“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?? Spongebob Squarepants!”
I’d be willing to bet $5 that you have heard that iconic opening phrase for Spongebob Squarepants at least once. The quirky yellow sponge has been around since 1999. The show is dumb but comical and children eat it up.
Personally, I have seen many episodes between my childhood and babysitting throughout the last several years. I’ve never, not once, seen an episode that I thought, “Wow, that was racist.”
However if you ask University of Washington Professor Holly M. Barker, that’s exactly what he is. She wrote an article titled, “Unsettling SpongeBob and the Legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom,” in which she claims Spongebob is a “violent, racist” colonizer.
“SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland,” Barker wrote.
She claims that the colonization of Bikini Bottom is guilty of “whitewashing of violent American military activities” against Native Americans.
Barker’s beliefs come from the idea that the show is set in a version of the real-life Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. During the Cold War, natives of the area were relocated and the American military used the zone for nuclear testing.
The area remains uninhabitable to this day. That history has given rise to fans’ theory that Bikini Bottom is inhabited by creatures who owe their mutation to that testing.
Barker stated that as an “American character” allowed to inhabit an area that natives had no choice but to leave, SpongeBob showed his privilege of “not caring about the detonation of nuclear bombs.”
You know those teachers that put more thought into an author’s work than the actual author does? Yeah, that’s Barker.
It’s increasingly annoying that so many people continue to whine about every single little thing. Stop trying to claim victimhood where there is none!