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American Posters






Speaking as an American, I feel it my duty to point out that American Propaganda posters, I am ashamed to say, are among the most racist and stereotypical of all combatant nations in WWI & WWII. Irrespective of the moral and political integrity of the democratic system the Americans fought to defend, the ideology of which is often given brilliant representation in their many fine propaganda posters, their depictions of the enemy, especially of the Japanese, are often bigoted, demonizing, and sometimes downright racist.

Morley Safer, the famed TV correspondant of the "60 Minutes" television show, said during his historic interview of Iva Toguri ("Tokyo Rose") that "that was...years ago, when it was alright to be racist about your enemy". Indeed, the world was very much different then, and it must to whatever level appropriate be judged according to its time. At the same time, however, America has, generally speaking, travelled a certain distance further down the road of racial tolerance since then, with the result that many young Americans are both surprised and shocked to see some of the depictions of Japanese and Germans during this period - to say nothing about what innocent young Japanese and Germans feel and think when they see them.

Therefore, it must be kept in mind that these images are products of their time, and it is to be both hoped and worked for that such images will remain a thing of the past, both in our own and in future times.

J. C. Kaelin, Jr.
Webmaster & Digitizer




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From the U.S. National Archives:

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© 1996-2014, J. C. Kaelin, Jr.. All Rights Reserved.

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