The X-men were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in 1963. The X-men were considered mutants (people born with an x-gene) who during puberty or under extreme duress, would manifest superhuman powers. During the 60’s and through current times, the X-men have been a response to the prejudice and racism in our world.
Digging deep and the haters
There is so much hate in our world, but going deeper than that, I think there is a bigger issue at hand.
I think we all, to some degree, are insecure about ourselves. When we see or meet someone we perceive as different, it triggers an internal response in us. Sometimes that response is positive and we celebrate our differences or focus on what we have in common.
However, there are times the internal response is to judge, put-down, control, and eventually hate. Sometimes the perception is that since people are different from us, they are better or less than us. Still sometimes, we perceive people as having something we do not have and we become jealous and to compensate, we “hate on them.” Which causes those of us hated upon to react with more hate or take the high road. Cool song about that here.
Yes, I wish I was Wolverine
The X-men and mutants faced that dilemma throughout the entire run of the comic book. Time and time again the X-men have saved people, or the entire world, and the response is still hatred. Because they were born different. Because they have blue fur or wings or can read minds.
Some mutants, and even some X-men, retaliate and attack those who show hatred toward them. Other mutants attempt to show that mutants and humans can co-exist in peace.
There have been times I’ve been treated differently due to what I look like. I wished I could shoot lasers out of my eyes or pop 3 foot claws out of the back of my hands. Yet, I have had to deal with my own prejudices toward people and look internally to see what is really going on.
Life lessons at Wal-Mart
Let me tell you a story: a while back I was in the parking lot of Wal-Mart and I saw a family of Muslims getting out of their car. I assumed they were Muslim due to their wardrobe and tint of skin (for me to even make that assumption told me something too). I then had a knee jerk reaction that made me stop and ask myself, “what the crap is this about?” Why am I looking at this family differently? I feel like I am judging them, what is up with that? It was an uncomfortable dialogue to have with myself as I walked into the store, but it caused me to do some much needed self-examination.
The Hard Questions
We all have, to a degree and if we’re honest, been treated differently or judged others. Based on our skin color, age, gender, weight, dialect, occupation, competence, wardrobe, lifestyle, etc. What if we had a dialogue about it instead of ignoring it or pretending it’s not there?
Would racism and prejudice cease if we had a healthy self-image? If we saw our worth and value on an individual level? Would it matter if someone else looked different, or had more or less than us, or believed differently than we do? What would it look like if we celebrated our differences and found commonality?
Why can’t we openly and honestly discuss racism to mend wounds, heal the past and move forward in unity? What if we accepted people for who they are and loved them. Period. With no hidden agenda or goal but to show love.
These are hard questions with such beautiful possibilities. The world, as it ought to look like.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word”- Martin Luther King, Jr.[image from tnpsc]