How Can You Love SUPERMAN and Still Be an Intolerant Bully?

Same goes for Captain America, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Batman … Some thoughts from Gail Simone.


I was on Facebook and I came across a comment made by writer Gail Simone, who like many of us is sickened by the ugly bigotry and intolerance that’s oozed to the surface in the wake of the election this week (and during it as well). As a fan of superheroes since early childhood, as someone who identifies with characters who defend those who cannot defend themselves, I was deeply moved by her comments. So I asked Gail if we could post her comments here and she agreed. This was not something that she labored over for days or crafted in repeated drafts. This is just a top-of-her-head rumination. But it’s so eloquent, it stands on its own. — Dan


I know this is my problem, and God knows, these characters belong to everyone, but I have to say… when I see people openly crowing about how people concerned for their lives and liberties in a hugely racist and volatile environment are being “crybabies,” it kills me to go back to their social-media pages and see Superman, Captain America and other great genre heroes as their avatars.

Seriously, holy shit, how do you grow up loving Superman and think bullying is OK?

How do you read X-Men your whole life and think hating your neighbors because they are different is just fine?

How do you see every Star Trek episode and be riddled with xenophobia?

How do you have those people as your heroes your whole life, and then spit on everything they try to teach us?


I realize this probably seems a little silly, when friends of mine are worried their marriages will be voided, their health care canceled, their families at risk of violence.

But it still bothers me. My one slim hope is that maybe someday, something Spider-Man or Optimus Prime or Luke Cage said will get through and find a spark. Maybe be a reminder that most of our great fictional heroes wouldn’t behave like this.

They save people, they help people. They fight for people.

Maybe Superman will detonate that for some, when the joke is over and realization sets in.

If that happens even a little, I can certainly live with that.


Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


    • Oh, readers–Comics, and in fact, all literary and artistic efforts have traditionally been supporters of democracy’s beliefs. Dan has done a great job in showing how the comics have done this. Only under a Hitler and Stalin, and other false leaders, has the arts been used to destroy people and beliefs. Our country’s First Amendment protects us from bullies and liars like Trump and Pence who want to tear our Constitution down and turn the clock back more then a hundred years. We must always let people speak their minds, for good or ill. And make our judgments with wisdom and careful thought. True, abortion is a very sore point–but I believe that while I could not practice it on myself In no way can I tell other woman what to do with their bodies!! In no way can I tell you how to think. But I do ask–If you defend or support Trump it should be for humanities sake and done in a logical and NOT emotional way!. Do not dream that he will make things happen because he says he can magically make them happen. Judge a person by their actions–not their words. Watch what the man does and says. Reject him if he proves false to your dreams Do not despair if your decision was wrong. Make your next political choice carefully. So called middle Americans who cry that they were not given a chance — listen –my father was a day laborer and he worked dozens of different jobs to put food on our table. He was a UNION MAN. I worked days and went to school nights for over 20 years–no one paid my way in college or graduate schools–I’m
      sorry if it is tough to find a job. I have starved when I was an art student. Hunger hurts. But life is like that–filled with the good and the bad. I will never be rich. I can see the evil that flows from a man like Trump. “Oh, what’s he going to do?”–the media pundits wonder. Should they be in this position. Wondering what this man is going to do or say–This man who is going to lead our country before the world–a world holding its breath as we hold ours because dreamers in this country are asleep– and have voted him into power believing he will take them all to Disney World. How lovely to live in America–so give this chance to others.. My father’s father sneaked into this country from Canada and here I am preaching to you. A dumb broad who wishes everyone well…

      Post a Reply
      • Well said, Norma Martin.

        Post a Reply
      • Wonderful comment. Don was a lucky man.

        Post a Reply
      • You people have zero credibility when you label Trump and Pence “evil” and bigoted while ignoring the documented sins of Clinton and Obama. You want to talk true evil? Just look at the records of your two Saintly liberal politicians. Your silence about their transgressions including causing the deaths of innocent people makes you liars and hypocrites. You fear Trump for what the idiot media tells you he “might” do but you praise Clinton and Obama despite their glaring transgressions on record. You’re biased. You’re indoctrinated. You’re bigoted. Superman, Captain America and the others would never stand for the protesters destroying property and beating Trump supporters on sight for merely voting a different way. Real super heroes would defend religious freedom and wouldn’t stand for people destroying businesses who won’t bake them a cake. Spiderman would stop BLM from killing police officers. Batman would capture illegal immigrants who rape and murder, not protect them in a sanctuary city. There’s hate in this world, but it’s protected by people like you. They say no one is the villain of their own story so let me tell you, you guys are them. You’re the bad guys that the heroes would be trying to stop.

        Post a Reply
  1. Some people are completely, and blissfully unaware of the disconnect between what they say they believe and what they REALLY believe.

    Post a Reply
    • Mike R–clarify your comment, please. Give a valid example. Something that shows there is a little logic in what you say. Who are some people? Trump? You? Me? Dan? And if you are unaware that what you believe–you really don’t believe —-does it matter? Aren’t you, then, tilting at windmills? Dreaming and not dreaming. Thanks

      Post a Reply
      • I am referring to the people who preach America’s principles to the world, but don’t practice them here. Freedom of speech? Yes, until you say something they don’t like (and this is not the same as objecting to lies and slander). Freedom of religion? Yes, unless your religion annoys them in some way, maybe by someone knocking at your door. Equal opportunity, equal justice? Well, until someone writes a ‘C’ on your application for an apartment … or your job application.

        Post a Reply
  2. Mike–wait until you are a woman. Then you will know what it means to be disenfranchised. Also I have been hearing someone on TV saying the media is split into different groups and people stick to the one they agree with. It has always been this way, I think. Different strokes, for different folk. Magazines–and there are many of them on all kinds of subjects–magazines for farmers, fighters, lovers and fools–some even cover modern art from a different angles. I subscribe to 3 of these. They approach the subject differently. And I read them all. The same with newspapers. But most magazines and media of all kind seem to agree that Trump is not a good person for this country. Who do you know who preaches Americas principles to the world? And who are they anyway? Our ambassadors will be on the front line, out there. Trump’s chosen ambassadors. What do you think they will be preaching? I am still not sure what you are complaining about. Give me a name–a date–a solid example, instead of a gripe. I may agree with you. After all, some people are hypocrites, some people are liars.. Just as some people are good and a few may be saints.
    Happy New Year Mike–

    Post a Reply
    • Ms. Martin:

      Being a Black man, I know what being disenfranchised is …however, I think we are missing each others’ points. So I’ll give an example. I’ve met a few Black G.I.’s who’ve served in places around the world, and to summarize what they’ve all told me, is that when they are in other countries, at some point, a person who is native to that place pulls them to the side and asks this: “Tell me, is it true what I hear about how you people are treated in your country?” When the G.I. tells them that it is, and asks why they ask, they say, “The other (White) soldiers say that’s not true.” That’s what I meant about preaching something they don’t practice. Black soldiers who served in WW2 saw American troops and civilians treat German POW’s with MORE respect than they did Black American servicemen, ranging from open disdain to out and out violence. Perhaps it is also some of our media outlets that preach American values to the world, values I have no problem with, values I admire – but I cannot respect someone who preaches them anywhere, then violates them. One source I can cite is Robert B. Edgerton’s HIDDEN HEROES. Comedian Paul Mooney also has written his biography, and he reveals a lot about the disconnect between what some people say about America, and how they act in reality.

      Post a Reply
  3. Thanks for your comment Mike. I understand your situation very well. Now let us wait and see what “President” Trump accomplishes during his first 100 days.
    He is starting out with a very rich/conservative slate. Did you vote for Trump?

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: