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Spongebob Squarepants Declared A “Violent” & “Racist” Colonizer By College Professor


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University of Washington professor Holly Barker has accused the children’s cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants of being “violent” and “racist” in an academic paper called “Unsettling SpongeBob and the Legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom.”

Bikini Bottom, of course, is the town under the sea where Spongebob and friends live in the TV show, and it is based off of Bikini Atoll – a real coral reef in the Marshall Islands that was used by the U.S. military for nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War.

According to Holly Barker, the setting for the children’s classic is “unjust” because the indigenous people of Bikini Atoll were relocated prior to the nuke testing on the site, so Spongebob, as an “American character” “occupying” Bikini Bottom is perpetuating alleged injustices to the indigenous people of the territory.

As Barker wrote, “SpongeBob’s presence on Bikini Bottom continues the violent and racist expulsion of Indigenous peoples from their lands (and in this case their cosmos) that enables U.S. hegemonic powers to extend their military and colonial interests in the postwar era.”

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