“Yeah I love Star Trek too,” Shahid said enthusiastically. “But what do you think about Riker?”
“Oh goooooodddd!” I groaned. “He’s such the epitome of white straight dude privilege. The way he walks around with his chest all puffed out, stroking that beard, taking up so much space.”
“Exactly! Even the way he sits, like a cowboy — he takes up so much space.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know. He is everything wrong with the world and with privilege in community organizing. It’s like where do you even begin to address it all?”
Shahid laughed. “It’d be easiest just to say say ‘Don’t Be Riker.’ Whatever you do, just don’t be Riker.”
I doubled over with laughter. “That’s so awesome! Someone should do a blog like that. Just post pictures of Riker doing straight white dude stuff, with a caption, ‘Don’t.’”
Shahid paused for a minute. “Yeah, yeah they should.”
About two days after that conversation, I received an email with my username and password to the site Shahid registered, Dontberiker.com. And that is where one of the funnest things in my life began.
At first I thought, well, this will be entertaining for a while, but how many of these can we do? I mean, how many pictures can there be of Riker making an ass of himself? I quickly found out the number was almost infinite, further reinforcing for me this character as the embodiment of countless privileges — the biggest privilege of all being he is completely unaware of his privilege!
By this point, I see posting images of Riker with captions calling him out as almost a therapeutic technique. Some people take pictures of flowers, some meditate, I gain perspective by talking back through my political lens to an icon that has shaped the majority of my life.
So feel free to peruse through the archives here, and if you find any particularly great photos, send them my way. I’ll periodically be posting new images, and some without captions, so we can all participate in a little “calling you out” therapy.
- Commander Riker from STAR TREK Sure has a Funny Way of Sitting (geektyrant.com)