Mar 10, 2011

American Cartooning In World War II: A Sociological Approach

Its widely accepted that the most notorious villains of human history were Adolf Hitler and his Nazi army. Through the lens of American wartime cartoons, the serious, deadly reality of Hitler's regime is reduced to one of discomfort and a differing ideology portrayed as "bad". The animations focus around the experiences of healthy, able-bodied, white, cis-gender, heteronormative individuals. While these people's experiences are certainly not to be denied, they were not the targets of the Nazi regime's witch hunt for the "unworthy". By omitting the experiences of every person not of the privileged class, American animators portraying life under the Nazi regime condone the violence against these groups. If you'll notice, Nazi cartoons are more likely to portray themselves as fighting against an "othered" enemy (Capitalists, Blacks, Jews) while American cartoons portraying them show only the experiences of white, able-bodied, heternormative, cis-gendered individuals.

The message here is striking: the persecution of Jews, blacks, LGBTQIA and the differently abled is acceptable by American thought, but an attack on the supposed "majority" is unacceptable.

Fritz und Fratz "Em Tode Entronnen" - Embedding Disabled, Click through for video


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