Karli’s last stand showed her as a zealot, not a hero…
The message that Karli conveyed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was one of a zealot. Her belief that anyone who does not believe in the cause of the Flag Smashers should be killed. While her messaging of stopping governments from kicking out refugees was good, her actions speak otherwise. She didn’t care of the members of GRC died. A hero tries to save as many people as possible, she was murdering them because of they were doing. How is slaughtering them any different to what she was doing?
Karli is no different to Killmonger, who usurped the throne of Wakanda from his cousin, T’Challa, and almost killed him. While his message was right, his actions told a very different story. He was willing to do whatever it took to distribute Wakandan weapons around the world. For those unaware with how the kingdom works, they are isolated nation that originally didn’t do trade with any other country.
Killmonger believed that he should be the one in charge and wasn’t afraid to kill people that stood in his way. He murdered Zuri, ordered the garden of the heart shaped herb be destroyed and threatened his Aunt Ramonda and cousin Shuri. We could go on but what him such a great villain was that his message ended up inspiring T’Challa to open Wakanda up to the rest of the world.
Karli And Killmonger Are Not So Different
It was similar to Karli. She thought she was saving the world by killing those who didn’t follow her objectives. She bombed buildings with innocent people inside just to prove her point wasn’t delusional when it actually was. What makes her and Killmonger not so different is how they see only half the picture. They believe killing people regardless of whether they deserve is the way to get people to listen.
Do the refugees whom Karli is meant to be fighting for think this is the right course of action? Some probably do, but the vast majority wouldn’t. All they want is to be safe in the new country they now call home. There is a reason why the GRC called the Flag-Smashers “terrorists”.
They shoved all the refugees in the same box regardless if they were with the group or not. Karli and her followers were the extremist ones, not the innocent refugees who had nothing to do with the Flag-Smashers. This is what Sam called out when he gave the GRC a real earful after Flag-Smasher’s death.
When Things Change
Finally, at the end of Black Panther, we saw T’Challa address the UN and announce that he was opening Wakanda up to the world. This is all what his cousin wanted, but the way Killmonger was going about it wasn’t right.
Same applies to Karli’s actions. She thought by stopping a vote, she and her extremist friends would get what they want. Yes, they wanted change, but they did it the wrong way.