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Yellowface Caricatures in Politics

In 1997, The National Review magazine published an illustrated cover of then President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. They were in stereotypical Oriental garb and featuring caricatured features, buck teeth and slanted eyes.

National Review: The Manchurian Candidates
National Review: The Manchurian Candidates

President Bill Clinton was portrayed as a Chinese houseboy. Hillary Clinton was portrayed as a Maoist Red Guard holding a "Little Red Book." And Vice President Al Gore was dressed-up as a Buddhist priest, holding a begging bowl stuffed with money. The associated story was about concerns over campaign contributions from Asians and Asian-Americans polluting the political process. The National Review was not concerned about corporate money, or even foreign money generally, but specifically identified Asian money as a danger to the American political process.

Asian Americans across the country were incensed. Daphne Kwok, executive director of the Organization of Chinese Americans described the cover as extremely offensive and racist. She complained that Asian-Americans felt that their patriotism was being questioned. The National Review was unrepentant, editor John O'Sullivan denounced the complaints as orchestrated by the ethnic grievance industry and demanded an apology from Ms. Kwok.





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Buy a No Soliciting Sign
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Racist Asian Stereotypes

Legal Discrimination and Violence

Yellowface on Stage

Yellowface in Film and TV

Yellowface Whitewashing

Yellowface in Europe

Yellowface Caricatures in Politics

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Black Stereotypes

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Asian Stereotypes

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Jewish Stereotypes


Racial and Racist Stereotypes in Media


Ken Padgett