The latest literary trend made its way to the big screen Friday. The Hunger Games, the first book in the popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, made a whopping $155 million at the box office in one weekend.
But the hype surrounding the movie subsided when angry fans found out that Rue, one of the tributes selected to participate in the death match, was black. Although Collins made it clear in the novel when she wrote, "She has dark brown skin and eyes," the description apparently went unnoticed.
On several social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, fans were outraged about the casting. A report on Jezebel.com featured several Twitter users who expressed their dismay, and tweeted, "...call me racist but when I found out Rue was black, her death wasn't as sad." Another read: "Eww. Rue is black. I'm not watching." And yet another read: "Why did the producers make the good characters black? Shake my head." Still, a more insulting tweet stated: "I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue."
Many more derogative comments were made about Rue's character, but the aforementioned statements prove the disgusting level of animosity.
Often, society employs social media as a platform to broadcast distasteful and hurtful messages.
If those tweeters were face-to-face with Amandla Stenberg, the actress who plays Rue, they probably wouldn't state their shameful opinions. And, if they did, they probably wouldn't phrase it as they did in their tweets. Hiding behind a computer screen isn't any better. If you wouldn't say it, don't write it.
Our generation is unnervingly quick to pick up their smartphones and write the first thought that comes to mind via tweets, status updates and mobile uploads. They either realize it's offensive once its posted for the public to see, or really just don't care. Either way, there's a serious problem with these habits.
Social networks have made us all a bit rash. We feel like we're entitled to say what we please without any repercussions, but fail to realize that our thoughts on the Internet are public and others have access to them.
We don't need to vocalize every thought that comes to mind. Next time you're about to publicize your opinions, remember you're only hurting yourself. Once your words go viral, there is no turning back.
This post originally appeared in The Miami Hurricane.