Newsflash: Captain America Has Been A Social Progressive Since Always!

Comic Book Resources has a good write-up of the reactions to the book here.

Look y'all, I expect Fox & Friends (who are these 'friends' tho?) to do what they do and be idiots who completely miss the point and/or totally have no idea what they are talking about, ever, but as this story goes around and around the internet, the ignorance of so-called fans is something I can't abide by. I have seen so many cries of:

"Keep politics out of comics!"
"This is not the escapism I read comics for!"
"Sam Wilson is being used as a pawn for PC bullshit!"
"Captain America should be enforcing the law!"

And so on. Okay. Where do I start...

How about a ltitle introduction?

Hi friends! Have you met my special friend? Captain America? He is a real swell guy. I know he wears an American flag as couture (only wearing it un-ironically lets you pull that off), but please don't let that lead you to mistakenly assume he is a play-by-the-rules conservative who is going to speak at the RNC. He is not. He is also not apolitical. Yeah, he tends to be a big picture guy when it comes to issues, but he is always first and foremost on the side of the marginalized and oppressed. And if that means going against the law to do what's right? He sees no issue with that.

Marvel generally and Captain America specifically have not suddenly become "PC panderers." Marvel comics have always been political and topical. They have always been left leaning. Same for Cap. Pick up a Cap book from the last 70 years and see Cap take on racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, xenophobia, American nationalism and so on. And enforcing laws? If they are immoral? Hahaha no. Steve Rogers felt so "fuck this shit" about the Superhuman Registration Act, a very thinly veiled Patriot Act and post-9/11 America, that he started a civil war, formed an underground resistance and split the Marvel universe.

Yep. This is totally a NEW thing for Cap!

Um. Cap really, really hates prejudice. It makes him angry (like OMGANGRY). Especially if it is perpetuated by an American. This is not surprising or new. 

(The Serpents might be actually GLAD that Sam Wilson is Cap now and not Steve. I mean...^^^^)

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Captain America brought down an entire American government agency and "laid waste to our entire intelligence network" (and didn't even show up to the senate hearing!) over LEGAL NSAesque activities. And Sam Wilson (now SamCap) is usually right there beside him. Asking the bigger questions like not is this legal, but is this RIGHT? Is the job of Captain America. Captain America is an ideal, a goal, a dream; embodied in a person who holds the shield and has the courage and moral fortitude to be the Sentinel of Liberty. Whether it's Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, or Danielle Cage (future Cap and daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones), Captain America wil always go by  the creedo (Steve Rogers'): "When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree by the river of truth, and tell the whole world 'No, you move.'"

What would Steve say to Fox & Friends and everyone else like them? Let's look at a few Steve quotes from over the years and see!

"You people telling me how I just don't understand? When it's you people-- you clever people-- who don't get it. I don't let people die because it's the lesser of two evils, or expedient, or because it serves the greater good... I don't compare the act against something else-- I see someone who needs help... And I help. You think it's a weakness. You think it's simple... But you're wrong. It's what makes us human... Which is exactly what we're supposed to be fighting for. I know who I am. I rescue the helpless. I raise up the hopeless. I don't measure people's lives... I save them."

Or how about?

"We must all live in the real world... and sometimes that world can be pretty grim. But it is the [American] Dream... the hope... that makes the reality worth living. In the early 1940's, I made a personal pledge to uphold the Dream... And as long as the Dream remains even partially unfulfilled, I cannot abandon it!"

Or maybe...

"Everything has changed! The cities are more crowded – more tense – with people racing about in vehicles we never dreamed of in the forties! But is it really progress? We may one day be meeting strangers – on far distant stars-- but we still haven't learned to live with our neighbors – in peace and brotherhood!"

Welp.

Sam Wilson is not being used to push an agenda, he is being who he has been for the past 50+ years. He is doing what Captain America should do--stand on the side of the oppressed and marginalized and hold America up to a higher standard. 

And you should KNOW this if you call yourself a fan of Captain America (regardless of who is actually carrying the shield). It makes my eye twitch when so-called fans of a thing seem to totally miss the point of the thing. See also: my on-going and eternal war against Star Trek "fans" who are homophobic (and/or racist, sexist and so on). If you do not believe in the values that Captain America stands for, then WHY are you in the Cap fandom? I will forgive you (maybe) if you say that you enjoy looking at Chris Evans. Fair enough. Who doesn't? But then at least stop looking like an idiot online by making comments that show you clearly have either a) Never read a Captain America comic or b) Have read a Captain America comic and somehow did not understand anything about it. 

But one last thing: Can we PLEASE talk about how FOX and conservatives just immediately assumed that this whole thing was about them? That they identify with the literal HATE GROUP and think their actions are reasonable?? This is like an unintentional self-drag they do not even recognize as a drag and that blows my mind. And genuinely scares me. 

Niala Terrell-Mason's picture
on October 24, 2015

Hey, I'm Niala! I'm black, bisexual, super liberal, a Unitarian Universalist (I'll wait while you Google that), and a long time fangirl. I love fan conventions, Marvel, Star Trek, fan fiction, Tumblr, Harry Potter, most of the shows that Fox cancels and books. I work in a public library and I am a grad student pursuing a masters of divinity in interfaith chaplaincy (aka someone who does religion for a living). I hope you think I'm funny.