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“Designers can’t assume that because they did not

intend to offend or did not mean to use an image or a Emperor Hirohito for Collier’s anniversary magazine in 1942. In the illustration, he depicts Hirohito as a bloodsucking vampire bat about to drop the bomb. Szyk believed

particular connotation of an image, that others will

he was “justly attacking the principal scourges of war through ridicule and derision, for which racism was a tool” (“Designing Demons”). In an essay for Eye Magazine,

not make other meaningful associations. If individuals educator and author Steven Heller said war is not the only reason for“graphic hate.” “There is no other greater motivator than apprehension of ‘otherness,’ ” he said, adding that

believe in stereotypes, they will use them.” imagery depicting racial stereotypes are used to exacerbate the fears of those who are insecure. Add a hateful gaze or dramatic lighting and a once-benign image can become an attack (“Designing Demons”). “It takes very little effort on the part of designers to open the Pandora’s box of offensive graphics,” he said, adding that terrorist attacks have left Arabs caricatured in a way that’s reminiscent of anti-Semitic cartoons of the past (“Designing Demons”). Those images end up leaving a lasting impression of this group, an impression that people will carry with them throughout life. “The single derogatory picture often negates a thousand positive words,” Heller wrote (“Designing Demons”). It is not the images, though, that stir controversy; it’s the images in combination with human perception and history (“Science of Stereotyping”). So, for some, if the Aunt Jemima box of pancakes has been on the breakfast table since childhood, those memories of happy family breakfasts are inextricably linked to her smiling picture. It’s easy to see why her removal would cause emotion. However, there are plenty of people for which Aunt Jemima represents a time of oppression and hate. Seeing a constant reminder of that stirs feeling of resentment. It is the former that makes it hard for some to discard Top, Illustration from the cover of Collier’s Magazine. Left, Aunt Jemima in 1939.

their hold on stereotypes. To Lippmann, stereotypes may not

Los Angeles Times; Ebay; and


Think Before You Type by Nancy Palm  

Think Before You Type by Nancy Palm. 2012 Thesis