(Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2017. It was updated after Stan Lee's passing in 2018.)
Marvel's Stan Lee brought a column he wrote in 1968 back into the public eye on Tuesday in response to the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Lee shared an old Stan's Soapbox on Twitter. The column appeared monthly in Marvel's comics until 2001, the International Business Times reported.
"Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today," Lee wrote at the time.
"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."
As true today as it was in 1968. Pax et Justitia - Stan pic.twitter.com/VbBtiZzUch— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) August 15, 2017
(Update: While Lee's tweet was taken down, many others were sharing the column in the wake of his death on Nov. 12, 2018.)
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/3kowLk0WxTpic.twitter.com/Lw8FtxIyuk— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) November 12, 2018
Lee, who helped create some of Marvel's most renowned superheroes including Spider-man and X-Men, wrote that while people were allowed to dislike one another for individual actions, only irrational people would spread hate onto an entire group.
People applauded Lee for sharing the decades-old column in a particularly resonant time — with people debating how to best deal with neo-Nazis and white supremacy and a country deeply divided over political and social issues.
, "...it is totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race - to despise an entire nation -to vilify an entire religion" pic.twitter.com/vQEqCPhKjA— ChicoComicsPage (@ChicoComicsPage) August 15, 2017
You are not just an american icon sir, but a true American hero!— GiantKnick (@GiantNyk) August 15, 2017
The shame, Stan, is you'd figure that more would have changed in almost 50 years.— Sam Maffei (@sam_maffei) August 15, 2017
Lee, who served in the army during the Second World War, wrote the 1968 piece amid an era fraught with its own social tensions, according to the Washington Post.
While he doesn't specify what injustices he's referring to in the column, both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated in the same year.
Lee signed the original column and his 2017 tweet with "Pax et Justitia": Latin for peace and justice.
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