When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December of 1941 Americans felt a major sense of anger and hatred to the Japanese because they felt they had been cowardly attacked for no reason. The American government, who knew that entering World War Two was now inevitable, needed to solidify support amongst the American public as they would need to engage in a total mobilisation where all parts of American society would be involved in the war effort. This push for support led to some of the most incredibly explicit and unsubtle propaganda in history, and at the forefront of this was a racially caricatured image of the Japanese was commonly referred to as the Jap. The Jap was all encompassing, brutally racist, and reflected an overwhelming anti-Japanese sentiment at both the highest and lowest levels of American society. The Japs were presented as monkeys, with enormous buck teeth, slanted eyes, and were just generally subhuman. They were merciless baby killers, who would stop at nothing to destroy America through their sneaky tactics. Propaganda against the Axis was had been nothing new before Pearl Harbour. Major Hollywood studios that were predominantly headed by descendants of European Jewish immigrants, understandably wanted the American government to intervene against the Nazis so they had produced controversial (and technically illegal) politically motivated shorts. But because Germans and Italians were European, and immigrants from these areas constituted a large part of white America the propaganda wasnt racially characterised - there could still be good Germans and good Italians who were victims of their leaders for example. Once film studios got the blessing and encouragement from the American government to go ahead and produce propaganda shorts, all subtlety was thrown to the wind, and some of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time got involved in some of the most insanely racist cartoons you could imagine. These seven shorts are all eye opening examples of popular characters involved in violent and racist shenanigans and show a side to this family characters many have never seen before.
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