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The Use of Media to Promote Unity and Patriotism in America

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As a nation that has promoted the policy of neutrality for so long, it was difficult for the citizens of the United States to adapt, especially due to the aversion they had due to the effects of World War I. Because of this resistance the American people had to the huge change in policy, the government had to rely on the usage of media for promoting unity and patriotism. While, this particular technique is not new, it was shown that it did work and would work again. Through media, the United States would furthermore unite and strengthen the ties between citizens, giving them the reasons to why they entered this war, through the furthermore advancing music and television. However, due to certain aspects of resistance, the American people were unable to become a fortified.

As the United States became heavily involved in the war, music and television were utilized in converting the perspective of the American people to increase their patriotism and participation in this war. With the use of animation, it was easier to adapt and change the characters in order for them to become the image the people needed them to be, and in this particular case, who they needed the axis and the allies to be. Through short clips such as Thrifty Pig, the media is able to compare the folklore of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs to the German government and the Allied forces. By using an analogy between the “big bad” wolf and a “nazi”, they show how destructive germany is in decimating all of the homes of the first two pigs – and only through the third pig, who had canadian bricks were they able to maintain their homes, representing the reason as to why the people of America should try to maintain their homes through bonds and decrease spending. Through television, they are able to show who the are good and who are bad, who we are and who they are, creating the simple us and them mentality. For example, when popeye encounters the Japanese, they promise him that they’re peaceful, only to beat him up and put dynamite into his shoe later, representing a sneaky, mean, and deceitful image of the Japanese in which they want to damage America and hurt the people. Even with the usage of Bugs Bunny, the American media is able to show that Hitler is the definite enemy, and that Stalin is a beloved ally who is able to scare Hitler away. With this propaganda, it becomes clear to the citizens who the enemies are – Germany and Japan. The United States is able to fully understand their patriotism with songs that unify the whole country in what they’re fighting for as artist like Kate Smith sing with lines such as “God, Bless America”, “My home, sweet home”, and “Land that I love”. This unification and patriotism media brought allowed the mindsets of the American people to change and believe in what they’re fighting for, that “we’re” the good and “they’re” the bad and that this freedom and self-determination is what is worth fighting for.

While the United State’s people do become unified in their standing in the war against the German and Japanese, there is disunity among particular races, both at home and at seas. In this war, there is still the race based separation of units throughout the military, with all black groups in countless areas and departments, such as the Tuskegee airmen and countless others. Several of these units had experienced hostility from their white counterparts, just as the Buffalo Soldiers did when they arrived in Italy as their commander general Edward stated that he personally did not want them there and that he would make sure they got their combat, as well as their casualties. At home, there was the introduction of Japanese camps – as things became more heated in the war, the United States needed to provide a unified image, which is what they have been establishing through the media. However, there had been tension and unrest growing throughout the United States, particularly for Japanese-Americans. It had become such a problem, that the American government had to intervene, and no matter if natural born or naturalized, Japanese-Americans were moved out of their homes and into the camps of the United States, where they would work and provide for the war. Although a dark limitation of the War and the capabilities of the American government, the United States were unable to do anything else as they believed that they had to remove the Japanese due to the rising tension and increasing violence they themselves were facing and the disunity Americans were presenting. It was not just with the Japanese, but also with the Mexican individuals in America as these individuals represented a non-American ideal, wearing items such as zoot-suits, which were seen as unpatriotic – and if they’re wearing this unpatriotic clothing, then these individuals were seen a unpatriotic as well. This disunity and unconformity is what would lead to a violent outbreak, and in 1943, the tension centering the Mexican-American youth exploded as caucasian individuals came and attacked those wearing the particular fashion trend of zoot suits. It was because of these particular limitations that show a darker image of World War II.

As the time went on, it was clear that the United States would use propaganda to promote issues such as this once again. However, when in World War II, Americans were depicting Stalin and the Soviet Union as great allies, during the cold war, they presenting him as a destroyer of democracy, just as they presented Germany and Japan as so. This itself shifted the mindset of us, which involved the Soviets, to them, containing the communist. The usage of images and videos again allowed the United States to become fortified in their knowledge and beliefs of entering this cold war, to protect democracy and freedom from the corrupting hands of Stalin.

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