The latest episode of the new Marvel-adapted teen series Cloak & Dagger saw its eponymous character proclaimed that the entire United States is “trying to kill” black people.
Thursday’s episode of the new superhero series entitled, “Call/Response,” the main characters, Tandy (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph), took a moment to take stock of their superpowers. The pair, one a rich black male and the other a white, female street kid, crossed social justice swords over which victim group has it worse in America.
The show maintains that Tandy, a white, destitute girl who ran away from home because her mother was a drug addict, has it better than Tyrone, an upper-middle-class black kid who was attending a private school, only because she is white and he is black.
Tandy hints to Tyrone that she has contemplated committing suicide to which her new partner groused, “What the hell is wrong with you? You have a life and opportunities, and you wanna waste it by killing yourself?”
Tandy goes on to slam Tyrone because he had two parents that loved him, lived in a nice home, and he went to a good school — all things her youth lacked.
But Tyrone wasn’t having any if that. He insisted that she can do anything she wants merely because she is a white woman in America, while he is oppressed everywhere he goes because he’s black.
“You can walk into any room in this world and never be questioned! Try walking into a department store looking like me,” he yells. “This whole country’s trying to kill me every day. So excuse me if I can’t afford to sit around and contemplate suicide.”
The message to the show’s largely teenage viewers becomes clear: a girl who lost her father when she was young, who had a drug-addicted mother, who was forced to take to the streets and steal to live, who was sexually assaulted but had police ignore her report because she is a street kid; a girl like this has a better life than a rich kid in a private school merely because she is white and he is black.
That is some heavy-duty social justice this show is pushing!
Fans should not be surprised by Cloak & Dagger’s activism since it has pushed social justice topics from its inaugural episode. The show debuted with its actors and producers proudly assuring fans that they would find a whole social justice theme to the show.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.