Here are the final chilling words of Bartolomé de las Casas, who was there with Columbus in the 15th and 16th centuries at the dawn of European colonization:
I think that God shall have to pour out his fury and anger on Spain for these damnable, rotten, infamous deeds done so unjustly, so tyrannically, so barbarously to those people, against those people. For the whole of Spain has shared in the blood-soaked riches, some a little, some a lot, but all shared in goods that were ill-gotten, wickedly taken with violence and genocide- and all must pay unless Spain does a mighty penance.
Killmonger, through the symbolic act of taking the mask and the battle-axe, was doing for himself what should have been done by that museum a long time ago. Those items were on their way back to Wakanda.
If we truly want an accurate assessment of who Erik Killmonger really is, who better to ask than the person who assumed his character in the film? After studying and reciting his lines for the us word-for-word, Michael B. Jordan declared:
He is a Revolutionary.
According to Jordan, Killmonger has been "very selfless" from an early age and "always looking at the bigger picture." He may have been over aggressive but he was also as sane as any other character in the film. His rage was borderline but much of his capacity for reasoning was still intact.
See...Killmonger himself may have exhibited tendencies of a neo-colonialist. He may have demonstrated qualities of an imperialist, sure, but there is someone much worse than Killmonger. Our world we live in today is absolutely full of T'Chakas.
There are people in our society who use the structure crafted for them centuries ago (like Wakanda did with vibranium) for their own ends of consolidating more power while enabling systems of oppression and that seems to be their sole purpose in the world. As they continue to ignore the suffering they have left in their wake, the people who have been oppressed through the work of these systems continue to suffer.
They claim their right to a paradise that many will never chance to behold except upon their pitiful end. They claim that that their place of privilege in the world, shut out from the struggle of others, is simply due to their hard work and their own personal accomplishments at building their civilization over the course of what they insist was a single lifetime alone. They claim to be the solution to all things and yet, they have not considered how they are actually part of the problem.
Now if you ask me why the nations of the western world will NEVER return Africa's vibranium, the answer is actually quite simple: They love their Wakanda more than they love the World. By Wakanda, I mean the vision of such a place. A place above places.
They want to exist above others and in their world, that is only possible if others exist beneath them.
They may never answer for the killmongering of those who came before them. They may continue to benefit from the work of the killmongerers. But at some point - at the very least - they must ask themselves the questions that the Killmongers left for them. They must ask themselves "did my ancestors really pay a fair price for my privilege?" They must ask themselves "what did they give in exchange for what I have"? They must ask themselves "what could I do NOW to make the difference that SHOULD be made NOW?"
And they must answer.
What about you?
Where is your level of commitment towards the reality of a New Wakanda?
Are you lost in your own little world, stuck in the past tense, like T'Chaka?
Are you on the edge of the waterfall, wrestling with the present, like T'Challa?
Are you on the horizon, focused on the future, like Erik Killmonger?