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Racist Cartoons from the 50's and 60's
Cartoons and Racism
Racist cartoons, made its appearance in the 50's, and soon became the electronic babysitter of my ear. I can remember watching children's programs and cartoons on television. While we were watching TV, we were also bombarded with images, that would change how we saw ourselves and others.
On programs like Leave it to Beaver, Father knows Best and my all time favorite, The Andy Griffith Show; blacks were not represented at all. The morning cartoons were a different story altogether. Blacks were characterized as monkeys and Orientals were portrayed with bucked teeth poor eyesight and large goofy glasses. I did not know what racism was; they were my morning cartoons!
Much of this children's entertainment, was created and produced by the famed Warner Brothers. Never did I think, "they are making fun of black people!", or "do all oriental people look like that?" They made me laugh; not understanding the sinister sub-plot of the show.
Are Racists Cartoons Funny or Disturbing?
I cannot say, that as a child, I did not find these cartoons entertaining, but I had no other point of reference. I do recall my Mom muttering every now and then when she passed the TV, "that's a shame! "Look how they make us look!"
Racism ran so deeply throughout culture, that this was the normal and quite acceptable. Do you remember the Charlie Chan movies that played on Saturday and how orientals were portrayed?
How about the movies where blacks were always portrayed as being afraid of ghosts. and the bugged out eyes? Or how Mexicans were portrayed as slow and being lazy? Only as we look back in retrospect, do we blush, and realize how terrible these TV programs were.
Racism in Cartoons
Saturday Morning Cartoons
Racist Symbols Depicted in Cartoons
The black man eating watermelon
The black bird or crow with the voice of an Afro-American
The Chinese person with traditional closed extra tiny eyes and bucked teeth
The black woman fat, big bottomed, poor speech with tons of chil-ren running around
The black man, scared of ghosts
Bugs bunny, putting rings around his neck and a plate in his bottom lip
Black children called pick-a-ninnies
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Speedy Gonzales, the slow, lazy, Mexican mouse
Black people as slow and stupid
If you are over 50, these racist cartoons, are the images you saw, every day in every aspect of film and cartoons. At the time, we probably laughed and didn't think much of it. Looking back on it now, how do they make you feel now ?
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Is America done with Racist Cartoons?
It seems we as Americans, could have almost forgotten that racism remains a part of the fabric of this nation. Oh, we know it is still here, though covert in most instances. Since the election of the first Afro-American president, there has been an onslaught of racist cartoons, characterizations of our 44th President. This particular picture was sent out by Tea activist and OC County GOP official Marilyn Davenport.
The reason for these types of racist cartoons and pictures of President Obama are in fact obvious. Their sole purpose is protest, that a man they believe to be inferior, and not worthy of being President. Perhaps in retrospect, the children’s cartoons we watched were not innocent, but were a deliberate attempt to demean and dehumanize minorities.