people advocating for it. I feel as though if I asked ten people what social justice means, I’d get ten different answers.
That’s not good.
When I look up the term in the dictionary, I get a definition that at best is squishy and can mean just about anything. It reads justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.
The Pachamama Alliance, a non-profit group that works with the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest, defines social justice as the equal distribution of resources and opportunities, in which outside factors that categorize people are irrelevant.
The equal distribution of resources sounds an awful lot like communism.
Because the term social justice is so poorly defined, I feel as though I have no other choice than to define the term by basing the definition on the actions of the people claiming to be advocates for social justice. I’d rather not do that. I feel it will almost certainly give faulty data.
Just because someone is fighting for social justice doesn’t mean even they know what it means.
From what I can gather, to be for social justice means you are against equal opportunity and you are instead for equal outcome. It’s not enough that everyone, no matter their race, sex, religion, or national origin, have the same opportunities, they should have the same outcome.
These are two different things entirely.
For example, it’s not enough that a person of a minority class is given the opportunity to interview for a job along with non-minority applicants, they should be awarded the job outright because of their minority status. This would make sure there’s an equal outcome. This is something social justice seems to advocate.
It’s with this fact in mind that I cannot ever see myself being a social justice advocate. Although I’m against racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination, I believe in equal opportunity, not equal outcome. I no more believe a gay woman should be given a job because she is a gay woman than I believe a white straight male should be given a job because he is a white straight male.
One of the problems with buying comic books these days is figuring out if the book is upholding the ideas and virtues of social justice. Does the book feature any characters from a marginalized group? Are any of the book’s creators from a marginalized group?
I realized the comic book industry needs a way of notifying the customer of a book’s social justice credentials when I noticed a stack of America comics at a local comic book shop.
At first glance, I assumed America was about a Donald Trump supporter.
I thought the book’s title was a nod to the Make America Great Again hat Donald Trump supporters love to wear. I thought there were three other books, Make, Great, and Again. Lay all four books next together and they would spell out Donald Trump’s moto.
The book’s title was one-fourth of a Donald Trump hat.
It turned out I could not have been wrong.
America is about America Chavez, a very awesome college student raised by two mothers from an alternate universe. She’s Latina and gay, quite a spicy combination!
Even though America Chavez is oozing legitimate social justice cred, it’s hard to get this point across to comic readers. It could be the reason sales of the book have been so low. Not only do comic readers today want social justice in their funny books, they want lots of it.
The Social Justice Comics Code of Approval
I’m proposing the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval. It would appear on comic books that meet the criteria of social justice. A comic would either feature characters in line with social justice principles or the creators of the book would need to represent social justice in the real world. Books that meet either one of these tests will get the seal.
This is what the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval seal would look like:
America would earn the right to display the seal of the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval. Not only does the book’s main character check off many social justice checkboxes, so does the book’s writer, Gabby Rivera. She is lesbian and a Puerto Rican from the Bronx.
Not only is the book’s writer a queer Puerto Rican, I think I read on Reddit one of the assistant inkers is bisexual. At least she was in college. Evidently, she and some friends got hammered on Jägermeister. Her friends dared her to open-mouth kiss another girl for ten seconds. She accepted the challenge. At least she thinks she did. That night is still a little fuzzy for her. This just goes to show you that it’s better to drink milkshakes, not Jägermeister. Not because of the girl-on-girl kissing, but because she can’t remember that night very well.
If America featured the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval, I’m almost certain it would not be hovering at the cancellation level of sales.
America monthly sales to comics shops
America #1 – 43,592
America #2 – 23,987
America #3 – 16,262
America #4 – 12,624
America #5 – 11,354
America #6 – 9,548
America #7 – 9,137
If Marvel doesn’t do something, by this time next year, sales of America will be lower than Cocktails & Mixology by Bill Cosby. Adding the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval to the America‘s cover will go a long way to increase sales.
What good is making a comic book steeped in social justice awesomeness if comic readers don’t know about it.
When Jemele Hill’s suspension is over, she needs to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. Does she want to be a social justice activist fighting for issues she believes are important? Does she want to represent ESPN as a host for SportsCenter?
I don’t see how she can be both.
The Dallas Cowboys are part of the National Football League. The National Football League is in partnership with ESPN. The network pays $1.9 billion a year to televise Monday Night Football. It’s inappropriate to have an employee of ESPN, let alone a SportsCenter host, go after advertisers.
Hosting SportsCenter used to be a big deal
To be a host on SportsCenter used to be a big deal. It represented the pinnacle of a person’s sports career. It be a talking-head on ESPN, reporting the news to the United States, was a privilege. I’m not sure it’s that way anymore. I don’t watch ESPN anymore except for 30 for 30 documentaries. I get my sports news from a lot of places these days. ESPN SportsCenter is not one of them.
To be a host of ESPN is still carries a lot of clout. Jemele Hill’s Twitter account has a blue check next to it, something it would not have if she were not on ESPN. She needs to recognize that. When she Tweets something stupid, it reflects on ESPN.
Jemele Hill cannot have it both ways. She cannot enjoy the advantages of being a SportsCenter host and also enjoy the freedoms of shitposting on Twitter. Calling for an NFL boycott while working for a company in partnership with the NFL is shitposting.