I just got called a JERK!
By someone who DOESN'T EVEN KNOW ME!
Well, we agree on Jerry Lewis. Utterly.
The point of my little exercise is to point out that... the stereotype in an animated cartoon is generally NOT offensive to the stereotypee. The Speedy Gonzales cartoons are a case in point. They are LOVED in Mexico and South America. I have yet to meet a single living soul who was offended by a cartoon lampooning their ethnic persuasion. Even the most egregious large-lipped, watermelon-eating Negro in, say, "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs" STILL outsmarts the bad guys! He is a "comical" hero, but still the hero of the piece.
All...literally ALL of the noise I hear is from Liberal Arts College educated white guys and gals who think that the Japanese should be offended by the AIP studios Dick Tracy cartoon character Joe Jitsu, f'rinstance, or that the guys at the local taqueria should be offended at Speedy Gonzales. No-one thinks I should be offended by Elmer Fudd.
I am hurt.
I will say that I see a HUGE difference between "telling a joke" and an animated cartoon. I find racial jokes offensive. There is a PERSONAL aspect to telling a racial joke that separates it in my mind from, say, a cartoon from another era, with different sensibilities. Therein lies the key. Today, that sort of thing cannot fly. Warner Brothers won't be putting out wildly stereotyped propaganda cartoons for "The War on Terror", because the market will not bear it. Sensitivities have changed. What I militate against is redacting history by hiding Things We Don't Like Anymore. To trot out Santayana one more time: those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
You cannot learn from what is hidden.