Stan Lee was writing comic books long before most of us were alive, and those superheroes often had a strong social message — it's no coincidence that Captain America and the X-Men stood for justice and equality, because so did Lee. Even at 94 years old, the Marvel Comics legend is standing up against bigotry.
Back in the mid-1960s, #Marvel started to include a news and information page, "Bullpen Bulletins," within its monthly comic books. The most notable feature on the page came from a column written by #StanLee, known as "Stan's Soapbox." Stan Lee was a writer, editor and publisher at the time, and he had a lot to say about current events.
With the uprising of hate groups nationwide and the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Stan Lee decided to share one of his anti-racist columns from 1968 — and it feels just as relevant today as it must have then:
Lee shared an image of the column with the latin phrase "pax et justitia," which translates to "peace and justice." The tweet reads in full:
Let's lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed supervillains, they can't be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them - to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater - one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he's down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he's never seen - people he's never known - with equal intensity - with equal venom. Now, we're not trying to say it's unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it's totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race - to despise an entire nation - to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance, For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God - a God who calls us ALL - His children.
Pax et Justitia,
The message that Stan Lee was trying to convey nearly 50 years ago sadly is still applicable to today's current events. It is shameful that not much has progressed since then, considering that we are still dealing with the same racism and bigotry which divided the nation for ages. Lee definitely brought up a fantastic point about exposing these groups in a way to counteract their actions and beliefs..
Stan Lee gave us superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man and Hulk, but his constant fight for the greater good — from his editorial 50 years ago to his tweet today — proves that he is the true hero.
What are your thoughts on Stan Lee's column from 1968? Tell us in the comments below!