Stan Lee Called Racism and Bigotry 'Among the Deadliest Social Ills' in His Marvel Comics Column
While he was creating champions of truth and justice, Stan Lee was trying to live by the same ideals in his own life.
Lee, who died at 95, condemned racism and bigotry in Stan’s Soapbox — his monthly column for Marvel Comics — in a 1968 column — the same year Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated.
“Let’s lay it right on the line,” Lee began. “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,” he continued. “The bigot is an unreasoning hater — one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hand-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads.”
He added, “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.”
The comic book creator wrote it was normal for people to not get along, writing, “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,” he explained. “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.”
He added, “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. Stan.”
Lee shared his column in August 2017 in a now-deleted tweet after a rally was held by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
At the time, Lee tweeted, “As true today as it was in 1968. Pax et Justitia – Stan,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
His column was written in the same year the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was enacted.