So it's the end of the year and everyone has to reflect back on things and create top ten charts. And one of the things about them is it just bugs the hell out of me how often Black Panther appears on those lists and how people think Erik Killmonger is a good guy at heart or that he is about black rights. It should be no surprise that I, SorO_Lost, is more than happy to say: You are all wrong.
As Everett Ross (martin freemen, aka the white guy) explains Erik went to Afghanistan and racked up kills like it was a video game. He joined a ghost unit just so he could commit assassinations. And Erik him self started referring to him self as "Killmonger". A name that quite literally enforces this back story. A monger is a person who promotes a specified activity, situation, or feeling, especially one that is undesirable or discreditable. Such as killing which is unquestionably evil and Erik murdered them all without any actual regard for morality, but for his training.
Which according to the CIA, Erik specialized in government destabilization. This is overlooked because few few people can grasp this concept. But to topple a government your goal is to convince enough of the general population that the current government doesn’t deserve to exist and the house of cards crumbles. And this is exactly what Erik does with his so called opposition to Wakanda's isolation, that T'Challa's father was dishonorable, and for being a part of them then by extension T'Challa doesn't deserve to be king. The audience imprinted idea that he stands up for black rights isn't some kind of redeemable trait of his character, rather they have fallen prey to his tactical deceit.
He has no real racial motivation and he is not some kind of African freedom fighter. For example he claimed he killed his brothers and sisters which is taken by a dumbstruck audience to mean he killed other Africans. But remember he did tours in Afghanistan & Iran and Islamics are not "black", they're white skinned. When he talks about arming Africians, he actually says he is going to arm his war dogs and they will arm the oppressed people. Wakanda's "war dogs" are their spies and it's direct and intentional parallel to Operation Cyclone which is where the USA's spy agency known as the CIA trained and equipped terrorists in Afghanistan to destabilize the Soviet influenced nation. Those oppressed people he's talking about isn't based on Africans, it just happens to include them because they are this charlatan's mark. The real goal is sort of copied after his father's idea that Wakanda should rule over everything, except Erik also plans to destroy Wakanda as part of his revenge.
Erik directly admits that all of his training, deceit, and murder has been for one thing. To kill T'Challa. And when T'Challa points out Erik's actions will destroy Wakanda, Erik simply yells at him that he is going to track down everyone who is loyal to T'Challa and kill them. This is his entire goal and motivation and it is to destroy everything T'Chaka had which is personified by T'Challa's hopes & home. And during the film we see him doing exactly that. He manipulates people and then executes them without any regard for loyalty. Once he becomes king he destroys the herb garden to secure his power. When T'Challa returns Erik rebukes the idea that the challenge is still ongoing citing he is king (and thus has the unchallenged right to rule) as he leads the Wakanda nation into a civil war. He doesn't aim to achieve any sort of moral goal. The man is an incarnate of chaos, he is bent on destroying Wakanda (and the world) by any means possible, such as his destabilization training has told him to, for revenge.
And it's subtle but the film even alludes to the fact that Erik is doomed to go to hell. When Erik participates in the black panther ritual he enters the panther's realm of an afterlife he goes to his old home and reverts to a child dreaming of an unseen land. N'Jobu appears asking for tears but Erik refuses to shed any and N'Jobu breaks down. He is clearly distraught with the man that Erik has came to be. N'Jobu remarks he should have taken Erik to Wakanda but instead they are both abandoned here. Audience members think here means Oakland California but N'Jobu wasn't abandoned in the USA. He was a War Dog that voluntarily took the assignment and maintained contact with Wakanda. N'Jobu was abandoned in the panther realm, in the afterlife, for betraying and killing his people with the intent to incite a war so his nation could rule the world. His insinuation that that Erik was abandoned as well had nothing to do with the living Wakanda people. And when Erik refuses to see that point arguing that N'Jobu's home is lost all N'Jobu can do is hang his head in shame. Further blaming him self for the helpless state his son has devolved to.
N'Jadaka, aka Erik Stevens, aka Killmonger is not a good guy. Stop trying to claim he is.