My wife (who graciously agreed to help run motherfuckyeahnickfury with me) and I have gone through, oh, about 150-250 pages each of both the Nick Fury and Samuel L Jackson tags together, queuing up content to keep the blog active for months to come while we also regularly reblog new content.
And holy shit, if the travel thus far has taught us anything, it’s that fandom sucks. No, seriously. Fandom is racist, obnoxious, and fucking stupid. The number of white people who think literally every black actor older than 25 is Samuel L Jackson, is grossly high. The number of white people who include Fury in their otherwise all-white photosets because he’s the funny gruff old black guy and thus pleasing to them rather than threatening like Rhodey, is grossly high. The number of shitty Stony and ClintCoulson shippers who shove him into their fics for a blink for laughs and then tag it Nick Fury, is grossly high. The number of white people who seem to think Samuel L Jackson is scary and would physically harm them if they called him cute/sweet to his face is bizarrely high (seriously why does everyone think this?) The number of white people who seem to think Nick only exists to sass back and forth with Tony or Loki and then go back into his box, is grossly high.
I am white. And there’s a lot of content I’ve come across that’s smacked me in the face with how shitty I am about this stuff too. Like overusing cursing in Nick’s dialogue because I think it’s funny, but really it’s because I’m putting Fury in the same ‘rambunctious black neighbor’ trope that’s really popular on the news, shown only to say a few rough-languaged things so we white people can all laugh and then go back to the important white business. Like limiting his presence in my muses to ‘guy who comes in to give orders and then leave, or guy who’s off in Europe somewhere kicking HYDRA ass but let’s not think too heavily on it, it’s not as fun as chasing Bucky roadtrip!’ Like headcanoning his character into a father figure to everyone and thereby making his character one of familial connections only, without agency and without romantic or friendship based relationships. I don’t always do these things (I claim to love Fury to pieces and it’s true, it’s fucking true) but I do them enough that I need to be mindful of how I treat his character and how I apply those behaviors to creating content about his character.
Fuck me and anything I’ve ever said/done to keep perpetuating this shittiness. I can do better. Fandom can do better. Nick Fury watched everything he’d ever done in his life burn to the ground, then razed what hold it had left on him in that storage unit, and dusted the ashes off his shoulders so he could keep going even if it’s alone. Nick Fury has friends, loved ones, and a whole fuckton of trust issues. Nick Fury keeps his eye on the big picture, the long game, and he’s not afraid to make hard decisions to make sure the world is on the right track, even if that means Captain America looks at you with judgement and mistrust, Natasha Romanoff looks at you with betrayal, and Phil Coulson looks at you with anger and confusion. Even if that means you have to ask your friends to lie and hurt on your behalf. Even if that means you have to die to make sure that long game has a better chance in the future.
Nick Fury is not white fandom’s funny uncle. Nick Fury is a badass worth a hundred thousand words of meta, a million words of fanfiction, a thousand detailed graphics photosets and gifsets that include all the nuanced little expressions he makes, two dozen ships with fangirl tears and capslock, a million lowercase-written headcanons, and a billion keyboard smashed tags detailing all the feels you can’t help but get caught up in whenever you see him snark, bleed, laugh tiredly, look disappointed, or smile. Nick Fury is worth every fucking bit of what we give to all our white dude characters, and fuck everyone, including me, for not acknowledging that often or extensively enough.
ok thanks for reading ilu :)
tags via dammit-mcu
All of this is right on. And it doesn’t help that the movies really didn’t do much with Nick Fury until Cap 2. They just relied on Samuel L. Jackson to make it work because he can make damn near anything work instead of putting good stuff for Fury on the page.