If you're a fan of comic books then you likely know Superman's story. Sent to Earth as a baby by his parents just before his home planet Krypton was destroyed, he was raised by a kind couple on a farm in Kansas and grew up to be the world's greatest hero.
It's a classic tale. It also means that Superman, one of our most iconic heroes, is a refugee. That's why, for World Refugee Day, DC Comics is reminding fans of Superman's origin and urging people to "be like Superman and stand up for what's right" in a post to their official Twitter account today, tagging the International Rescue Committee in the post. Check it out below.
Superman stands up for what’s right. Did you also know he’s a refugee? This #WorldRefugeeDay, be like Superman and stand up for what’s right. #StandWithRefugees and @theIRC. pic.twitter.com/Qn9wY4rDGp— DC (@DCComics) June 20, 2018
The International Rescue Committee is an organization whose mission is to "respond to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control over their future." It's a mission -- and a call to action by Superman himself -- that is more timely now than ever. Globally speaking, the United Nations estimates that there are currently over 65 million displaced people around the world. Specifically, the migrant crisis in Europe and family separations at the southern border of the United States are two situations that are many are most familiar with due to increasing public outcry and debate over the matter.
While there may be many fans who have questions about today's Twitter post calling for people to "#StandWithRefugees" it's important to note that this isn't the first time that the comics company has had Superman address the issues of immigrants and discrimination. In Action Comics #987 last fall, Superman was depicted protecting a group of immigrants from a hate crime when an angry, armed unemployed American opened fire on the group after broad stroke painting the group as having stolen from him -- the implication being jobs. The Man of Steel disarms the gunman, turning him over to the police before asking that they ensure the immigrants are safe and cared for, thus treating all involved humanely.
While that example is a more contemporary one, DC and Superman's efforts toward a just, equitable society have an even longer history. Last summer, DC Editorial explained the history behind the digital restoration of a 1949 book cover that featured Superman urging people -- specifically children as the cover was distributed to schools -- to stand up to those speaking ill against others because of religion, race or national origin.
World Refugee Day is an annual event established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. Observed on June 20th each year, it is commemorated with a variety events in more than 100 countries worldwide. Individuals are encouraged to mark the day by attending local World Refugee Day events, watching and sharing videos, and raising awareness on social media -- just like DC Comics and Superman.