I’m here watching BBC’s Comics Britannia when…

…out comes the “Nigger Strut”. They address briefly the “parlance of the time” in comics and britain, racism.

"…Chinese men had big teeth and set eyes; the huge lips being given to black characters we now see as being really ugly and racist. You have to understand the context. Britain had a certain superiority, the idea that we were the empire builders, that we had gone out and civilized the world and managed to paint the map pink so that the world was virtually entirely British or seemed to be, meant that we did have that attitude engrained and taken for granted in society. Certainly looking back now I think we can see that there was an innocent but still dubious racism operating throughout many of these comics."

For any impressionable folk who saw that, I want to clear a few things up. The context of those cartoons does not soften the racism therein but rather sharpens it by showing us that the cartoonists were part of and playing to a group that were globally leveraging power to brutalize, subjugate and refuse civil rights to people whom they often perceived were of lower standard then they, simply because of a false doctrine of race. 

Also, Feel free to be very offended by how he takes a passive stance by suggesting that the racism is a matter of perception when he says “{imagery} we now see as being really ugly and racist”. He can’t even admit out right that the characterization is “ugly and racist” regardless of how contemporary politics frames it.

Yet he doesn’t first admit that the British perception of their own superiority was a matter of perception, and skewed at that, when he first fails to append “complex” after “…superiority”. 

You may also be offended by the way this academic believes he excuses the racism in the cartoons by contextualizing it.

By stating that those ideas were “engrained… in society” he omits from “society” all of those people whom were subject of those racist cartoons.

Also, there is no such thing as “innocent racism”, racism by it’s definition is the use of racial doctrine as an excuse by one group in power to abuse that power over another group subject to that power. The racism itself isn’t dubious; it is certainly racism; rather the concept of race is dubious.

We can enjoy these racist cartoons. We can separate the craft from the racism, but don’t deny their racism. That type of academic re-contextualization, historical backpedaling, is racist.

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    Worth while reading.
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    I think his bleary eyed nostalgia may have lead him to use softer wording than is really fair for the matter, but what I...
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  12. introvertedart said: I agree with you comments about racism…Hell I love HP Lovecraft and REH but…they were racist as fuck. You can’t excuse it. You can understand that it was more social acceptable, but it is what it is. Hell they were sexist to boot.
  13. malpertuis said: I love england. I’ve lived there and will live there again, but their racism is so different than ours. I’m not excusing it - I can’t understand it fully. But yeah, there is a superiority in it. Like that’s just the way it is.
  14. d-pi posted this