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Pheezer the Appeaser:



Believe it or not, Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist in the early 1940s, where he drew (among other things) the above item (August 13, 1941). Thanks to sisu for the pointer, and to UCSD for the cartoon.

Josh_Jasper (mail):
Also some notable ones that Michelle Malkin would approve of, portraying Japanese Americans as a 5th column

this, for example

Which was odd, because he was a vehement anti-racist in all other things.
2.19.2006 8:22pm
Robert F. Patterson (mail):
My first reaction is that the faces of the monsters are so familiar to us nowadays, from Dr. Seuss' stories, that the monsters seem almost funny, or at least, not very terrifying, unlike the Nazi monsters of the time.
2.19.2006 8:24pm
Al_Maviva (mail):
Yeah, the vehement racism of the U.S. in WWII has always bothered me quite a bit. It's not like we were attacked by the Japanese people or the German people or anything like that... it was merely the extremist, radical elements in those two otherwise peaceful countries, just a small minority that wrecked it for the whole, that really brought out the evil in the U.S. temperament and caused us to declare war. If we could have just talked a bit more, maybe clamped down on our warmongering and offensive press and a few other things so as to avoid offending them, it might have been different. And really, we should have kept that whole Pearl Harbor thing in perspective. Why, we lost as many on 9/11, and we lose 8 times as many people in car accidents each year, so to borrow Glenn Greenwald's excellent reasoning on the GWOT, the odds of getting killed by a Japanese or German soldier was actually quite a bit lower than the odds of getting killed in a car wreck. Moreover, if we didn't have such a warmongering cowboy in the WH at that time, a rich guy who'd never fought in battle but who was really eager to send other people's sons off to die, then the war and all the attendant racism might have been avoided.

/ahistoricalrevisionismfeature
2.19.2006 8:30pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
[Ignores Maviva's non sequitur.]

My reaction's the opposite to Mr. Patterson's; I will now see the Grinch as the closet Nazi he apparently is. After all, no less an authority than Bill O'Reilly says the Nazis tried to ban Christmas.

(This contentious little website has some pix of Nazi notables' Christmas celebrations.)
2.19.2006 8:34pm
M (mail):
Seuss (under his real name) also helped make US Army propoganda films shown to US troops occupying Germany just after the war. "Your Job in Germany" is the most famous. It was largely about how you could not trust Germans, since they'd proven themselves to be inherently war-like, and so you should not try to be friends with them. I have no political point to make by noting this, other than that it's sort of interesting.
2.19.2006 8:44pm
dk35 (mail):
I like this one, both because of its anti-racist message, and because it harkens back to the time w/out the "under god" in the pledge (i.e. back when government wasn't in the religion endorsement business).
2.19.2006 8:52pm
Steve:
I always thought we were attacked by a nation in WWII and not by a race. I'm glad a Michelle Malkin disciple was here to set me straight.
2.19.2006 8:56pm
dk35 (mail):
oops...sorry...I meant this one.
2.19.2006 8:57pm
Josh_Jasper (mail):
So clearly, the thing to do if we're attacked by a forein power is to round up native born Americans and naturalized citizens from that country, size thier wordly goods, and put them in camps in order to protect our...

What was that word? Freedom? Liberty? Constitution?
2.19.2006 8:58pm
BU2L (mail):
Anderson,

First of all, when you say "ignoring the non sequitur," ironically, you are not ignoring it, but in fact addressing its merits.

Second, it's hardly a non sequitur. The obvious relevance of the Dr. Seuss cartoon is the parallel between its depiction of the Nazis, and the relationship between Islam and much of the rest of the world, today. To those of us who believe in the war, and even to many who don't, the parallel is a good one. Next time you want to ignore something, maybe you should be less boisterous about it.
2.19.2006 9:27pm
thedaddy (mail):
dk35

That is an interesting cartoon.-- All the hands coming out of the trap door are -- Gasp! White.
What do you suppose that means?

thedaddy
2.19.2006 9:39pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
BU2L, allow me to be more boisterous: the non sequitur in Maviva's comment was that because we were attacked by Germany &Japan, it was therefore excusable that we practiced racism towards Germans and Japanese.

As for the accusation of irony, I plead, guilty as charged. Though more specifically, it's paraleipsis.
2.19.2006 9:49pm
Joe Henchman (mail):
A book "Dr. Seuss Goes to War" has the complete compilation of his WWII propaganda work. Good coffeetable book.

Amazon link
2.19.2006 9:59pm
dk35 (mail):
BU2L,

Firstly, I personally would caution against the use of the word "obvious." I don't see any "obvious" relevance to comparing Islam with Nazism. Maybe there are some parallels in connection with Islamic terrorists, but even there the relevance is rather attenuated.

But more importantly here, I think one could argue that what Anderson was referring to was a non-sequitur. After all, the cartoon Josh Jasper linked to seems to intimate that Japanese Americans were complicit in the Japanese war effort. In other words, Josh Jasper was referring to attitudes held by many in the US around the time of WWII that Japanese Americans would be more loyal to their ancestral home than to their actual home country. Of course, many probably had such thoughts about German Americans too, but then again German Americans didn't end up being round up and put into internment camps. So, many infer that racism was involved.

Now, Al_Maviva seems to take this as a refusal to admit that the rightness of going to war against some segment (if not all) of Islam is directly comparable with the rightness of going to war against Germany and Japan in WWII, and ridicules such a point of view. To me, that does seem like a non-sequitur.
2.19.2006 10:00pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Seuss's real last name "Geisel", means "Hostage" in german.
2.19.2006 10:05pm
Jeremy (mail) (www):
Japanese internment could hardly have been racist because "Japanese" is not a race. "Japanese" is a reference to national origin. Americans placed no Chinese, Koreans, or other Asians in camps. Rather, we were militarily allied with most other Asian countries against imperialistic Japan.
2.19.2006 10:25pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
That's BAD.

I think my favorite Dr. Suess book was the Star Bellied Sneeches, although I had several favorites.
2.19.2006 10:27pm
arthur (mail):
Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist all his life. The political messages in The Lorax, The Butter Battle Book, or The Sneetches (among others) are not subtle.
2.19.2006 10:31pm
BU2L (mail):
Anderson, DK,

I think what sums up the difference between our viewpoints - and it's a huge difference - is that to you there is a bona fide difference between consequences from the rise of Nazism, and possible consequences from the rise of Islam today, while to me that's just splitting hairs. I know the implications of saying that, but the truth is that as far as I'm concerned, the millions of peaceful Muslims are made irrelevant by their numerous murderous brothers.
2.19.2006 10:57pm
AppSocRes (mail):
Significant numbers of Japanese and German and Italian nationals in the United States at the start of WW II were in fact fifth-columnists. Malkin documents this quite well in her book on the subject. (But you wouldn't want to look through that telescope, Cardinal Anderson, lest you see the spots on the sun!) The crime the United States committed was not the initial internment, but the utter lack of any attempt to filter out the true subversive elements and free the rest.
2.19.2006 10:58pm
Noah Klein (mail):
Jeremy,

Are you that dense? Of course, the Japanese internment was about race. If it was only about national origin, then where were the German and Italian camps. While we did work with Chinese, Korean and Southwest Asian nations to defeat Japan, Americans were still racist against Asians. Just ask Korematsu. The reason that there were Japanese camps and not German or Italian camps was because of the fact that the Japanese had failed to integrate into our society as quickly as the Germans and Italians. This partly due to the fact that Germans and Italians had been coming to the U.S. for longer and partly because of race. I feel sorry for you if you are so blind to this.

AppSocRes,

The Malkin book is one of the worst "historical" works ever created. It has been roundly repudiated for its cherry-picking of documents, ignoring important information and generally misleading its reader. Furthermore, this repudiation does not only come from "liberal" professors, but many eminent conservative minds. The argument that this was done for Japanese people's safety is insulting to its reader. That argument analogous to saying that slavery was for the benefit of African-Americans. Using Malkin as an authority on World War II history is like using Pee-wee Herman as an authority on German philosophy.

Noah
2.19.2006 11:22pm
Noah Klein (mail):
That should be "that argument is analogous..."
2.19.2006 11:24pm
e:

Japanese internment could hardly have been racist because "Japanese" is not a race. "Japanese" is a reference to national origin. Americans placed no Chinese, Koreans, or other Asians in camps.

Wow.
Asians may all look the same to you, but don't be fooled by the limited racial categories you may be used to in this country. Japanese people can see Korean ancestry absent nationalistic tells. Vietnamese people recognize Chinese or Malaysian heritage as a quality separate from current citizenship. I suppose a light skinned black person cannot have racist feelings towards darker skinned blacks? I suppose it is not racist to be rude to Mexican immigrants because you do not share the same feelings about Peruvians who might fit into the same general racial category?
2.19.2006 11:30pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I think my favorite Dr. Suess book was the Star Bellied Sneeches, although I had several favorites.

I liked "Herbert the Pervert Likes Sherbert."
2.19.2006 11:31pm
BU2L (mail):
I just want to ditto Noah's claim that Malkin's book is widely decried as poorly researched and internally inconsistent, by folks from both left and right.

The fact that Malkin's agenda is partially co-extensive with what I consider to be my own, makes it that much more important that I criticize her when she is being stupid (i.e., often), because putting integrity ahead of partisanship is, umm, what separates us from the animals?
2.19.2006 11:31pm
Noah Klein (mail):
BU2L,

Thank you for your concurrence. Your concurrence was something I was not expecting, but I to further thank you the last line. It was funny.

Noah
2.19.2006 11:36pm
Bleepless (mail):
If memory serves, all of Seuss's wartime cartoons appeared in "PM," the People's Front daily in NYC, and in "New Masses," the Communist Party cultural weekly.
2.19.2006 11:49pm
Ryan (mail):
Noah,

there were German-Americans interned during WWII, as noted by Prof. Muller at
2.20.2006 1:07am
Ryan (mail):
2.20.2006 1:10am
Noah Klein (mail):
Ryan,

A very interesting article and very important piece of history, yet I am still somewhat confused by why these 11,000 were interned out of a community that was in millions in the United States. Furthermore, the number of Japanese that were interned was much closer to the total number of Japanese, at least on the West Coast. I am pretty sure that close to 100% of Japanese were interned compared to no where close that percentage among Germans and Italians. Also there was obvious racism related to the Japanese their internment, which is what we were discussing above. Thank you for the article though, it was very interesting.
2.20.2006 2:23am
JB:
In 1924, the Swedes were still considered not neccesarily white enough (the Irish were just becoming acknowledged as fully white themselves). Considering that, whatever the moral value (or lack of same) of classifying people as white, Irish, Germans and Swedes look a lot more like your classic white person than Japanese do, I'm not surprised that Japanese were interned while Germans weren't. American society had far enough to go that it's entirely believable that it would have advanced so far but no further.
2.20.2006 2:38am
Noah Klein (mail):
Ryan,

I also suggest you go to the Traces Museum website and take a look at the historical record that they discuss. This shows how, while most of these internees were treated unfairly, they were accussed of specific fifth column actions and they were given more due process (although not the due process they deserved) than the Japanese internees. For example, there were invidual hearings for the German internees which did not exist for Japenese internees (Korematsu). This does not excuse the actions that led to German internment and in some cases deportation, but it does demonstrate that there were differences between the way these two communities were treated.

Noah
2.20.2006 2:41am
Chirol (mail) (www):
We've had a series on old Dr. Suess cartoons running for a long time at Coming Anarchy.
2.20.2006 3:44am
anon) (mail):
I would think that Michelle Malkin would be more open in her support for Dr. Seuss. I guess, since Dr. Suess changed his tune in later years to be a bit more conciliatory, a bimbo like her needs to tread carefully.
2.20.2006 4:57am
Charles Chapman (mail) (www):
This thread is interesting. In response to a cartoon concerning appeasement, the comments address a different blogger, Michelle Malkin, a different cartoon, and/or what the U.S. did 60 years ago.

Then again, I guess the way in which Muslims were hearded into internment camps after 911 is similar to internment of the Japanese during WWII.
2.20.2006 5:55am
Barry P. (mail):
The date of this cartoon betrays that fact that Seuss had the benefit of hindsight in judging the Nazis. The leaders of allied Europe pre-1939 did not. Reciting the "appeasement" mantra without consideration the 1930's zeitgeist is intellectually dishonest.
2.20.2006 6:45am
Federal Dog:
Charles Chapman--

I thoroughly agree. I am becoming more and more disheartened by the public's inability to remain focused on issues vital to national security without getting distracted by all manner of overwrought emotion.
2.20.2006 7:53am
davod (mail):
Yes, but he was not being critical of Islam.
2.20.2006 7:54am
dan (mail):
Just one of many reports of Japanese Americans fighting for their side during WW2: link.
2.20.2006 9:24am
farmer56 (mail):
Noah Klein Etal

WWII. Do Not try to super impose today to WWII It does not work. The Point. Germans exterminated 6 million Jews..Because...They were Jews Go back and read the number, 6,000,000 To me thats a lot. Maybe its just me?

If you get to use old history I get to also. Japanese, WWII EVIL! Dont think so? Check out the POW survival rates vs. Those of POW in Germany. If you care about human life be real close to the toilet, because you should throw up.

See? Its a thing called Evil people from a defined group that does not value Human life. Like, what, Blowing up kids at a busstop. Like Muslims blowing up their own population? Including their own CHILDREN? That kind of disregard for human LIFE?

Al_Malviva

So I guess an attack on Pearl Harbor dont count. Ok whatever. And sinking American Ships and Subs? dont Count? whatever
2.20.2006 9:45am
Brutus:
If it was only about national origin, then where were the German and Italian camps.

Crystal City, Texas!


The date of this cartoon betrays that fact that Seuss had the benefit of hindsight in judging the Nazis. The leaders of allied Europe pre-1939 did not.

Yes, they had the benefit of foresight. Hitler told them exactly what he was going to do, then he did it. Lesson: when someone says he wants to kill you, believe him.
2.20.2006 10:31am
earnest (www):
(Continuing tongue in cheek) Yes those Japanese Americans sure were a dangerous bunch during WW2. A snip from Dan's link above--

"The "Lost Battalion" is just one entry -- a defining one, to be sure, but only one -- in the regiment's catalog of valor during World War II. For its size and time in combat, less than two years, the 442nd is the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

Soldiers of the 442nd fought in eight major campaigns in Italy, France and Germany, including the battles at Monte Cassino, Anzio and Biffontaine. They earned more than 18,000 individual decorations, including one Medal of Honor, 53 Distinguished Service Crosses, 588 awards of the Silver Star, 5,200 awards of the Bronze Star Medal and 9,486 Purple Hearts, and seven Presidential Unit Citations, the nation's top award for combat units. "
2.20.2006 10:31am
BU2L (mail):
Also, it seems more than a little disingenuous to say that we can't criticize a poor political decision on the ground that we are aided by hindsight. Isn't that precisely the basis on which we evaluate leadership decisions - their consequences?

Moreover, in August of '41, when Most of Western Europe was under Hitler's thumb, and Barbarossa was steamrolling toward the heart of Russia, there were still people arguing for non-intervention. The cartoon was not just an illustration of a past mistake - it was also relevant for the time it was released.


(If pressed, I can find a cite, but off the top of my head - there was something about very late calls for appeasement in "American Studies," by Louis Menand)
2.20.2006 10:40am
EricH (mail):
I'm lost as to how Michelle Malkin's defense of internment got into this topic but since it's been broached...

Can anyone care to explain why the academic Left (and I'm generalizing of course), especially in the history departments, are outraged over Malkin's work and yet the very same academics give awards and praise to the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm who has defended Stalin's terror? Or at the very least, seem to be sitting on their hands?

While my wording was admittedly somewhat tendentious, this is not a 'gotcha question.

Malkin defends internment - or at the very least argues that there was a legitimate security reason for the measure - and get excoriated. Hobsbawm defends the mass slaughter of millions and gets awards?

EH
2.20.2006 10:40am
Brutus:
No Enemies on the Left, that is the rule!
2.20.2006 10:47am
BU2L (mail):
(Cough, CHOMSKY!!, Cough)
2.20.2006 10:52am
Brutus:
Looks like the good Dr. Seuss was pro-internment.
2.20.2006 11:00am
JB:
Actually, the internment of Muslims sounds like the internment of Germans. A few individuals taken away, with hearings. Any word on how fair the German hearings were?
2.20.2006 11:04am
JB:
Which is to say, there have been hearings in this case, but hardly fair or timely ones.
2.20.2006 11:05am
dk35 (mail):
EricH,

While I appreciate your caveats that your wording may have been tendentious, I still have to say that your assumptions about the "academic left" in history departments are simply not true.

I was a graduate student in a rather large history department, and know many members of the "academic left," and I can say with 100% certainty that none of them are fans of Stalin. As far as reception of Hobsbawm's work is concerned, his work has been thoroughly vetted in such a way that greater academic community of historians, on the left and on the right, largely agree as to what parts of Hobsbawm's work is based upon sound historical reserach, and what part can be chalked up to polemics. Just as they do with Nietzsche and Heidegger, and others who, shall we say, made very bad choices in their politics.

Inasumuch as there may be historians who read Hobsbawm uncritically, well, they are bad historians. But there are bad left-wing historians, and bad right-wing historians (and bad historians in between). To suggest, though, that the "academic left" holds such a view, however, just doesn't represent reality if by "academic left" you are referring to the history factulty of American colleges and universities.

BU2L,

I don't agree with everything Chomsky says either (though my bet is that I'm more sympathetic to him than you are). However, thought I don't know the man, my bet is that if you went up to him and asked him for his opinion of Stalin, he probably wouldn't come out with a positive review. From your other comments, you seem like a thoughtful conservative. Don't fall into the trap of accusing every left-wing scholar of being a communist.
2.20.2006 12:06pm
farmer56 (mail):
Ah come on! Communists Are the the best. Most History teachers tell you that. It just hasent been done right. YET.
2.20.2006 12:30pm
Houston Lawyer:
As for the treatment of Germans in the US during WWII, all of my grandparents spoke German as their first language, although only my paternal grandfather was not yet a citizen when the war broke out. My grandfather and his non-citizen relatives were ordered to surrender their firearms. I understand all but one complied, and that his house was searched with metal detectors and the walls were breached when the detectors sensed the hidden rifles. My grandfather became a coast watcher for the duration of the war.

Otherwise, the only real effect was that my parents, who were born just before the war, were not taught to speak German.
2.20.2006 12:37pm
Noah Klein (mail):
Farmer56,

Where your diatribe comes from, I don't know, but there are several things you need to know about history. Just as a minor point, it is extremely important to remember that it was 11 million people were killed by the Germans. 6 million Jews and 5 million other people. 5 million people should be forgotten so easily, because the Nazis evil was directed mostly against Jews.

But to address your major point that we should not talk about the wrongs done by the U.S. because the evil done by the Nazis and Japanese government is ridiculous. The Nazis killed 11 million innocent people and even greater numbers of people in battles it fought. They should have been derided and destroyed and decimated and thankfully they have been. I doubt anyone in this forum (beecause they don't know personally) will have any idea of the hatred that I have towards the Nazis, but let me just say I would not be here if not for the United States and the brave men who fought to free my grandparents. The Japanese government's actions also deserves people's derision. This government treated those it conquered and their POWs so cruelly that one is sick on hearing the tales. This is why I am so glad the U.S. and its allies won.

Having said all that, the U.S. government did conduct some actions that were wrong. Interning innocent people (and I thank Ryan for the evidence that Germans and Italians were interned, but no where near to the percentage of Japanese) is wrong. There was little to no evidence of fifth column activities and that is borne out by the Korematsu case. The U.S.'s actions in WWII is rightly viewed as mostly morally correct (treating its POWs fairly, freeing innocent people harmed the Nazis and Japanese and so on), but to forget the wrongs done is to not learn from history. We must recognize the right and the wrong in someone's and a nation's actions and the good that is done should blind a person to bad that is done.

Noah
2.20.2006 12:54pm
farmer56 (mail):
Noah;

I ment not offense. History has a purpose. And hence, The Germans dragging off innocent people, 6 million, just because of who they were. Juxtaposed against muslims killing their own. Japanese killed thousands of POW's.Because? They were not Japanese. These are facts. Some Dutch cartoonest draws a cartoon, and, guess what? Now we see riots by muslims, causing the death of their own, raising signs that say death to America. Sorry again. I do get a little testy when a group (Mulsims) are trying to kill me. If I had a big city job at the World Trade Center. I would be dead now. So excuse continued diatribe about not wanting to be killed by Muslims. And trying to bring into focus the similar activities of past hatefull killing thugs.
2.20.2006 1:23pm
BU2L (mail):
dk,

I wasn't accusing Chomsky of being a communist - to be honest, I couldn't pigeonhole him if I tried - I was lumping him with Malkin and Hobsbawm on account of the fact that all three are notorious cherry-pickers when it comes to facts and statistics.

Admittedly, Chomsky is probably much smarter than the other two. But that reminds me - it was either Goebbels, or his opposite number on the Soviet side - that said something along the lines of, "The bigger lie, the more convincing." That could be the parameter that really separates Chomsky from Malkin.
2.20.2006 2:06pm
dk35 (mail):
BU2L,

I don't know. Some could argue that could be the parameter that separates Chomsky/Malkin from George W Bush. But then again, I don't find such paremeters all that helpful in attempts to search for the truth. Good old fashioned source checking often, though of course not always, suffices.
2.20.2006 3:35pm
Barry P. (mail):
Brutus: in his dealings with other European leaders pre-39, Hitler was mendacious, not straightforward, as you claim. With Poland, Chamberlain finally drew a line in the sand that would result in war if crossed. Besides, it would have been suicidal for Britain and France to declare war earlier, as they were far behind in the arms race until 1939. It wasn't until he Munich conference that Chamberlain discovered how much Germany had re-armed, and as soon as he discovered this, he ordered full re-armament of the UK. As soon as this was up to speed he went to war with Hitler.

I do get a little testy when a group (Mulsims) are (sic) trying to kill me.

Yes, all 1.2 billion of them with a unified, singular goal: kill Farmer56. You're clearly a very important man.

If I had a big city job at the World Trade Center. I would be dead now.

Indeed. Because not a single WTC employee survived 9/11. Not one of the 25,000 or so people who worked there. Nosireebob. (BTW, love the placement of every clause in its very own sentence. It's a daring stylistic excursion.)
2.20.2006 4:10pm
BU2L (mail):
Barry,

I'm not so sure that France and Britain were behind in military development. France had a very robust military, including some of the best tanks of the day - the Somua tanks. They also had more tanks than the German. The difference was that the German tanks were operated and led by Germans, and the French tanks.. well, you get the idea. If the French (1) changed their strategy from WWI; but (2) still had the spirit they had in WWI, then the outcome would have been very different. I know that history doesn't tolerate "if's," but this is not a question of what could have happened - it is one of what the European leaders expected to happen in a war with Germany, before they actually saw it for themselves.

Also, if Hitler acted duplicitously at all, it was toward the Russians, with whom he had a mutual non-aggression pact that according to internal Nazi documents, he never intended to honor.
2.20.2006 4:38pm
BU2L (mail):
Oh, and now that I read to the end of your post, Barry, how necessary was it to point out that not all WTC workers were killed? Ugh.
2.20.2006 4:39pm
farmer56 (mail):
Barry P.

I am making a point. Mulslims are just not tying to kill me and my fellow Americans. They did that. I still remmember the imagages of Americans leaping to their death.

I call that an act of war. Are all muslisms Evil? Of course not. But. The Clerics that order 'Death to America' yeh I think that maybe that the evil thugs that listen to the clerics are evil, along with the clerics that are silent on what is going. (Hey want to kill people? sure ,not only sure, but, I order you to go out and kill.) And again, Your, POINT? Other than if you dont like Americans? Its fine, yessirbob it is fine to Murder them.

I have stood up for the Muslim faith after 9-11 But. Not a single Muslim has stood up to deffend the acts of blowing up their own children. If they have. Like Patton.Pony up or shut up. And like Archie Bunker. Stiffle
2.20.2006 4:43pm
farmer56 (mail):
To All;

Go Back and read the history,

LOTS of Americans did not want to be involved in the war 'over there' sound fimilar? But Hey 6 million lives later as in 6,000,000 souls burned in ovens, 6,000,000 souls lost, because the US had the power to do something, but not the spine, Like killing more than 3000 Americans on US soil because????? See I still struggle with the Why part?? Maybe I can get some help with the 'why' Before the Muslims Murder 6,000,000 more Americans. 'Cause, thats what the mulims have made their stated goal. Oh yea that and killing all of the population of Isreal. But it is the faith of peace!
2.20.2006 5:03pm
Mikeyes (mail):
One of the reasons that Germans were not arrested or discriminated against in large numbers dates back to the First World War. Prior to WWI Milwaukee had a number of German language newspapers and 30% of the population spoke German as a first language. Many of these were native (US) born. In fact in the little town I live in you can still find elderly men and women whose first language was German.

During that war there was a severe scrutiny concerning anything German. The use of the language died an instant death (although you can still find Lutheran services in German here) and even the pronuciation of Berlin (as in Berlin, WI and New Berlin, WI) changed to BER-lin instead of ber-LIN. Berlin Street in New Orleans was changed to Napoleon Street (all the othe streets in that area are named after famous Napoleanic victories) and so forth.

By the time WWII broke out, the anti-German work had been done. I don't know why the Italians were spared, I will leave that to someone else .
2.20.2006 5:44pm
Noah Klein (mail):
Farmer,

I did not take offense and I am glad that you were considerate of my feelings. I responded to you because you responded to me and mentioned the crimes of Germany and Japan. I felt that it was necessary to point out that while Germany committed offenses (and if I angry at all in my response it was meant toward the Nazis and not you), the U.S. also failed some moral tests. The U.S. did pass more moral tests than it failed, but to ignore the failures of the U.S. to doom to us to repeat them.

Finally, I can't stress this enough, it is very important that we remember that there 11 million innocent people killed by the Nazis. The vast majority were Jews (6 million), yet Polish people, the disabled, the mentally handicapped, gays, gypsies and many dissenters were also put in concentration camps and killed. We must not forget the other 5 million people killed in remembering the 6 million Jews killed.

Noah
2.20.2006 5:49pm
Vovan:

Where your diatribe comes from, I don't know, but there are several things you need to know about history. Just as a minor point, it is extremely important to remember that it was 11 million people were killed by the Germans. 6 million Jews and 5 million other people. 5 million people should be forgotten so easily, because the Nazis evil was directed mostly against Jews.


Uhm Noah,

There were around 12 million civilian death in the Soviet Union alone, though that figure aparently does include hunger and repressions, but does not include the Holocaust, nor military casualties info here
Looks like in the Nazi bodycount Russkies are the winners
2.20.2006 6:33pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
To go yet farther off topic, we (the Russkies) inflicted by far the most casualties on the Nazis than all of the other Allies put together. The fact that our Generals referred to Russian casualties as "match-sticks," (e.g., "How many match-sticks this time?), is another story.

Vovan, haven't seen you for a while :)
2.20.2006 6:47pm
Barry P. (mail):
A relatively little-known point is that Hitler also had a policy of "euthanizing" German soldiers who returned from the front too injured to be "productive contributors to society" again. Sort of a bipartsian utilitarian psychopathy.

And a reminder that Germany suffered the VAST majority of their casualties on the Eastern Front in The Great War and WWII.

Last point: after reading a fair bit on this, I'm convinced that Chamberlain went to war as soon as it was politically and militarily feasible for him to do so. But I understand that that is a minority opinion.

Sorry if my previous statements offended. Sometimes the need to mock gets the better of one.
2.21.2006 7:18am
Jeremy Pierce (mail) (www):
I find it absolutely astounding that everyone here would just assume that what Geisel is portraying in that cartoon is an endorsement of interment rather than a portrayal of the strangeness of the policy. Why assume that? I look at the cartoon and can see how someone with either view might have created such a portrayal. This is a political cartoon. People do things like that all the time. Didn't Eugene have a nice post recently about someone who produced three political cartoons intended to portray three very different and in fact contradictory views of the same incident?

That's just something I found strange about this conversation. What I found offensive is the assumption that support for interment could come only from a racist, which is just a crazy assumption. Aside from the issues of what policies there really were and whether being Japanese counts as a race (rather than the more accurate category of ethnicity), one need harbor no negative attitude toward anyone on the basis of race or ethnicity to advocate a policy that involves heavy racial or ethnic profiling against a group that one believes (wrongly or rightly) to have a high percentage of people who are a threat. One need not be a racist to practice racial profiling in high crime areas where 98% of the crimes are committed by young black males dressed in a certain way. One need not be a racist to practice racial profiling of Arabs with a certain look who are more likely to be terrorists. One need not be a racist to practice racial profiling of Japanese who might be more likely to be spies in a WWII setting. What I'm saying leaves it open that it's wrong to profile in such a way. That's not the issue. The point is that it's not necessarily racist. Racism requires a negative attitude toward the group in question. One may not have that but still think it's the most effective law enforcement strategy given the statistical facts. I find it really funny that people jump from Malkin's view to the charge of racism when that's just a complete non sequitur.
2.21.2006 7:34am
farmer56 (mail):
Noah;

yes I do understand the amount of total exterminated by Nazis. But for most here, history is not the strong suit. Therefore just concentrating on the 6 million Jews is a message that those that care can do a bit of reading and find out that the Nazis were an evil people. That the Nazis cared not about life. then we get to today. Muslims blowing up their own children at bus stops while trying to attend school. I see a corellation there that needs to be addressed. Just as when we listened to the people here in the US that said 'we have no business 'over there' before more than 11 million people were rounded up and put to death because they did not fit the profile. Understand all? A group that has vowed to exterminate an entire country. So you see the world has a problem with Muslims. They only care about exterminating an entire country. After they are don with Isreal they will start on The Nnited States of America. Opps! My bad already got more than 3000 dead from 9-11. Then the first World trade center deaths, then the embassy bombings, then the US Cole. Wake Up Muslims will not rewt until they KILL us.
2.21.2006 9:14am
Noah Klein (mail):
Jeremy,

"One need not be a racist to practice racial profiling in high crime areas where 98% of the crimes are committed by young black males dressed in a certain way."

What you described is the definition of racism. "The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
Discrimination or prejudice based on race."

I am not saying that you believe white superior to anyone, but judging a person (profiling) by their race is racism. May the state have good cause to conduct such actions? Possibly, but let's not kid ourselves it is racism.

Noah
2.21.2006 2:00pm
ficus:
Noah,

Discrimination is not inherently bad. I'll give you an example. Amish do not carry IDs, but in the parts of Ohio where Amish are numerous, store keepers will let them cash a check without an ID, whereas others are required to show IDs -- so I hear, but you can take it as a hypothetical. This is discrimination, but it based on the good reputation that the Amish have: they are known for being honest, and storekeepers haven't been burned by bad checks from them.

That is rational. It is discrimination. It is OK, as I hope you will agree.

So what's wrong with what Jeremy said? There are notable differences, one being that racial profiling by police will result in some innocents falsely being scrutinized, and worse. It is a lot more intrusive than merely being required to show an ID to cash a check. Also, it breeds ill will. It is perhaps a bad policy. But I think it has the same kind of rational basis as the discrimination between Amish and non-Amish: experience of what you should look out for with different types of people. I don't see that it is racist, unless the cause of it is not experience, but a disposition to believe the worst of black youths even before any experience; or unless the threshold for imposing the policy is lower for black youth than for people of other races. It is often hard to tell, and of course it will be attacked as racist whether it is or not.

It is hard to tell about the actual motives of policy makers, but it is always interesting to know whether the targeted group (e.g., black youths) are viewed suspciously by people of the same race as themselves. If they are generally so viewed, that is probably for reasons other than racism -- reasons such as experience. If that is so, then one should consider whether the police policy may not likewise be based on experience.
2.21.2006 11:15pm
Noah Klein (mail):
Ficus,

As you know as lawyer, a compelling state interest can be something that allows for discrimination. As I said above, there may a good reason to do as Jeremy suggests. I just was disputing that it is racism, according to the definition I provided.

Noah
2.22.2006 2:29am
Jeremy Pierce (mail) (www):
Racism is an attitude, not a view or a practice. It involves a negative attitude toward people on the basis of race. Maybe you're thinking of institutional racism, which is something else altogether. That involves harmful effects along racial lines that are often unintentional. That's not racism, though. It was for lack of a better word that race scholars used that term, but you can never simply refer to it as unqualified racism, given the connotation of attitudinal racism that such a charge carries. If the term 'racism' is unqualified, it refers to attitudinal racism. This is not something people with differing views on race policies really disagree on.

As to the definition you provided, that's a historical definition that really once was what the word meant. That's not how people use the term today. Since the meaning of a word is determined by how the word is currently used and not simply its etymological origin, claiming that its former usage should determine its current meaning is simply not true. Words change their meanings, and this is such a clear case of that. For some reason dictionaries aren't keeping up, which I find incredibly strange given that they keep up on other politically sensitive meaning changes.
2.22.2006 8:08am
Noah Klein (mail):
Jeremy,

This is not historical definition of racism. It is the definition I got from dictionary.com. The second definition provided stated "Discrimination or prejudice based on race." I don't how that is any different than what you described in your first post. I don't think you're a racist. I think that you are simply trying to proscribe a formula for stopping an evil practice, yet the formula you proscribe depends on discrimination based on race. As I said above, if the state has a compelling interest the Supreme Court has said that if that interest can rise above the level of strict scrutiny than it is fine. Yet it still is judging by the race and not by the person.

From a pure policy perspective, I have not found racial profiling to be an ineffective means to stop terrorism or crime. In the area of terrorism, there are many races involved in this practice. Aside from the fact that there are Asian Muslims and people of other races who can convert to the radical Islam (John Walker Lindh and Jose Padilla), terrorism has be used by other societies. The IRA, Timonthy McVeigh, the KKK, the Jackal have all used terrorism. In the area of crime, racial profiling tends to cause problems between the police and the community they police. Studies have demonstrated that the best way to police a society is to engage it and thus the citizens of that community will inform the police of crimes that are being or have been committed.

Noah
2.22.2006 7:00pm