THIS. It frustrates me no end when writers try to characterize Charles as some kind of hopelessly naive idealist, while Erik is the one who knows how the world really works or something. No. I think the problem is that people often conflate idealism with optimism, when they’re actually two distinct ideologies. Charles is an optimistic realist — he sees the world for what it is, sees both the best and worst aspects of everyone’s minds, but he maintains hope that in the end, most people will choose to be the better men. Whereas Erik is a pessimistic idealist — he’s constantly disappointed when people fail to live up to this impossibly perfect ideal he’s set up in his head, so he preemptively lashes out because he’d rather destroy all the humans before they have the chance to fail him, again. I’m not saying his pessimism isn’t often justified, given his personal history, but goddamn, he does not give an inch, ever. Someone who’s never known mutants even existed before in their life instinctively responds with fear? KILL THEM IMMEDIATELY, THEY WILL ALWAYS HATE US. Um, what? Charles doesn’t believe he can magically change everyone’s minds — and prejudices — overnight, but he’s determined to work toward a future in which that’s possible; he has no illusions about the time and effort required to make it work. Yes, he has a tendency to err on the side of caution, but that just underscores how pragmatic he really is.
So, yeah. THIS.
Magically changing people’s minds is exactly what Charles Xavier can do.
He just thinks that it would be a really dick move.