I argue that American anti-Japanese racism enabled the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. American narratives of race fostered antipathy toward the Japanese to the extent that the Japanese became expendable. The accumulation of an increasingly racist anti-Japanese popular aesthetic, which took the form of textual, visual, musical, and filmic propaganda, resulted in the animalization and, subsequent, dehumanization of the Japanese people. This dehumanization allowed for the “ethical” bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for diplomatic advantage with Russia. I conclude that the aesthetic, and its accumulation, possesses the ethical power to condition genocide and that America’s dehumanizing aesthetic narratives of the Japanese people enabled the murder of 105,000 Japanese and other non-white people.
"Aesthetics, Ethics, and Narratives of Race in the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,"
Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/rpj/vol2/iss1/5