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Revisiting “Plaguing The World”: Stan Lee’s 1968 Column That Condemned Racism And Bigotry

Stan Lee, the legendary writer and visionary for Marvel Comics, passed away on Monday at the age of 95. Lee, who was considered a real-life superhero to comic book fans worldwide, often wrote characters that included racial and gender diversity. Following his death, a column that Lee penned in 1968 has once again gone viral, as it denounces racism and bigotry––two issues that we are heavily facing today in Trump era.  

As part of “Stan’s Soapbox” segments, Lee stated that bigotry and racism were “among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.” He noted that unlike super-villains, these evils cannot be destroyed with a zap from a ray gun, or a punch in the nose. “The only way to destroy them is to expose them –– to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are,” said Lee.

 

 

Read the full column below:

“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 super-villains, 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, Stan.”

 

The celebrated writer was known for creating iconic characters such as Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, and the Fantastic Four. “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger told The Hollywood Reporter. “A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”

Ayanna Winters

Hi! I’m Ayanna Winters, a 26-year-old writer and artist. Although I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with two degrees in art and psychology, I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. By following my dreams and utilizing my creativity, I designed Jaro Magazine with the ultimate intention of bringing more positive stories in the black community to the forefront, while also highlighting our versatile and vibrant culture through Jaro’s four modes: film, books, art, and music. I’m into spirituality, nature walks, music festivals, poetry, traveling without a destination in mind, painting, and discussing everything out of the ordinary with other curious minds. Also, I'm an INFP!

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