Mass Effect 1 and 2 deal with Reapers, larger than life AI that patrol the galaxy every 50,000 to harvest organic beings. As Commander Shepard, you come into contact with two of these beings and since it’s the future and Commander Shepard is military, you are equipped with a GoPro essentially. When you meet the Council (the alien leaders of galactic politics) for the first time in ME1 to talk about your findings about why a human colony was hit, they dismiss you. They say that you were manipulated by the game’s antagonist and that your findings could have been made up.
This seems awfully familiar to black people and other people of color who are gaslight when they question the treatment of their people from white supremacy. In 2017, with smartphones and Google, it feels like white people in general don’t want to learn more about the struggles of their fellow man, opting to choose the white-washed lore that is history.
You’ve seen it before; Martin Luther King Jr. was a gentle soul, who never disrupted traffic, Malcolm X isn’t really talked about, the original Black Panther party was downright violent, slaves weren’t actually slaves and other appalling revisionist fuckery.
To be in your early to mid-20s as a black person, if you didn’t grow up in a militantly pro-black household or if you grew up in a white suburb, is a very jarring time, especially in the age of technology. Once you find a bit of history that doesn’t fit the white narrative, you crave more of this new information, your mental and emotional well being be damned. When you show this information to your white “friends” (using it loosely, because sometimes they tend to leave once you embrace your blackness) might agree with it or they might instead try to dismiss your findings and tell you “oh, that was so long ago, you don’t experience that now” as they turn their phone towards you to show off the latest modern lynching of a black person.
You stare at this information, knowing it has happened to you at some point in your life, but maybe, just maybe, you overreacted? You shrug it off and continue to look for information but the words of that “friend” eat at you. It’s only when you find other black people who shared the same experience you did and that nagging voice disappears and you feel validated.
It’s not until ME3 where Commander Shepard is validated for all their hard work. It’s not until the Council members are faced with death for a second time that they finally agree to help Command Shepard.
With Harbinger, I mean Annoying Orange, knocking on white peoples door, they suddenly don’t know how to deal with the grief and abuse they have been giving to black and other people of color. They’re starting to see how white supremacy has finally fucked them over and instead of trying to apologize for the harm they’ve done, whether directly or indirect, the white women decide to throw a parade in the same vein black women did back in the 1990s.
What’s really annoying is that the 53% of white women and 64% of white men claim that their vote for this man wasn’t because of very long list of isms and if you ask them why they voted for him, you won’t get a straight answer. This is just another indirect way of them refusing to hold themselves accountable for trying to uphold white supremacy. It’s just another way for them to make people of color to their work for them, only for them to take credit for it.
In the age of technology, there should be no reason for these Reapers to be so ignorant with the history of their fellow man. In the age of technology, there should be no reason for these Reapers to behave the way they do. In the age of technology, the Reaper forces MUST be destroyed for the betterment of humankind.