Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Negative Profiling

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Negative Profiling

All stereotypes are bad, there is no such thing as a negative stereotype. Even if someone would say that an ethnic group is smart, it is profiling the individual before you know anything about them. This practice has been going on for too long. Even today, racial slurs are being uttered. Some believe that we do this to separate race and religion.

While America was at war with Japan during the second World War, American soldiers put everyone into categories, even American civilians. Civilians couldn't understand what the soldiers were going through, so they were "foreigners". The Japanese, or Japs, were looked at as an animal. This type of propaganda was used to make the American soldiers to hate the Japanese enemies and have one common goal.

"Because they were animals, Japanese troops had certain advantages over Americans. They could see in the dark, it was believed, and survive on diet of roots. The very tiny-ness of the Japanese was another reason for contempt. They were little the way insects and rodents are little--little but nasty." (Paul Fussell, Wartime, page 119)

While at war, we had similar feelings toward the Germans. Although we weren't directly at war with them, the Americans were alittle more passive with them. They were human beings, but a cold and sinister type of person. We knew they could not be trusted because they were in alliance with the "rodent-like" Japanese.

Type-casting is somewhat childish. America was one little kid, Japan was another and the world was the playground. By using this type of propaganda that Japan was of another species, it raised American morale. We even do this today. Because of the trouble we are having in the Middle East, we are quick to judge someone of that heritage. This is an ongoing problem that I do not see ever getting resolved.

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