By Yassin "The Narcicyst" Alsalman

“I like physics, but I love cartoons.”
Stephen Hawking

       

It's simple. Saturday mornings were unique. Dad was home from work, mom was home from University, and we would wake up early because we wanted to. That 8am to 10am period of cartoons was my refuge in my early years, hard to believe that was almost 30 years ago.

Even today, cartoons serve as a way to understand reality. "I cried during Wall-E, b." has been said to me by many of my friends. I cried too. Sometimes cartoons can be so perfect, a reality we strive to see. And sometimes it reflects a reality imposed.

Cartoon Racist is a dedication to all the racist moments in collective cartoon history. Remember how Aladdin was running from the King's security and he comes across a snake charmer sitting on a hot bed of coal. Where in Baghdad is that? Have you ever wondered what racial configuration Disney characters are? A simple Google effort or Youtube search will lead you to a slew of racist cartoons that flew under the nose of many generations of kids. This lead myself and my friends at the FAKE store in Montreal to create a new clothing initiative.

Cartoon Racist was born out of two situations. For one, I live in Quebec. Couple of months back, the questions of a 'Charter of Religious freedoms' popped up. It was Anti-Hijab this, Immigrant that. A womans' veil was caught in the metro escalator. Instead of blaming the faulty engineering or the machine, they blamed the Hijab. That, for a lack of better words, is Cartoon Racist. The Lampoon quality bigotry that you can find, birthed out of fear and lack of knowledge. Secondly, I saw a Porky Pig Cartoon that just completely blew my mind. And the research began....

Cartoon Racist is the first of many. We are hoping to collaborate with artitsts from all over the world that share a passion for animated justice. We want to rewrite (or Undraw?) the lines that shaped our pop culture consciousness. From TinTin to Speedy Gonzales, enough is enough. We want to reclaim our stereotypical representations and bring them back to our side. We want to define ourselves from now on. I, of course, started with Arabs.

Why Cartoon Racist? Well, a Cartoon Racist is way funnier than a racist cartoon. And honestly, our reality is pretty unbelievable right now. And in the famous words of Popeye The Sailor Man, "If I'm not me, who am I? And If I'm somebody else, why do I look like me?"

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