Captain America has been taking a political stance for a long time

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In the first issue of Sam Wilson: Captain America, the main character breaks with nearly seven decades of tradition, firmly placing his starry shield on one side of an increasingly controversial political subject: the immigration debate. The comic opens with our hero squashed uncomfortably between two high school students in the economy class of a commercial airline. We are far from the Quinjet, the Helicarrier or any other expensive quasi-futuristic aerial vehicle that one would expect. Sam quickly explains his current situation.

When Steve Rogers was Captain America, Sam begins to explain, he inspired Americans to work together for the country, but also to come together in good faith. He stayed away from politics, preferring generalized patriotism to specific positions. But, as the new Cap notes:

This country is more divided than it has ever been. Red and blue, black and white, Republican and Democrat, north and south, it feels like we’re constantly at each other’s throats. We don’t trust each other. We no longer see ourselves in our neighbor. And this is not an intellectual debate, people are dying. Our streets are burning. Inequalities are skyrocketing. It feels like things are about to open.

In this new polarized America, says Sam Wilson, where dark government agencies “get caught doing things we never dreamed the bad guys would do, even in our worst nightmares,” where unarmed people of color are shot down by the police, where armies of vigilantes kidnap immigrants, Captain America must take a stand. The more injustice Sam saw, the more he wondered, “Shouldn’t Captain America be more than a symbol?”

Yes. Yes, he decides, if he “really believed [he] could change your mind, do good, so it wasn’t [he] have to try?

It is in pursuit of this goal that Sam finds himself in Arizona, on the border with Mexico, as the fictional hate group Sons of the Serpent intercepts a gang of immigrants – mostly women and children – entering the area. country. The leader of the Sons, calling himself the Supreme Serpent, plans to kidnap the immigrants. His projects Following the removal is not yet clear.

Most important, however, is the precise language of its rhetoric. In response to a desperate plea that these immigrants don’t want trouble, he said, “I see you have enough trouble with yourself already. Trouble, disease, and crime take a heavy toll on your back. It is clearly reminiscent of Donald Trump’s language on immigration, especially during his campaign announcement, when he sadly said that Mexico “sends people who have a lot of problems, and they bring these problems with us.” They’re bringing drugs. They bring crime. They are rapists.

Supreme Serpent

Supreme Serpent: The Donald in tights?

The Supreme Serpent later notes that this immigration problem will be resolved when “the mighty wall is built.” In that same speech, Trump pledged to “build a great, great wall on our southern border.”
Although, certainly, the Supreme Serpent is an exaggeration – at one point he laments having to press “one” for English with a shout of “This is something I can’t stand!” – his presentation is still strongly criticized by the right-wing media. electrical outlets.

It started on the Internet, with articles about the comic appearing on conservative sites like The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, and Breitbart.com. Then, surprisingly, he appeared on Fox & Friends, where the hosts alleged that Captain America’s new nemesis was the Tories, or just those who “fear unlimited immigration and the costs associated with it.” Obviously, Fox hasn’t done his research – the Sons of the Serpent is the Marvel equivalent of the KKK, not the Republican Party.

Host Tucker Carlson then compared this to the famous original Captain America comic strip, which depicts him punching Hitler in the face. “I liked it!” he said, but “Now the threat is from ordinary Americans – probably some of you looking at home.” They think you are dangerous. Ironically, the right-wing fury over it echoes the media reaction to Sam Wilson’s comments and actions in the Marvel Universe. As Cap leaves the SHIELD helicarrier, possibly for the last time, he is greeted by a crowd of angry protesters. Above him, the news headlines read “Sam Wilson: Hand in Your Shield!” and “Cap against the Constitution?” One of the protesters’ placards calls him a Communist captain, while many people refer to him as a traitor.

Securities

In fact, the Washington Examiner asked in its headline, “Did Captain America Become Captain Anti-America?” while one of the fictional titles says “Sam Wilson: Captain Anti-America”. But perhaps the most egregious statement came at the end of the Fox & Friends segment, when Heather Childers concluded with, “Keep politics out of the comics, that’s what I’m saying. “

I do not agree. Political and social commentary in the comics can only be a good thing, and Marvel’s intervention on this controversial issue is a positive step. Not only does this match the company’s recent move towards diversity and inclusiveness, it also creates an opportunity for real change. With increased portrayal of women and people of color, comics have shown children that anyone is capable of doing good, that anyone can be a hero. Ms. Marvel’s 2014 comic depicts cultural insensitivity and positively portrays a Pakistani family. Likewise, the enormous success of female characters in Thor, Spider-Gwen, and Silk provides a powerful role model for young girls.

In the 1960s, as the civil rights movement intensified, Marvel first released the X Men. From the outset, the X MenThe oppressed minority status of has alluded to all kinds of discrimination, in particular racism and anti-Semitism. A generation of kids were raised in comics and television who criticized the idea of ​​hating those who are different from you.

While Captain America has rarely taken such a specific stance on a political issue, now is the most important time to do so. In an increasingly polarized America, where the professions of patriotism seem trivial at best and chauvinistic at worst, he must take sides with injustice and inequality.
Captain America must be Following than a simple symbol.

Marc Daalder is a writer and student living in Massachusetts. He attends Amherst College and spends his free time Tweeter, blog and write fiction. It was published in In these times, the Financial Time, and the student publicationCA voice.

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