So I am a heterosexual white cisgendered male. This pretty much means in the Western world I have it easy. I am free of most racist, gender and sexual biases against me. I say this because I have no direct experience with discrimination based on who I was born as and that makes me incredibly lucky. I can’t speak as someone from a group who is discriminated against but I understand what discrimination is first hand. I do listen to people though, I try and understand their experiences as much as I can. But I don’t think Rick Remender understands or tries to understand what these identities mean based on the most recent issue of Uncanny Avengers (#5).
So here is the deal – I get what Remender is going for here – like what he meant to say. The X-men are constantly facing discrimination about who they are mutants and metaphorically they represent any and all oppressed groups of people based on who they were born as. Despite this hate that they get, they fight for good, sometimes even protecting those who hate them. Here is a poorly made illustration.
Being a mutant is inherently part of who they are but what Alex Summers (through Remender) seems to be saying is that he doesn’t want to be considered a mutant – as if we should all disown our differences. No more race, gender (sorry for not adding female icons) or sexuality. People should just ignore their being a mutant-ness. He isn’t saying he is more than just a mutant. He is saying that he wants his being a mutant to not be aspect of his identity. What that world would be like, where we disown who we are, is this:
A bunch of gray people with no differences. All part of this normal gray where individuality comes from our names – if that since names tie into race and gender. In this proposed world we are only a name and a collection of ideas that make up a person – as if our race, gender, sexuality and basically who we are born as does not matter. Which is totally wack. This is what people have issues with!
Instead we need to be able to appreciate our differences. We need to appreciate the variety that there is in the world and appreciate that instead of hating those who are different. Yes there are differences between various groups of people based on how, when, where and what they were born as. We can appreciate that to make the world a better place. That is what people are trying to say is wrong with Rick speaking through Alex. They feel that Alex wants us all to be gray same people. And that is wrong, we should own who we were born as, part of what makes us who we are. We should appreciate others for who we are instead of hating them for who they were born as.
This isn’t fanboys citing pointless facts and calling you out for a continuity error. These are people who are upset that you are saying mutants, and therefore the groups that being a mutant represents, shouldn’t be proud of their heritage. This is people saying Alex can be Alex Summers but he can also be a mutant. He can also be a white dude (but please no white pride). And as long as people can take pride in who they are and appreciate other cultures, that is cool.
And seriously, telling people who have issues with how you portray race to drown themselves in hobo piss is totally inappropriate and unprofessional.
And for people who think I am totally off base, feel free to tell me so in the comments because I possibly am and I want to learn more.
Edit: And another part of this is the term mutie vs mutant, mutie being the offensive term for mutants as opposed to the more socialbly acceptable term. Mutie is divisive for all people, mutant is an appropriate term. The word choice is problematic. Thanks to Jon Hex and Darryl Ayo for bringing this up.