Thursday, September 27, 2007

Racial Propaganda In Fighting WW2

I found an incredibly comprehensive site on our homeland Japanese in WW2. I used some of the comic book examples along with some of the explanatory text and combined it with a particularly prejudiced WW2 song from authentic history
"The purpose of this section of The Authentic History Center is to educate about the power of imagery in the stereotyping of race. By understanding how it happened, we can recognize it happening now. Once aware, we can make a conscious effort to avoid the messy thinking stereotyping promotes that leads to fear, prejudice, hate, and discrimination. The purpose is not to blame, but to increase people's sensitivy to these stereotypes by decreasing ignorance. Promoting racial tolerance is a goal because intolerance is destructive and not acceptable in a free, civilized society. Ultimately, however, we must all learn to value the racial and cultural diversity of our histories, our nations, and the world in which we live in order to be truly civilized"
Two recordings most notable for their themes of revenge and anger appeared on sides A and B of a December 1941 Bluebird release by Carson Robison. This performer had earned a living and reputation as a cowboy and hillbilly artist throughout the 1920s and 1930s, spending many of those years working with Vernon Dalhart. His most prolific years were before 1930, but with the attack on Pearl Harbor, Robison found a temporary niche as a novelty song artist. Robison's version of "Remember Pearl Harbor," while emphasizing the sneak attack, manages to call the Japanese "rats," "vultures," and "yellow scum" (no longer deserving of being considered our "little brown brothers"). Twice he advocates killing all Japanese, managing in the last verse to invoke both religion and the patriotic duty of all Americans to help support the war effort by buying more war bonds. On the B side is a rather amazing anti-Japanese recording, "We're Gonna Have To Slap The Dirty Little Jap (And Uncle Sam's The Guy Who Can Do It)," written by Bob Miller. This song, as well as the previous, refer to the Japanese as "yellow." While this is undoubtedly a reference to the "cowardly" act of a sneak attack, it also seems clear that use of the word is part of the common race caricature of Japanese seen throughout the war. Even the sheet music is yellow. The Carson Robison version of this song did not include the third verse. That verse was recorded in a version by Lucky Millinder on February 18, 1942

We're Gonna Have To Slap The Dirty Little Jap (and Uncle Sam's The Guy Who Can Do It)"
Performed by Lucky Millinder, Written by Bob Miller, Recorded February 18, 1942
We're gonna have to slap the dirty little Jap
And Uncle Sam's the guy who can do it
We'll skin the streak of yellow from this sneaky little fellow
And he'll think a cyclone hit him when he's thru it
We'll take the double crosser to the old woodshed
We'll start on his bottom and go to his head
When we get thru with him he'll wish that he was dead
We gotta slap the dirty little Jap
We're gonna have to slap the dirty little Jap
And Uncle Sam's the guy who can do it
The Japs and all their hooey will be changed into chop suey
And the rising sun will set when we get thru it
Their alibi for fighting is to save their face
For ancestors waiting in celestial space
We'll kick their precious face down to the other place
We gotta slap the dirty little Jap
We're gonna have to slap the dirty little Jap
And Uncle Sam's the guy who can do it
We'll murder Hirohito, massacre that slob Benito
Hang'em with that Shickle gruber when we're thru it
We'll search the highest mountain for the tallest tree
To build us a hanging post for the evil three
We'll call in all our neighbors, let'em know their free
We gotta slap the dirty little Jap


Anonymous said...

Your blog is appropriately titled: you are a pseudo-intellectual. You clearly have no historical knowledge nor perspective from which to understand why this behavior appears, and why it is in fact necessary to an extent during a vicious war.

You glibly whine how terrible the words are, while having no understanding why the sentiment is not simply propaganda pushed AT people, although that is part. The Japanese used captured civilians for baynonet practice. They ran rape centers. They murdered millions of civilians and spread plague in China. More than 25% of POWs died. They bombed civilian centers. They performed medical experiments on living POWs, including vivisection and amputations w/o anesthesia. Their national psyche was "our leader is God and we will not surrender". This is all well documented by innumerable, credible sources.

To fight a vicious enemy, one must be vicious. I know that hurts your tender sensibilities, but that is because you never experienced the stark contrast of the insanity a vicious enemy poses to a civilized society. A simple analogy would be to ask what you would do to survive a shark attack. I would do ANYTHING to that is sad that it ends up "him or me", but that is the reality. War is actually no different, especially with respect to the fact that the events are foreign to the sensibilities of people used to civility.

I dare you to research WWII with an analytic, rather than "I hate America" perspective. Why was a sneak attack on PH, with 2,402 killed and 1,282 wounded, ok with you, but a simpleton song abrades you so? You have soul searching to do...I don't hold out much hope for you to understand fact and reality.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with the above comments regarding the status of the enemy during WW II. The Japanese were cruel beyond all compare. Simply because a writer attaches "intellectual" to something doesn't make it so in the real world. The Japanese committed the worst war crimes in current history and have never apologized for their actions. Their treatment of POW's in the war was true to a barbaric nation and enemy. Furthermore, the emperor should have been hanged for not insisting that soldiers behave as civilized 20th century warriors.

The US saw to it that POW's were treated humanely even if only a few Japanese surrendered. They were humbled by their treatment and never expected to be treated so well.

Political correctness has no place in the study of actual war history!