Following the shocking death of legendary Marvel Comics mind Stan Lee on Monday, a powerful opinion piece he wrote in 1968 has resurfaced in which he publicly slams the evils of racism.
Lee, who died at the age of 95 after having spent the recent months battling a series of illnesses, penned a monthly column called Stan's Soapbox from 1968 until 2001, Esquire reported. Featuring in Marvel Comics, the column acted as Stan's opportunity to voice his opinions on various societal subjects. In 1968, he used that soapbox to condemn racism and bigotry.
A number of people have shared the late pop culture icon's powerful words, including Hollywood Reporter senior staff writer Ryan Parker who published the entire column on his Twitter page. The editorial piece begins with Stan declaring bigotry and racism the "deadliest social ills plaguing the world today."
In 1968, Stan Lee used his Marvel "Stan's Soapbox” column to talk about the ignorance of racism. "Racism and bigotry are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today … Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits” https://t.co/3kowLk0WxT pic.twitter.com/Lw8FtxIyuk— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) November 12, 2018
"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," Stan wrote. "The only way to destroy them is to expose them - to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are."
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated the same year Stan published his opinions on the ignorance of racism, during the peak of the Civil Rights movement. In the same column, Stan goes on to say that, while people have the inherent right to dislike whomever they choose, "it's totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race - to despise an entire nation - to vilify an entire religion."
Stan was responsible for creating some of the most beloved Marvel superheroes, like the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. His legacy is one of equality and justice for those who have historically been disenfranchised, and his characters come equipped with incredible superpowers, as well as an innate moral compass to help them use their abilities to do good for the world. Marvel Comics have also long celebrated inclusion in their characters, with Stan having created such black heroes as Black Panther and Luke Cage.
In August 2017, Stan reshared the column himself on his Twitter, following the white nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, Huffington Post reported. The editorial goes on to explain that 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," Stan wrote. "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."
At the very end of the column, Stan signs his name following the Latin phrase "Pax et justitia", meaning "Peace and justice."
NEXT: SECRETS ABOUT STAN LEE