Seeing Through The Dark Glass: Understanding Genocide Through Science Ficti
Genocide isn’t just another piece of history to study.
It is a highly organized massacre of an ethnicity, religion, and culture. A Genocide does not take place over night. It takes a large amount of time to plan a concrete way to eliminate the “Conceptual Other”. Typically run by a Totalitarian government, society is led to a completely different image of a particular group of people by false propaganda that advertises lies about that group which ,in turn, leads to Xenophobia. A easier way to understand a certain topic is through arts, specifically in this case which is science fiction.
Sci-Fi is literature in which speculative technology, time travel, alien races, or altered scientific principles contribute to the plot or background. One can say that the allegorical, science fiction film by Brett Ratner: X-Men: The Last Stand, has many scenes and areas where the portrayal of Genocide is evident. Worthington Labs has made a “cure” for the mutants which gets weaponized to deal with this “disease”. This means that mutants would have the mutation fixed just because society is afraid of them. This task won’t be easy though.
Magneto, a Holocaust survivor and mutant, does not want to see a genocide against the mutants and uses the ideology of mortal conflict to recruit other mutants and fight back against the humans. As previously mentioned, X-Men: The Last Stand includes a scene in which Worthington Labs announces to the world that they have achieved a cure for the mutant X gene. They say that the only thing they need to do is submit themselves to receive the cure in order to fix the mutation. A point to notice is that this is one of the stages of Genocide: dehumanization. Dehumanization is when one group of people deny the humanity of another group and make them seem subhuman.
The scientists consider the mutation a disease which needs to be wiped out. The “cure” in this case is simply a metaphor used by director Brett Ratner that means to kill. What Worthington Labs is essentially doing here is wanting to kill of any person who has a mutation which in other words kills who they really are just for the sake of being normal. To achieve something, you must prepare ahead of time to ensure that you succeed. Brett Ratner uses Worthington Labs weaponizing the cure as a form of organization. The stage of Organization is when plans are made by the elites for a solution of genocidal killings.
Genocide is a group crime which requires mass participation and when something is weaponized, it is no longer voluntary. Another example of organization in X-Men: The Last Stand is when Magneto gathers in a church with fellow mutants to discuss what will happen to the mutants. Magneto proceeds to give a speech and tell the mutants that they must organize a way to stop the humans from trying to eliminate them. He organizes a large group of people to attempt a Genocide against humans. An interesting point is that this scene also includes a flyer which reads “no humans allowed” and this is known as polarization. Polarization is when groups broadcast and print false and hating propaganda about another group.
This scene shows that multiple stages can occur at once. A recurring theme throughout X-Men: The Last Stand is the ideology of mortal conflict. This ideology is one of “they want to kill us therefore, we must kill them first”. This is seen with humans against the mutants and mutants against the humans. Some humans fear for their own safety because they believe that mutants are a problem to society and is a threat to all humanity.
This is why Worthington Labs creates the cure in the first place. They want to kill the very essence of what it means to be a mutant because they are afraid of what they can do. In the mutants case, this is seen in the previously mentioned scene when Magneto rises up among the other mutants to deliver a speech. Magneto tells them that with this plan to cure the mutants, they must fight back for their own safety and eliminate the humans first. Genocide is a very serious topic which shouldn’t go untold anywhere.
Other directors have also allegorically shown a Genocide in their movies. George Lucas, director of the Star Wars series encompasses this theme in his movies. In X-Men: The Last Stand we see organization and dehumanization throughout various areas of the film. In Star Wars, we see the Sith dehumanizing the Jedi often by using the line “Jedi scum”. The Sith have an army of droids which they deploy to attempt to kill the Jedi.
In Revenge of the Sith we see Emperor Palpatine had prepared with the clone troopers to betray and kill off the Jedi. Genocide is a sensitive yet important topic to know because of the historical importance it holds and how we, as humans working together for equality and peace, must avoid this and learn from the mistakes of our ancestors.