Sunday, June 12, 2011

Professor X is Not Martin Luther King |

Okay. I just saw X-Men: First Class  and I did like it. One of the best things about X-Men is it's moral message: Everyone is valuable no matter your race, gender,  genes, or any difference from what the majority of people consider "normal". I think it is too simple and inaccurate to equate Professor X with Martin Luther King Jr and Magneto with Malcolm X. I found this article about the issue at the following link.

Professor X is Not Martin Luther King | by  Steven Padnick

He wrote:

King was a pacifist who refused to use violence, even to defend himself. Professor X, on the other hand, trains his teenage students to be masked freedom fighters who beat the crap out of anyone, human or mutant, who threaten the lives of mutants.

No, Professor X’s belief that mutants have the right, and sometimes the need, to use violence to defend themselves makes him a lot closer to, appropriately enough, Malcolm X.
Which brings up the second point, borrowed from Comics Alliance’s David Brothers: Magneto is NOT Malcolm X.

Magneto is a supervillain, tried and true, which means he has both goals (the enslavement of humanity) and tactics (conquering Manhattan) that are just outside the realm of human understanding, and any comparison to a real person or movement gets ridiculous, if not insulting.

I would not say that Professor X is only about using violent to protect Mutants. Professor X wants to protect all humans! Even those who would kill him and his fellow mutants. That is a high morality. Something worth emulating. Though Martin Luther King's protests and philosophy were nonviolent, that does not mean that they were not confrontational. Getting into your oppressor's face and pointing out why they are wrong takes great courage - using the resources you have. Malcolm X is not like Magneto because Malcolm wasn't for exterminating his opponents only not willing to settle for scraps.

Personally, I think David Brother's review is much better than this one. He does a much more complete job describing how the racial politics of Hollywood in the 21st Century are illustrated in this movie. I agree with him. He is very complete so I'd read his article after you see the movie.

The Best and Worst of 'X-Men: First Class' -- Moral Complexity and Depressing Racial Politics

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