It’s hard to be a comic book fan and a racist at the same time. Yes, yes, I know, 98.8 percent of comic book heroes have traditionally been white and only in recent years are we breaking from that, with characters like Miss Marvel.
However look at their messages throughout the years. Superman and Batman have flat-out told kids to be inclusive. X-Men is all about “those people” hiding in the shadows and their fear of “normal” people who would persecute them. Wonder Woman’s very existence teaches that women can be as brave, heroic and powerful as men.
So, when I hear all this talk about “Make America Great Again”…I get pretty excited!
I mean think about it, it would be awesome to go back to a time when Batman would skid to a stop because his prejudice-meter went haywire!
Back in the day, heroes were all over the place, showing us both explicitly and implicitly that intolerance is a bad thing, that being a different race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or gender is just good diversity.
I’m not saying those heroes have all become bigots today, no, but I’m saying there’s a lot of scary stuff happening in our country right now.
Klansmen are rallying again. People want to slap a big “No” stamp on all brown people trying to immigrate to America. College students are reviving blackface as a party gimmick. Women are being told that their rapists can’t go to jail because it would traumatize their futures.
We need Superman to fly down and protect that woman in court. We need Wonder Woman to break up those hate rallies. We need the X-Men to show America that just because someone is different—and even potentially threatening—doesn’t mean they’re evil. We need a cool youngster like Spiderman to show college students right and wrong.
We need paragons of truth, justice, and the American way.
That way is freedom, not fear. That way is inclusion, not division. That way is tolerance, not hate. That way is equality, not conformity. I’m a white, male Christian and guess what? Not everybody is like us and that’s okay.
The problem is…those heroes don’t exist. Superman is a cartoon. Batman is ink and paper. Captain America is just a bunch of pixels. They can’t save us.
They can only model. They can show us the way. It’s up to us to heed their advice and follow their example. I know, I know, they were never perfect, but neither are we. It’s up to us to take the best they’ve given us and work with it.
It’s up to us to be like the superheroes and truly Make America Great Again.