Racial Cartoons are a powerful force disguised as entertainment operating to shape public opinion. During the 1980s, 1990s and after 9/11 in 2001, cartoons in the Australian press were particularly directed against Muslim and Christian Arabs without remorse or fear of redress or accountability. The offensive of such cartoons has essentially been directed on three fronts—oil, politics and religion. The drawback resulting from socio-cultural, historical and other differences are no doubt visible; but equally obvious is that anti-Semitism, which was directed against the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, is today mostly directed against the public relations deprived, opinion silenced and undemocratically governed, ethnically diverse Arabs. It is argued in this paper that several forces were behind such distorted visual strategies adopted by the Australian press. Pre-judgement stemming from an inbuilt bias of the cartoonist, or highlighting characteristics which conform to the national interest are likely factors. The debate in Australia as to whether public images and attitudes of a minority “cause” or “determine” policy or whether policy itself changes attitudes is still resting with the jury.
Field of Research
160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
Socio Economic Objective
959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified