I was searching for lifelike mice on Amazon today (long story) and found this unbelievably racist Halloween mask of a black man. Tiny ears, white eyes, big lips – just like the racist cartoons of the 50’s. My gut reaction was shock and I began to wonder how the seller would justify placing an item like this for sale. My guess is, they would argue it’s simply a caricature, which begs the question – are caricatures racist by nature?
I searched for white-men masks and sure enough, up popped overweight white guys with fat jowls and stupid grins (I’m white by the way). A search for China man mask produced similar results. I didn’t find them funny but rather, disturbing, dehumanizing works of art. I’m sure for the person (or race) that the caricature depicts, they’re not humorous but rather, uncomfortable at the least, at worst, can create a sort of self-hatred in the person being depicted. The seller can label them caricatures all they want – they’re still racist.