Magneto was right!
Divisions make us weak and, while we fight each other, the political lives of those who loot and profit from said divisions are extended.
Julius Malema. Picture: Twitter/EFF
The slogan “Magneto was right” has often been repeated in X-Men comics and online discussions since 2001’s Eve of Destruction storyline, in which the anti-hero was believed to have been killed, while protecting the mutant Utopia of Genosha.
Adherents to the Magneto was Right dogma believe Magneto’s death, and subsequent events in the X-Universe, prove that the master of electromagnetism was right in his opposition to Prof Charles Xavier’s quest for peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants. After his apparent death, mutants suffer endless persecution, and thousands die at the hands of humans and their Sentinel robots.
Max Eisenhardt (Magneto’s real name) grew up in Nazi Germany, and saw his family being killed at Auschwitz. This shaped his later belief that the only way to ensure his new family, the mutant race, doesn’t suffer a similar fate, is by eliminating the human threat completely.
The irony of his intended mass genocide is apparently lost on both Magneto, and the Magneto was Right brigade. In protecting his new family, he resorts to exactly the same actions which led to the death of his human family.
They also fail to acknowledge the impact Magneto’s continued threats and violent excursions by his teams of mutant extremists had on the humans’ decisions to wage war on Homo Superior, who had hitherto lived relatively peacefully alongside their less gifted Homo Sapiens brothers.
Yes, there were extremist humans, who believed in the destruction of mutantkind. They were, however, very much a minority and their views only gained widespread traction due to the Genoshan mutant threats of violence and occasional extremist acts.
South African events in recent weeks have reminded me of the continued Magneto debate.
The country has in recent years gotten its very own red-clad anti-hero, who may not have the ability to manipulate electromagnetism, but knows a thing or two about manipulating emotions and public sentiment.
“The majority of Indians and coloured people are racist,” he yelled, much to the delight of his oppressed followers.
His statements were, of course, condemned by those who saw them for what they were: a desperate attempt at remaining relevant by a young man hoping to find something to rally his people now that the Zuma bogeyman has been eliminated.
Almost immediately afterward, two members of the Indian community came to his rescue, with one referring to Gaza as a shithole, and the other referring to black people by the K-word.
This proved what we all already knew. Within every coloured and Indian family, there are still those who suffer from the after-effects of apartheid’s divide-and-rule strategy, and still believe themselves to be superior to black people.
They still use hurtful, derogatory language and feel entitled to better treatment due to their straighter hair, lighter skin, or whatever other absurd standard of racial superiority they subscribe to.
“Malema was right!” his supporters screamed.
The irony, which is lost on them, is that by subscribing to his blatant populist rhetoric meant only to ensure the votes of those who feel hard done by Indians, they are playing right into the hands of those who would see us divided.
These divisions make us weak and, while we fight each other, the political lives of those who loot and profit from said divisions are extended.
Much like Magneto when it was revealed that he wasn’t dead at all, but simply biding his time, while amassing more power for himself.