My Politically-Incorrect Upbringing…

I was raised in what is today seen as a socially inappropriate background, with what are now considered ethnic and racial stereotypes foisted on me at home, school, and the media.

At school, I can well remember one spinster elementary teacher telling the boisterous and noisy class that we were behaving “like a bunch of wild Indians.” The underlying message here was that “Indians” were “wild,” hence uncivilized, and that this was bad. At no point, of course, were they referred to as Native Americans. In a 1941 cartoon, Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt, Bugs Bunny mocked and humiliated a Native American portrayed by Elmer Fudd.

Then in the early 1960’s there was The Dick Tracy Show, which curiously featured little of Dick Tracy, but rather his designated officers which included a stereotypic Mexican officer, Go-Go Gomez, and a martial arts adept Japanese man, Joe Jitsu.

Now Go-Go Gomez wore a sombrero, sandals, and a broad grin, and was actually modeled as being a human version of the Warner Bros. cartoon character, Speedy Gonzalez, who happened to be a mouse. Speedy, gratefully, has thus far largely escaped the cartoon purges, and is well-liked by many Latinos…

Joe Jitsu was portrayed with grossly exaggerated Asian features but was a cool little guy who was unfailingly polite as he used jujitsu to thrash criminals all the while apologizing “excuse prease” or “so solly” as he demonstrated profound mastery of his martial art on criminals…

Now I never knew that I was being poisoned, but rather thought that Joe Jitsu was a seriously cool dude who I fantasized as a kid about being. He was kind of a superhero to me who even drove an awesome car! Joe was polite, classy, in charge, and a positive role model. This did not stop both Go-Go and Joe from being condemned as racial stereotypes in spite of the fact that they were good guys, not to mention cartoon characters. Passage of the years and a changing society has just not been kind to them…

And of course, we have Disney’s Song of the South, reviled today and almost impossible to see because of its rather rosy portrayal of slavery in the antebellum South. I don’t think that Br’er Fox represents the best of my kind, either…

There are many other examples I could cite, but in spite of being given an upbringing amidst a plethora of ethnic, racial, and species stereotypes, I don’t think I emerged any worse than moderately warped, which can be an adaptive feature in the current times… 🦊

Explore posts in the same categories: cartoons, controversial, furry, historical perspectives, television, Vintage

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One Comment on “My Politically-Incorrect Upbringing…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    I know the feeling. The library where I work has two audiovisual departments. One up in the 2nd floor children’s library for G-rated movies. One on the 1st floor for everything above that! And wouldn’t you know it? Bugs Bunny is deemed wholesome enough for the 2nd floor. But, Woody Woodpecker is relegated to 1st floor a-v as being “too mature.” Despite both of them employing the same “controversial” gimmmicks! Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

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