Cumulative notes for the Zōon Politikon

10 notes



However, it is Dr. Seuss’s portrayal of the Japanese that is most disturbing. His Japanese characters don’t represent Hirohito or any other well-known World War II figure, in contrast to his obvious pictures of Hitler. Instead, Minear wrote, “…Dr. Seuss draws ‘Japan’ - piggish nose, coke-bottle eyeglasses, slanted eyes, brush mustache, lips parted (usually in a smile).” He went on to say, “Perhaps it is no surprise that American cartoonists during the Pacific War painted Japan in overtly racist ways. However, it is a surprise that a person who denounces anti-black racism and anti-Semitism so eloquently can be oblivious of his own racist treatment of Japanese and Japanese Americans. And to find such cartoons - largely unreproached - in the pages of the leading left newspaper of New York City and to realize that the cartoonist is the same Dr. Seuss we celebrate today for his imagination and tolerance and breadth of vision: this is a sobering experience.”(left: What Have You Done Today To Help Save Your Country From Them?, Political cartoon by Dr. Seuss, from the newspaper PM, March 5, 1942)

However, it is Dr. Seuss’s portrayal of the Japanese that is most disturbing. His Japanese characters don’t represent Hirohito or any other well-known World War II figure, in contrast to his obvious pictures of Hitler. Instead, Minear wrote, “…Dr. Seuss draws ‘Japan’ - piggish nose, coke-bottle eyeglasses, slanted eyes, brush mustache, lips parted (usually in a smile).” He went on to say, “Perhaps it is no surprise that American cartoonists during the Pacific War painted Japan in overtly racist ways. However, it is a surprise that a person who denounces anti-black racism and anti-Semitism so eloquently can be oblivious of his own racist treatment of Japanese and Japanese Americans. And to find such cartoons - largely unreproached - in the pages of the leading left newspaper of New York City and to realize that the cartoonist is the same Dr. Seuss we celebrate today for his imagination and tolerance and breadth of vision: this is a sobering experience.”(left: What Have You Done Today To Help Save Your Country From Them?, Political cartoon by Dr. Seuss, from the newspaper PM, March 5, 1942)

Filed under dr seuss seuss theodore geisel racism anti-asian racism yellow peril wwii anti-japanese

  1. gravemakers-and-gunslingers reblogged this from green-street-politics
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  3. causeicraft reblogged this from green-street-politics and added:
    This is because U.S. propaganda made a clear distinction between Germans and Nazis/Hitler, but no such distinction was...