Positive Propaganda

During the time leading up to World War II, there was a large amount of negative propaganda surrounding Japanese Americans, arousing fear and hatred in their friends and neighbors. The Japanese were being suspected of disloyalty to their country, and were viewed as possible threats to national security. Japanese Americans from all along the California coast were moved into internment camps, supposedly to protect them from future attacks, but in actuality to get them away from their valuable ship ports. Some non-Japanese people, so scared of being thought of as Japanese, even showed signs saying their nationality so as to avoid the negative prejudices of being Japanese. Propaganda is used in order to make people fear who the government wanted them to fear, and in this case, it was terrible to the Japanese, portraying them as evil and ugly people who looked genuinely scary. In this ‘visual history’ I depicted my version of a propaganda poster from that time, including the terrible stereotypes and attempting to match the style of the time. In my second illustration, I took the letters from the original poster, but rearranged them to instead encourage citizens to stick up for their Japanese neighbors, and remember that they are people just like themselves. I wonder what would have happened if the non-Japanese Americans had stuck up for their friends and protected them from the unfair actions of the government.

Original Poster:  https://drive.google.com/a/cps.edu/file/d/0B1OOnUF2gpqmQ2JiZWJJMkc3dnBqREpPQ3BoMDdOYUJrT0NV/edit?usp=sharing

Positive Poster:  https://drive.google.com/a/cps.edu/file/d/0B1OOnUF2gpqmNkw1dXFkUldSQkROOW1pVlFHaVpaMkNyTkxF/edit?usp=sharing

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One thought on “Positive Propaganda

  1. Elli! I really really liked this, because it really stood out from the posts I was searching through. The discussion of the Americans’ treatment of the Japanese is really uncomfortable for many people, but I like that you addressed it. In block 8, we discussed the spread of the Red Scare and the communist fears during the Cold war, and how this oppression and use of dramatized videos/propaganda was a form of terrorism. Your post again spoke to this, and I love the poignant nature of the “Positive Poster”, with its simple message that so many could not muster the courage to even consider. Thanks for this wonderful piece!

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