This is the letter I wrote to my Senators about the Rosenthal
Meta-human Registration Act. I would appreciate, if you think it's
good enough, if you would please print it. Awareness needs to be
raised of what's going on so the public knows they have to contact
their senators as well, and very quickly, as the Senate votes soon.
The letter is pretty long, so I've sent it broken into three parts in
case you want to do something other than print the whole thing at once.
Thank you very much,
Angel Marie Christan
"Daddy, I'm Scared"
Part I - Probabilities
I understand why the idea of the Rosenthal Meta-human Registration Act
(MHRA) came about. Probably more than most. People are afraid. And
when people are scared they try to do things they think will protect
them. I personally am very afraid. How can I not be with all that's
happened? I fear for my family, my friends, my neighbors....
Two months ago I was on the subway with my friends, and these bullies
from a local high school starting picking on a homeless teen. I know
they are bullies because I see them at least once a week around where
I hang out. That day they decided to pick on this particular kid
because, well, he's a mutant. And I swear this kid couldn't have
hurt a fly. First of all he was shaking too much from fear to have
hurt anyone. The only reason we knew he was a Mutant is 'cause his
eyes glow. A harmless, make a good flash light, glow. The bullies
called him names and shoved him into the wall so hard they hurt him.
I moved between the bullies and him, not at all sure what I was going
to do, but knowing what they were doing was wrong. The poor boy was
just so scared, I felt I needed to be a friend, and he still couldn't
keep from flinching as I approached asking if he was okay. The
bullies caused so much commotion the Commuter Police arrived. They
didn't believe me when I said the boy hadn't done anything, there was
a disturbance and they saw who they assumed was the cause. And when I
tried to make them listen, one said to me that after the attack a
couple weeks before they couldn't take any chances. What was I
supposed to do? My father had disappeared in that attack. I had been
scared out of my mind. The Commuter Police were absolutely right, and
I didn't say anything more as I watched them take the scared harmless
boy away, simply for being.
A week later a childhood friend of mine was murdered not far from my
home, along with three other teens. Two of the teens were Mutants,
two were not. They four were found brutally murdered with a sign on
the two that read "Die Mutants". The girl I had been friends with was
not a Mutant. But simply for being friends with people who were and
being in the presence of those friends that night someone deemed she
deserved to die. And the two who were Mutants, they had never done
anything to anyone. It's a surprise to me they were killed for being
mutants when there wasn't anyway someone would have casually known
they were. Makes me wonder what will happen when every Mutant and
Meta-human is publicly known to be such.
Extremists and MHRA lawmakers want us to be worried about associating
with Meta-Humans and Mutants. From my experiences, I understand why.
How worried will you and I be when all those extremists and just
plain crazy people have a way to find out exactly who is a Meta-Human
or Mutant and where they each are? Will you stop associating with
them? Because the probability is you already do whether you know it
or not. Your friends, your family.... Most Mutants are like any
person with something different about them that isn't visible.
Did you know that with each passing generation more Mutants are born?
Today the likelihood of having a child with an active X-gene is 1 in
50. How many children does your extended family have? How many in
your church? How many in your child's school? There are 5000 kids in
my school. That's potentially 100 Mutants. Look around your
neighborhood, how many children do you count? Odds are every fiftieth
child is a Mutant whose powers haven't activated yet.
Did you know that while most Mutant abilities don't activate until the
mid-teens that 1 in every 10 Mutants develop even later? So even
older teens without powers now might still actually be Mutants.
And that doesn't even count the mishaps, experiments, and whatnot that
cause non-Mutant Meta-Humans. Though more rare, such can happen to
anyone at any age. Recent estimates say 2.3% of the population of the
world is currently Meta-Human, 80% of that being Mutants.
How safe do you feel now? How safe do you think Meta-Humans and
Mutants feel with the MHRA so close to being passed? How would you
feel if you had a personal stake in this all? If they aren't already,
imagine your child or spouse or sibling or closest friend is a
Meta-Humans or Mutant. After all you have a better shot of that then
winning on a scratch ticket. Scared yet?
I am. I was so scared at one point I was thinking of some pretty
extreme things to do to protect myself. Thankfully my family noticed
and sat me down to talk before I did something stupid. What put
things in perspective for me was something my Dad said. He said why
be scared of all these "might be"s when it is just as likely in NYC
for a person to walk through a bad neighborhood and get killed, to be
hit by a bus or taxi, to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time
and get shot, or any number of other lethal situations. We can't
live our lives constantly worried that we'll beat the odds and get
screwed for it. We just have to take sensible precautions, use our
common sense, and life our lives for what we want them to be.
My last thought in this section is what is the probability that if the
MHRA passes that Mutants and Meta-humans will leave the country? Just
as with other laws, there are people who are going to refuse to follow
them. Those who refuse will either leave, or are likely criminals.
The MHRA will actually only be able to list law-abiding citizens and
visitors, and those criminals who are already known as Mutants or
who've already been caught. What if the non-criminals leave instead
of submitting to the MHRA? The criminals won't leave, and with most
of the people able to stand up to Mutant/Meta-human criminals gone why
would they want to leave? No Avengers, Titans, JLA members, etc.
Sounds like a criminal's dream to me. Now that's scary. Especially
to me, having three brothers and my Father all being police officers.
"Daddy, I'm Scared"
Part II - List Check
The point of the MHRA is usually paralleled to gun registration acts.
If authorities know where a potentially dangerous object is, can
track it, that helps them prevent it from being used to harm people.
But Mutants and Meta-Humans aren't objects, they are people. The
MHRA is going to create a list of potentially harmful people.
Currently there are lists of potentially harmful people the
authorities keep: most notably sex offenders and child abusers. The
difference is you can only get on those lists by actually having done
something wrong first, not just by being what you were born as.
What confuses me is if people believe such a list should be kept and
enforced for potentially dangerous people before they have done
something wrong, why is it exclusive to Mutants/Meta-humans? I was
thinking of who should actually have been on such a list based on
things they have done. Here's what I came up with:
Magneto - Mutant
Hitler - Human
Parasite - Mutant
Kobra - Human
Ras Al Ghoul - Human
Killer Frost - Mutant
Joker - Human
The Leader - Mutant
Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber) - Human
Timothy Mcveigh (Oklahoma Bomber) - Human
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, dozen or so members - Mutants
Al Queda (Claimed Sept. 11), including Osama Bin Laden and Muhammad Atef, hundreds of members - Humans
Al Capone - Human
Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad (DC Snipers) - Humans
The list could go on and on, first listing all murderers in our
prisons and on death row (hundreds of "mundane" Humans, 2
Meta-Humans), then even listing batteries and other hurtful crimes.
My point is that being a Mutant doesn't automatically make a person
dangerous. Most all of the most dangerous people in history were
mundane humans. No not totally, but every group has it's bad, that's
a fact of life. Yet in the case of Mutants and Meta-Humans being one
actually makes it more likely for that person to become a hero than a
villain, whether the person wants to or not. How many of the mundane
humans are law enforcement, firemen, EMTs, doctors, military or of a
profession that lends them to save lives everyday that I've forgotten
(and I greatly apologize) to list? 10 percent? 15? 20 even, or is
that too generous an estimate? How many of the Mutants and
Meta-humans are members of hero teams or in training to be? Easily 50
percent here, and more in countries like Japan where nationalism is so
fierce any Mutant gives themselves over to service to the country. Of
those Mutants who don't become heroes, many do their best to hide for
their own safety or out of the desire to just be normal and have a
normal life. Only a smaller percentage ends up being those people who
cause us all to be afraid.
How can one group be punished as a whole for the actions of few of its
individuals when other groups don't? And if a group is to be judged
as a whole shouldn't it be by the actions of the majority?
"Daddy, I'm Scared"
Part III - A Plea
I've listened and watched and thought a lot these last few months.
Every time something happens, I'm reminded more and more of times gone
by. Hard times. Bad times. Scary times.
I'm not saying Mutants and Meta-humans don't have to fight for their
rights like Women did, then African-Americans, and then Gays. But
especially in the case of African-Americans from the South, those old
enough to remember know how awful and terrifying things were with
people who thought they shouldn't live and how those people acted
knowing where they lived and worked. Also in the case of
Japanese-Americans those old enough remember when they were put in
concentration camps supposedly for the safety of the country, and what
that was like.
Mostly as the MHRA approaches approval as law I'm reminded of a
different set of happenings during World War II. The MHRA will not
only give extremists a way to find and potentially hunt Mutants and
Meta-humans in the USA, it will be the first step towards such awful
things that history has shown to be brutal, and preventable.
No one should have to live in such fear. No one should have to
experience such a life. I am truly and very sorry to all those people
who did. I'm sorry my generation's ancestors didn't take action
sooner. I'm sorry such injustices were allowed to occur and go on.
I can't do anything about those things. But I can try to prevent any
of them from happening again. However I am only one person. And not
even a legal adult, my voice doesn't carry any legal weight here.
Please, please, I beg every Holocaust survivor, survivor of any
concentration camp in recent history, survivor of racial attacks, and
anyone who knows such people or knows what it was like, to Please take
action against the MHRA. No one may have helped you or your loved
one, but you now have a chance to do what others should have for you.
Or perhaps someone did help you, and you now have the chance to pay
that person back by doing the same for others. All I can do is speak
out and hope someone is listening, I can't help any further. But you
can make the real difference simply by speaking up.
Angel Marie Christan