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Two groups of characters in Marvel comics perfectly encapsulate the disparity between normal people, Black people, and people of the LGBTQ+ community in America: The Mutants and the Inhumans.
In 1963, the X-men comics were born, and they were obviously a representation of the Civil Rights movement. Mutants were people with easily noticeable traits that made normal people persecute, and even kill them indiscriminately. They were seen as non-human and separated from normal, good people. Mutants lived in fear and hiding, and only found refuge in one of two places; each led by two very charismatic leaders.
The first group was led by Charles Xavier, a man who sought integration and harmony between mutants and humans. He recognized the persecution mutants faced, and urged his fellow mutants to peacefully protest the unjust laws of the country. He urged them to protect themselves, but never to harm a human, because his goal was acceptance into human society.
The second group was led by Erik Lensherr, better known as Magneto; a name he took to shed his given human name. Magneto was a man who viewed mutants as superior to humans, and felt they should be actively taking their rightful place above humanity. He encouraged his followers to violently dissent from the unjust and corrupt laws and systems in place to suppress mutant kind. Magneto could almost be viewed as a morally-driven terrorist.
These men obviously represent Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. and Malcom X respectively. And, just like in real life, Xavier’s/Luthor’s philosophy of peaceful protest and amiability won out. Humans began to slowly accept and trust mutants. They began to realize that not all mutants are the same, and that the media was heavily emphasizing the negative. It took decades and several lives and disasters, but mutants eventually became legally equal to normal humans. Sadly, they were never truly seen as equal and some prejudice remained in society’s consciousness. But what can you say? The horrible events full of disaster, fear, and confusion happened only a few decades ago. There are people alive now who were young, impressionable children at the time, so it stands to reason that they have prejudices against mutants that they might not even be aware of simply because it was how they were raised.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a new group of people showed up on Earth. Apparently, they’ve been here the whole time just hiding out; keeping their lives a secret from everybody. These people also have easily noticeable traits, and they call themselves Inhuman. However, unlike Mutants who were born with their powers because of their genetics, Inhumans are born with their powers because of their genetics. And while Mutants only come into their powers at a later stage of life, typically puberty, most Inhumans only come into their powers at a later stage of life, typically puberty.
Joking aside, there is a true distinction between mutants and Inhumans. Mutants are born with their powers and then have to deal with that fact no matter what they want while Inhumans are pretty much normal people until they expose themselves to a certain environment and then metamorphize into their true self. There are some Inhumans who didn’t even realize they were Inhuman until their 50s and 60s as well as Inhumans who knew who they truly were since they could walk and talk. Mutants are born mutant every single time.
Obviously, Inhumans will cause big problems with the humans since they’re basically just mutants.
I’m sorry, what? No? The humans hated them for a bit and then decided everything was fine? The Inhumans get to live as complete equals with the humans without any problems whatsoever?
You know what? It’s probably because of that whole Magneto mess. Since mutants had an entire faction of bad mutants it was easy to think all mutants must be bad too. Oh, the Inhumans also had a second faction who wanted to take over the world and kill all the humans because their leader thought Inhumans were superior to humans.
So, there really isn’t a reason for humans to hate Mutants and accept Inhumans.
There isn’t really a reason for people to mistrust Black people and not accept LGBTQ+ people. Both are different from "normal" people, and both were born that way. Why don’t we accept both?
Maybe we can find the answer by looking at Mutants and Inhumans once more.
I think most kids would attest that they think it would be amazing to have super powers, so why don’t they all think of mutants as incredible. In fact, other superhumans who are not mutants are celebrated as heroes and icons. Mutants, who are literally a product of natural evolution, are called freaks while Reed Richards, a mad scientist who eradiated his cells to forcefully cause mutation, is considered a hero. A genius who could help solve many scientific and social issues is outcast, because he has blue fur, but people can’t get enough of the blonde-hair blue-eyed steroid-using Steve Rogers.
So why are mutants hated for having powers?
Maybe, it’s because you can’t become a mutant. You’re either born that way, and find out early in life, or you’re not a mutant.
But, Inhumans can discover themselves at any point in life. You could be four years old, eight years old, 14, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 even! There’s a chance to find out you’re special, and if you can become a certain type of special you want to make sure that type of special is taken care of.
But that’s just a theory.