As public monuments to prominent American historical figures were razed nationwide last week, progressive activists, in their seemingly endless search for an indefinable “social justice,” took the fight to a strange new battleground:
The world of fiction.
The battle was anything but organized or fair, however, as Japanese media company Square Enix was ambushed Tuesday by the social justice mob and bullied into removing from Twitter supposedly offensive promotional material for its upcoming “Marvel’s Avengers” video game.
In the now-deleted tweet, the Square Enix had revealed a still image of the in-game location “Heroes Park” and its virtual monument to iconic Avengers leader Captain America, who is reported to be deceased at the outset of the game’s narrative.
The game takes place in a supervillain-controlled San Francisco abandoned by “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”
Defaced by the game’s villainous occupation force and celebrated in silent rebellion by those who still support the Avengers, according to the original Square Enix tweet, the Captain America statue drew criticism across social media for alleged insensitivity to the ongoing protests and riots fueled by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
“We’ve heard your response to our recent post and agree that now was not the appropriate time to share this content from our game,” the company, which announced a creative “partnership” with Marvel in 2017, wrote on its Marvel’s Avengers Twitter account. “We apologize for being insensitive.”
We’ve heard your response to our recent post and agree that now was not the appropriate time to share this content from our game. We apologize for being insensitive.
— Marvel’s Avengers (@PlayAvengers) June 16, 2020
Of course, the parallels between the Square Enix description of “Heroes Park” and the current state of affairs nationwide are many.
In addition to peaceful and widespread political discourse surrounding issues of societal racism and police brutality in the nearly four weeks since Floyd’s death, there has been no shortage of lawless and aggressive reactions in America’s most famed metropolitan areas, including rampant rioting and looting.
And prominent among the material casualities of many such aggressive outpourings have been monuments to prominent American monuments.
From monuments to the admittedly traitorous men who rebelled against the Union at the time of the Civil War to statues of flawed-yet-brilliant figures like the Founding Fathers or Christopher Columbus, few figures have escaped the long, uprooting arm of the social justice mob.
How it is that members of that mob take personal offense at a 280-character social media admonishment of the fictional fascists responsible for defacing a fictional monument to a fictional American hero, however, is beyond me.
Now, were I a psychologist — which I certainly am not — I might suggest the answer is projection.
Hard to look on in justification of your own selfish and tyrannical actions when those actions are staring you back in the face — only, they’re the actions of the bad guy.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, Square Enix was unwilling to make the social justice mob grapple with its own self-image and learn a lesson or two.
This was it apparently pic.twitter.com/QmLtcpy2o7
— SpiderBoi (@JamesGordonGCP) June 16, 2020
Marvel Comics’ prominent video game industry partner, much like a number of companies in the modern cultural landscape, lacked the courage to withstand the smallest, loudest portion of its consumer base.
It broke the first rule of respect: Never cave to the loudest voice simply because it is the loudest voice.
Like a petulant child rewarded after a tantrum, mobs will learn from such cowardice only that aggressive action is the most effective way to get what they want.
Of course, that rule itself is too rarely respected in the current climate.
This is far from the first time we’ve seen such cowardice — and it likely won’t be the last.
How else do you explain the mob we’re left looking at?
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