Twilight, an insanely popular young adult literature series of the 2000s, is making a comeback in the minds of old and new fans, as the movies based on the books have landed on the Netflix streaming platform. This story of vampires, humans, and werewolves grew in popularity far quicker than anyone could ever imagine. With that growth also came some strong opinions that give plenty of fodder for online debate. One of the most heavily debated topics is that of Jasper Hale and whether he was a white supremacist.
Jasper Hale’s profession is enough to raise questions
With the recent resurgence of Twilight online chatter and civil unrest across the U.S. over the last year, many fans are revisiting some tougher topics from the series. One of those topics is the story of Jasper Hale, the last vampire to join the Cullen family after he met and fell in love with Alice in the 1950s. Up until then, he was a regular vampire who survived by consuming human blood instead of the Cullens’ favorite, animal blood. His early life as a vampire was a violent one full of death and carnage thanks to Maria, the vampire who turned him.
Cracked points out the most interesting part of Jasper’s past is that before he was turned into a vampire, he was a Confederate soldier in the 1800s. By the sheer fact that he fought for the Confederacy, one can gather that Jasper supported protecting a state’s right to uphold slavery. This is a hard pill for many fans to swallow.
Fans think Jasper is a white supremacist
A discussion about Jasper appeared on the Twilight Subreddit (r/twilight), with the poster stating that Jasper is “a hardcore white supremacist and Stephenie Meyer completely glosses over it.” While there are plenty of commenters who totally agree with the original poster’s premise, there are also those who don’t fully agree.
One commenter points out that, “In the early 2000s he still called the Civil War the War of Northern Aggression. He still calls it this after decades. That’s why I think he still is a little racist.” Calling the Civil War the War of Northern of Aggression was definitely exclusive to the South, leading one to believe Jasper still held to Southern convictions even after all that time. Another commenter states, “My husband also watched for the first time and now lovingly refers to Jasper only as ‘the racist vampire.'” It is clear that there are fair amounts of Twilight fans who aren’t thrilled that Jasper was written as a Confederate soldier.
On the flip side, there are also fans who don’t necessarily agree, or at least don’t think it’s as bad as some think. One particular commenter on the r/twilight Subreddit states about Jasper, “His only crime, in the context of the time period, was being born in the south and being lured into the promise of glory through war … but being from the past and impressionable doesn’t make him a racist now, or more of a racist than any other average person from the time.” This comment summarizes the consensus of those who don’t quite follow the Jasper as a white supremacist line of thinking.
Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have much to say about Jasper
While the idea of Jasper Hale being a white supremacist is a topic of great interest in the Twilight fandom, Stephenie Meyer has actually never addressed why her character is a Confederate soldier who fought to uphold slavery. In fact, slavery is never even touched on in the books. Jasper being a Confederate soldier is treated the same as Carlisle being a medical doctor.
The accusation of racism goes beyond Jasper’s character for Meyer. She has also been called out by fans for having a surprisingly white vampire cast. According to the IndieWire, Meyer made it clear the characters couldn’t be anything but white because all the vampires have their color leached out and are described as having “pale glistening skin.” For some fans, this raises the question of whitewashing and could definitely support the theory that Jasper was a white supremacist.