On May 27, John Boyega took to Instagram Live to address an unfortunately consistently prevalent topic: racism. While John has always been open and honest about his disdain for those who act with racist motives, this particular video should leave no question in anyone's mind. If you're a fan of John's and you're a racist, he doesn't want you as a fan. And, moreover, "f--k off, you f--king d--kheads."
John Boyega commented on the atrocity of racism following the death of George Floyd.
John first started with a tweet: "I really f--king hate racists." Looking at the timeline of the tweet and what else John has been sharing online, it's not difficult to figure out what the tweet is in reference to. Although, while the tweet may have been prompted by an atrocious and heartbreaking act, the sentiment is always true.
The tweet came following the death of George Floyd and the subsequently released footage of said death. In the graphic video, a Black man, later identified as George, is seen lying face down in the road. A white police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, can be seen with his knee in George's neck. Another officer can be seen in the video, looking at the crowd of onlookers who are begging the officer with his knee in George's neck to get off him, but he does nothing.
George can be heard groaning and gasping for air, while saying, "They're going to kill me, man," and, "Please, please, I can't breathe." The latter phrase should sound familiar to us all, as "I can't breathe" were also the dying words of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by a police officer in 2014.
In the case of George's death, four officers were involved on the scene. Although all four were fired, only Chauvin faces a charge of second-degree murder. The three additional officers — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Following John's tweet, he received backlash and further explained his thoughts on Instagram Live.
While it's hard to believe that hating racists is considered a controversial thing, unfortunately, it is. And John was more than willing to address those who argued with him on Twitter, particularly those who responded to his tweet commenting that anyone could be racist. As John consistently repeated, he's referring to "white on Black racism."
He also responded to many who claimed that he shouldn't ostracize fans, which led to one succinct response of, "You idiots that like to think my millions dictate my mind are the worst."
After hours of responding to tweets and clearly being tired of having to repeat himself, John stopped answering on Twitter and took to Instagram Live to share his thoughts.
After reiterating what happened to George Floyd, he further clarified his initial tweet. "I'll say it again," he said. "F--k you racist white people. I said what I said. And if you don't like it, go suck a d--k."
He went on to comment on those who attempted to tell him what his statements may do to affect his career, saying that what he's saying has nothing to do with money or his career.
"So, first of all, you're gonna respect Black people online. And make sure that if you comment on all my pictures or videos and say anything about no Black people, you say any racist s--t, that's straight up blocked," he said. "I don't need you on my page. And if you're a fan of me and you support my work and you're racist and you're arguing with what I was saying, f--k off, you f--king dickheads."
On June 3, John took to the streets to give a powerful speech during London's Black Lives Matter protest.
John walked with protestors from parliament to Hyde Park on June 3, speaking into a megaphone on several occasions to address the crowd. A number of protesters who marched with him captured his words to the crowd.
"Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” he said.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” @johnboyega just told #BlackLivesMatter protesters in London’s Hyde Park pic.twitter.com/P49cbwIp6P— Haley Ott (@haleyjoelleott) June 3, 2020
"I need you guys to understand how painful this s--t is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing. And that isn't the case anymore. That's never the case anymore. We are going to try today. We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd," he said.
He continued on to say, "It is very, very important that we keep control of this movement. And we make this as peaceful as possible. We make this as peaceful and organized as possible. Because you know what guys? They want us to mess up. They want us to be disorganized. But not today."
“We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd...for Sandra Bland...for Trayvon Martin... for Stephen Lawrence... I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f*** that” - John Boyega at London’s #BlackLivesMattter march 👑 https://t.co/pxf0lf3KFq pic.twitter.com/ckHVswRz6h— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) June 3, 2020
He went on to address Black men directly, saying through tears, "Black men, we need to take care of our Black women. We need to take care of them. They are ours. They are our hearts. They are our future. We cannot demonize our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving. That are healthy. That communicate. That raise their children in love. Have a better rate of becoming better human beings. And that's what we need to create. Black men, it starts with you."
He concluded by saying, "Look, I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f--k that."
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.