Can we have a talk about racist iconography?

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by slipstar01, Oct 14, 2023.

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  1. HBCoffin

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    One is Knuckle of Headlock Studio fame and the other is Masato, a friend (associate?) of his. I don't believe it is Knuckle wearing the vest in the photo, but I think the point is he apparently has no problem associating with the person who is.

    I don't understand why anyone would want to imbue their work or being with such iconography. I personally don't give a shit that it has pre-Nazi or religious origins, the swastika is now well known across the world to be a symbol of hate. I promise you, no matter what your beliefs are, it hurts those directly effected by the atrocities that were committed more to see that symbol emblazoned on your body or product than it ever could for you to be asked to simply not display it out of respect for the lives that were lost.
     
  2. hellointerloper

    hellointerloper S7 Royalty

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Thankfully I don't own any of Knuckle's stuff, too far out of my price range. I do own a little MVH though. Guess who's putting up an eBay listing tomorrow?

    Just sick of this. And anyone who thinks I'm overreacting? Many members of my family lived through WWII in Poland, so you better believe I take issue with anything Nazi-esque. Frankly, all the fanboys of Nazi shit can kiss my ass.
     
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  3. ---NT---

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
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  4. Anti Social Andy

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    If I'm looking at the same pics, the guy with Masato is Madtoyz/GREED Kenny (Hiddy's bro).
    Not defending, but Masato is big into biker/chopper culture where Nazi iconography and obscene/anti-social behaviour has been used to 'Shock the squares!' since the start of biker gangs and the inception of the Hells Angels in the late 40's. A road travelled again in the mid 70's by the UK Punk scene (although not so much the US scene).

    This is then compounded by the physical distance between the Europe and Asia and their 'detachment' from the Holocaust, and, I'm presuming, the lack of education about European history in Asian schools, in a similar way that Asian history was largely overlooked in Brit schools (although my experience was a million years ago and via a third-rate comprehensive school).

    The irony of this post being made by a guy using an avatar incorporating a rehashed Iron Cross motif, which was liberated by Californian Surf and Hot Rod culture of the late 50's-early 60's and featured extensively in the work of Ed Roth for the same reason, is not lost on me!
     
  5. HBCoffin

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    I'm not as educated as I'd like/pretend to be. Part of that is my own fault for not paying enough attention in school, at university, or taking the time to do my own research. When it comes to world history (or history in general), my knowledge is subpar. For that reason I find it hard to swallow anyone in a developed country is oblivious to the effect of the Nazi party... if a bad student like me is well aware why aren't they? Even without schooling surly you would be informed about it in some way via basic social interaction or perhaps through references in popular culture—anime and manga tackle difficult subjects all the time.

    Scrolling through that Reddit post, if you're to take what people on the internet say at face value, many point out that this history is indeed taught in schools and most Japanese are aware. That said, one Redditor brought it to my attention that depending on where you live in the U.S. it is not out of the realm of possibility you would be deprived of learning about Japanese internment camps.

    So let's say you choose to accept and forgive any ignorance on the matter... that's fine. Not everyone is born with knowledge of anything or is given the same opportunity to learn about these things. However, if you become informed on the matter and your response is that you simply don't care, you're too proud to make an apology, feel the need to gaslight people or defend your character by participating in whataboutism, then I don't think you're a very good person or deserve the support of such a diverse community.
     
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  6. Mr Fox

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Personally, I believe there is a difference between purchasing a toy with racist iconography; hence, condoning that 'artist's' creative vision by financially supporting their 'art' vs trying to judge an individual by inferring their personal values by the people they have been seen with (or a post they may 'like' - which more often than not, is done whilst scrolling and not actually studying the image in detail).

    I find racism reprehensible and dislike that form of iconography; nevertheless, I also would also feel it was unfair to make judgements about my values based solely on my interaction with acquaintances or friends. Where does that end? I'd wager many of us (especially those who aren't 20-30) have older, extended, family members who say things that don't sit comfortably with us... that doesn't make me racist, ethnocentric, misogynistic, homophobic, classist, etc, etc. Will I call them on it, more often than not; however, does it mean I won't see Great Aunt Mildred or Second Cousin Walter, probably not but that also doesn't mean I condone what they say or think.

    There is no doubt that an artist who puts racist iconography on their art is responsible for that choice. Trying to tar people through degrees of association is a slippery slope.
     
  7. ---NT---

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Yeah, after posting that I realized I had probably been duped by a dishonest video. I always find those "lets ask people on the street" videos fun, and sometimes interesting, but often forget that they edit out all the people who can actually answer questions and just show you the people who can't.
     
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  8. sharkbait

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    This is less about condoning someone's art or message, but condoning the emerging standard that racist or bigoted iconography has value in art. It's the same argument in the fugly thread. Why does slapping a dick on a toy suddenly increase its value or marketability? Collectors have set that precedent. Open venues and other artists see that green and follow along with the trend.

    All that said Starfish Hitler is still brilliant and I'm sad there isn't a toy of him.
     
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  9. HBCoffin

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Context matters! Portraying a real world bad guy as a mutated fictional villain whose sole purpose is to be defeated by “the hero” is much different than someone sporting symbols of hate as some baloney punk rock badge of edginess.

    I do understand why Medicom wouldn’t want to add Starfish Hitler to their Toei Retro Soft Vinyl catalog though—too risky from a business perspective. They did well to alter the designs of some Robocon characters.
     
  10. Rich

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    I took a moment to explain myself in the MVH thread.

    I’m horrified that this was the take from my toy.

    I’m NOT a Nazi sympathizer.

    There is massive misunderstanding over an orange arm band and black and white sticker. That was NEVER my intention more than just color choices.

    Why anyone would ever even assume that of me is extremely offensive and should be ashamed of themselves.

    I have never in my entire life been accused of something like this.
     
  11. eckotyper

    eckotyper Post Pimp

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Godzilla in his entirety is directly a product of war. His entire existence is due to war… but yeah, none of the Godzilla toys over the last 70 years is fun, cute or toyish…
    Zag tanks and planes got some splaining to do
     
  12. xSuicide Squadx

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Matter of fact I often tout how relatively dumb I am, so forgive a potentially stupid comment. But Godzilla was birthed from a bomb we dropped. Weapons as a means/product of war isn’t the same as racism and genocide as a product of war. Tanks and planes and naval ships and guns and swords, etc. have been used and built upon from every battle and war fought. The intended extermination of a people out of hatred and the bastardizing of symbols was pretty specific to a world war. Again, my comprehension skills are pretty shit, so if there’s more to expand on that with I’m all for being schooled. I just don’t see the equivalency.
     
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  13. HBCoffin

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Appreciate you coming forward with clarification. There are plenty of people who would neither confirm or deny anything for fear of upsetting a segment of their fanbase. Not calling MVH fans Nazis—I have a fair share of your toys in my collection and I most certainly am not—or that you attract such a crowd, you just never know what anyone believes or what sort of effect you can have on people.

    Unfortunately, part of owning a brand is taking small details into consideration. There’s a reason major companies hire focus groups to provide feedback before launching a product. The bigger your audience the more likely you are to offend someone in some way even if that was not your intention. People are more likely to see things or make connections that aren’t there, either because they’re looking for a reason to justify an existing bias against you, they’re looking to be offended, or, believe it or not… they’re genuinely concerned an artist they admire has heinous beliefs.

    Though I’m sure you feel hurt anyone would assume that about you, I think it was best to be brought to your attention. Aside from those you had second guessing your stance on the matter, there are also those on the other side of the spectrum who might have taken it as a silent nod—“He’s one of us!” I say don't give those people a chance to feel good about themselves.
     
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  14. The Moog

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Stop calling the Weasel a Nazi you losers.
     
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  15. Rich

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    I don’t know how to handle this brilliant reply.

    Fuck this is so good…
     
  16. Geobukgan

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    This feels so familiar to the conversations around a certain Anraku toy...

    The artist's intent is so critical here, but so is the cultural/social context they're releasing the art into.

    Not saying every maker needs a PHD in sociology, but I think we can agree that symbols have meaning and consequences whether or not someone took the time to deliberately place them there. I mean, I know we joke these are dollies, but it's art after all. It's going to invoke emotions and opinions in all of us.

    Glad you're here to clear your name Rich. I don't think anyone actually thinks you're a Nazi. I think it's just difficult for some of us to see the things that we love resemble something that also conjures fear and disgust in us as well. Intentional or not. Good to hear your explanation of your creative process.

    Also wanted to hijack this thread apologize for calling the Sofubi Sauna boys incels. The pepe stuff still freaks me out but I think I'm just a boomer.
     
  17. J.Nilszechuan

    J.Nilszechuan Fresh Meat

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    As a Gen Zer I prefer my toys with a vag mouth!
     
  18. eckotyper

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    I mean… The majority of us sit down every November in front of a turkey meal and celebrate Thanksgiving… when the real events we are all choosing to stay away from are the genocide of indigenous people. But what do i know.

    I was just replying to Maddy that war toys aren’t cool because if green army man are bad, surely Godzilla must be too as he arrived to us due to nuclear radiation from the Hiroshima/nagasaki bombs. Where do you draw the line? Are barbarians not good either? Let me make it clear. Murder/genocide is not good. 1 life or 4,000,000 lost is bad. There was more than one war genocide though… some get triggered by the WW2 stuff, yet the Armenian, Cambodian, Circassian genocides are rarely brought up. And the Circassian was 1-2million deaths… if you wouldn’t convert to Christianity you were slaughtered. Yet many will look at the cross(symbol) as a beacon of light. Could be a whole broad topic. I watched American history x, and it’s one of my fav movies ever… still not in support of nazi/aryan culture at all. Did I paint a target on my back by watching this movie? What about Inglorious Bastards?
     
  19. IronPaw

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Godzilla isn’t real. Nazis are and they are still around being scum.
     
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  20. JoeMan

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Uggh, always hated Inglorious Bastards. Low hanging fruit to just make movie to kill Hitler when and how you want. Then people were cheering it, like he killed Hitler! Who the fuck cares, it doesn’t change history.
     
  21. hellointerloper

    hellointerloper S7 Royalty

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    Not going to lie, I'm very quick to judge because of my family history. If something looks Nazi, I jump and condemn it out of sheer hatred for them.
    I'm glad that Rich came in with an explanation because most makers don't. I'm also glad to know it wasn't a Nazi reference.
    That doesn't mean the armband doesn't still remind me of something unsavory, though. I wasn't the only one either. I think it's important to think about how things might be perceived by others, especially when we repeatedly face racist fuckery in this hobby.
     
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  22. IronPaw

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    No, fuck what everyone else thinks. Take your feelings, that don’t match what my anglo-centric ones, and shove them in your soft liberal ass.
     
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  23. MonstaIslandCzar

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    To me the armband is red enough that it immediately evoked the nazi armband imagery. I posted the pic here without any commentary on that connection and clearly others see it too. I asked a few random people I know and they stated the same. I would think that anyone born in the 1900s with a decent education ( went to public school so who knows what was taught or not taught in private/parochial schools) would also come to this conclusion when seeing that imagery, but I also have no frame of reference for other imagery that this may be based on to compare it too - if someone could post what this armband is based on, that would certainly help clear it up! I think that the general public would see it and immediately think of the Nazi armband.
    I don't assume anyone's political stance anymore - I live in KY where there are plenty of scumbags who would gladly support use of Nazi imagery.

    I guess my original question was why would anyone want their brand name in a symbol that, to so many people, evokes this relation? It seems that this was unintentional and hopefully serves as a lesson learned for future productions.
    These symbols are still very relevant here in the US with extremists/hate groups and the world is still experiencing similar atrocities as we speak so it is important to raise these questions, discuss them and learn from them. I would actively make efforts to avoid all things that remind people of Nazis.
    P.S. - Anyone who responds to calling out Nazi imagery with lame "woke" retorts is really just embarrassing themselves. If you think hating Nazi's and Nazi imagery is "woke" then maybe you are racist... or other words I'll keep to myself ;)
    P.P.S. - "woke" is still not an insult :lol:
    [​IMG]
     
  24. xSuicide Squadx

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    @eckotyper I don’t celebrate thanksgiving. I hate crosses and Christianity. Could be a whole broad topic, and it is, hence why it’s being discussed. Feel free to speak of relevant and lesser known genocides in the same breaths as those here speaking on shitty nazis. Red armbands and specific iconography brought up what’s currently the topic. American History X and Inglorious Basterds aren’t propaganda films, just like Higher Learning isn’t. They’re forms of media to provoke individual thinking and provide insight others’ world experiences. If you side/relate with racist characters, then yes, you paint a target on your back.

    Personally, watching Hitler get his face torn apart by an MP40 put a pretty big smile on my face.
     
  25. IronPaw

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    Can we have a talk about racist iconography?
    It’s the classic what about this what about that?
    We don’t have toys about the Armenian genocide, so does that have anything to do with all this stuff we are talking about?

    Hitler getting obliterated was worth the wait too.
     
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