*During the Civil Rights Movement in 1968, Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief Stan Lee denounced racism and bigotry in the pages of his publication.
In a “Stan’s Soapbox” column — a part of the Bullpen Bulletins that appeared monthly in Marvel Comics from 1965 – 2001 — Lee wrote that his readers may not always get along with everyone they meet, but race should never be a factor in the decision.
In the wake of violent and deadly racism displayed at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend, Lee felt the need to pull up that old column and tweet its message of continued relevance.
“As true today as it was in 1968;” a year in which Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was enacted,” Lee wrote Tuesday in sharing the 49-year-old column.
“Racism and bigotry are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today,” Lee wrote nearly 50 years ago. “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 from the insidious evil they really are.”
Lee told fans not getting along was another person was normal, but “it’s totally irrational and patently insane to condemn an entire race — to despise an entire nation — to vilify an entire religion.”
He added, “Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if a man is to ever be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out 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.”
As true today as it was in 1968. Pax et Justitia – Stan pic.twitter.com/VbBtiZzUch
— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) August 15, 2017
Lee was known for injecting progressive messages into his work, with the X-Men comics serving as an allegory for the civil rights movement, and characters such as newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson taking pro-civil rights stances.