While the X-Men may be framed as non-violent, they have certainly engaged in plenty of violent confrontations since their inception. Xavier’s training facility which hones his students mutant capabilities is literally called the “War Room,” where student learn not only how to defend themselves but also to fight against a militarized police force that is specifically designed to annihilate them. There has never been a point in their publication history when they did not engage in the destruction of both private and government property on a regular basis, intentionally or not.
Most readers will overlook these grievances as an inevitable causality of a moral crusade for equality, yet condemn the same actions taken by real people in response to police brutality. Interestingly enough, riots which have resulting in looting of goods specifically in connection with Ferguson and other police brutality cases are minute in comparison to the number of peaceful demonstrations across the country and internationally. Even if they weren’t, loss of property is not equivalent to loss of life. It is yet another false dichotomy meant to derail.
Ultimately, I hope my fellow geeks from all walks of life will check themselves the next time they have something to say about police brutality, Black life and resistance. To those who already have, be wary of those who will weep over dead bodies in The Hunger Games and praise Katniss for dismantling her government, those who worship Batman and family for spitting in the face of the Gotham City Police Department, and those who are enthralled by the X-Men revolting both peaceably and violently against a militarized police force, who will nonetheless look at protests and riots across the country and have nothing to say but ‘thugs,’ 'niggers,’ and 'savages.’
Some of the same people who proselytize The Wire as if it’s a theism and not a show are the ones placing property value over Black lives and ignoring all of the State violence that proceeded the extrajudicial execution of Freddie Gray. They’re the ones gleefully engaging in the most intellectually dishonest false equalization between intraracial civilian crime and State violence. And most are not even going to mention Mya Hall at all; a Black trans woman also recently extrajudicially executed by Baltimore police.
When Blackness is seen as antithetical to “human,” this is the result, an empathy gap wide enough for the State to drive their tanks through and do us more harm with impunity.