Here’s a thought based on no specific knowledge or evidence. It is not a threat. It is a preemptive observation based on an established pattern of behavior.
There will probably be a mass shooting in a theater somewhere in America during the Black Panther opening weekend.
This thought might be depressing, but it will not be shocking in light of the political, social, and cultural environment we exist in. The ingredients are all present. The mood is ripe for a violent backlash in pop culture. It would be more surprising (but a huge relief) if the weekend passed without a racial attack at the movies.
If there is another episode of mass murder in ‘Merica, and I hope there isn’t, we know what the responses will be and how blame will be handed out. We will blame Marvel for making the movie. We will blame the theater for showing it. The people who went to see it will receive the most blame from the powers that be. How dare they create such a dangerous situation? We will pretend to be shocked. We will avoid the real discussion. The terrorists will be taken alive and characterized as disturbed loners or misunderstood men who had their whole lives ahead of them.
Debates will rage about the threat this type of film poses. Questions will be raised about whether or not it should have ever been made, or if the sequel should be canceled, or if anyone will go out to see it the following weekend.
Here is another thought based on nothing more than my own distorted view of reality. On the second weekend, more people will go to see it than the first. We will pretend to be shocked. It will be seen as a rejection of hate and a triumph for America. But that won’t be the real message. We will avoid the deeper discussion.
I’ve been wrong before. I hope I’m wrong now. If we are attacked again, I know what I will do. I’ll repost my advice for escaping a mass shooting, the same way I’ve done for most of the high profile terrorist attacks. (See What to Do When the Bullets Start Flying). I will tune out the false disbelief and misplaced blame. And then I’ll go and see the movie again and again, even if it’s horrible.
I hope you will too.