In the latest issue of Action Comics, Superman protects a group of undocumented immigrants from a white supremacist. The story is named “The Oz Effect” and came out this Wednesday.
In the story, a gunman fires on undocumented workers — but Superman stands in front of them just in time, deflecting the bullets.
When the gunman claims the workers “ruined [him]” and “stole from [him],” Supes disagrees. “The only person responsible for the blackness smothering your soul — is you!”
The timing is particularly good — coincidentally, the comic came out the week after Trump announced he wanted to end DACA. DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, provides a path to citizenship for people who came to America as a child.
Unsurprisingly, the right-wing media is not amused. Breitbart ran an editorial against the issue, calling Superman’s heroism “an act of Super socialism.”
Superman’s anti-white supremacy actions shouldn’t be surprising. Not only has the hero consistently fought against injustice, Superman brought down the Ku Klux Klan — in real life.
In the 1940s, Superman was a huge hit. After his debut in Action Comics #1 from 1938, America couldn’t get enough. The character soon branched out into radio. The Adventures of Superman was hugely popular.
Unfortunately, in post-World War II America, the KKK was also hugely popular. The Klan’s membership was going up as was their political influence.
Enter Stetson Kennedy. Kennedy was a writer and activist. He had a bad back, so he couldn’t serve in WWII. But he felt he had to do something — so he started fighting racism. Working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Kennedy started infiltrating the Klan.
After local police neglected to do anything with the information he discovered, he had an unconventional idea. Knowing how popular The Adventures of Superman was, he went to the writers of the program. The writers were looking for a new villain, and Kennedy was able to provide one.
This lead to a 16-part series, “Clan of the Fiery Cross.” Though it didn’t call the KKK by name, the reference was obvious. Kennedy fed the Superman writers the secrets he discovered. Soon, the entire country knew the Klan’s secret code words and rituals.
Kennedy said that this had a huge effect on stopping the Klan. He said that by two weeks from the first broadcast, KKK recruitment had dropped to zero. People even started showing up to Klan rallies to make fun of them.
The latest issue of Action Comics merely is yet another of Superman’s strikes against white supremacy. No wonder he’s the most famous superhero.
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