So this weekend, X-Men: First Class hits theaters. In fact, I’m on my way to go see the film after I finish with this post.
But before I do I felt the need to make this public service announcement:
On behalf of Negroes everywhere, X-MEN IS STILL OUR STORY!!!!
Oh yes, I am harshing your fanperson squee.
It amazes me how everyone from Stan Lee to Rebecca Romijn have explained in detail how X-Men was primarily based on the struggle blacks endured to attain equal rights. Stan Lee has repeatedly explicated how Magneto was based on Malcolm X and that Charles Xavier was based on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do you know that when I point this out to a lot of white folks, they STILL argue with me even after I point them to interviews and other evidence where Stan Lee and other creators specifically state that the Civil Rights movement was the primary inspiration for X-Men?
For years I thought the Civil Rights references to X-Men was too on the nose: Raven is my slave name, the chickens are coming home to roost, Magneto stating to handle matters “by any means necessary,” Xavier’s dream of a peaceful co-existence between mutants and humans.
But apparently peeps still don’t know their history. Not only that but too often they flip their shit when the obvious is pointed out to them. They act is if giving credit to black people = the combination of defying the laws of physics, punching a kitten and pissing on the Bible all in one fell swoop.
These are the same people who will praise Magneto for fighting back against his oppressors but then in the same breath will denigrate black folks for being angry about racism. That’s right. Too many white folks would sooner empathize with a fictional race rather than showing any modicum of human dignity to the people whose stories they’re watching.
Don’t get it twisted. X-Men now stands as the story for all marginalized people battling institutional oppression and that is awesome. POCs are not disputing that or opposed to that. Our contention is that in American society, every time POCs, especially blacks, inspire or make some notable contribution: Alexander Dumas, President Obama, Halle Berry, Rock & Roll, or X-Men, suddenly people are chomping at the bits to diminish or dismiss our contributions.
Why can’t something be inspired/created/or feature a black character/or feature black culture/history and still be something for everyone to appreciate?
Further proof why the minority metaphor is not enough.
So to the Racefailers, when you’re in theaters this weekend watching the latest installment of X-Men, just remember that’s our story. And you bastards are the people they’re fighting against.
Also……another reason why I love my friends and my readers and why they are the awesomest awesome ever to awesome.
A while back, the lovely lisaquestions and I had an excellent discussion on the Civil Rights themes that permeate throughout X-Men.
Thought provoking discussion is thought-provoking. GO READ NOW!!! No really, go read now.