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Name: Dana Trisha N.

Section: 1-BIO3

In the photo published in Puck on the 3rd of August 1898, the Philippines, along with
countries such as Cuba and Puerto Rico, were given to Uncle Sam and Columbia (the American
Nation) by an unknown hand. This hand represents Spain as when she sold her remaining
colonies to the United States in exchange for twenty dollars as seen in the Treaty of Paris. This
may also symbolize the hand of destiny. Uncle Sam believes that it is America's destiny to
civilize the world because they are the superior race. In the photo, Uncle Sam is pictured
scratching the back of his head as if he did not want to be responsible for these countries but in
truth, he wanted to gain control of them. The Americans believed in the "White Man's Burden".
They believed that they were God's chosen nation and as the superior race, they are responsible
for propagating Christianity and cleansing the nations.
It should also be noted that the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico were portrayed as
black people or Negritos. The Americans believed that they as white people are superior to the
"Others" or non-whites. They said that niggers are biologically inferior because they lagged in
their evolution and are thus, underdeveloped.
Besides them portrayed as Negritos, they are also pictured as infants. This signifies that
Filipinos along with the other "niggers" are viewed as children and childlike. They are viewed as
savage and immature, always struggling and restless. The Filipinos depicted as infants show that
they are incapable of making their own decisions. Because of this, the Filipinos are thought to be
unsuitable for self-government and should be educated first by the Americans. They thought that
the Filipinos were not ready for such a great responsibility. Some even thought that Filipinos are
too stupid and ignorant to be rulers of their own country.
It is also notable that the newly-annexed countries of the United States are seen behind
Uncle Sam. They are pictured playing and seem to be happy. This implies that the Philippines as
well as the other remaining colonies of Spain should be under the hands of the United States
because it is for their own betterment. That under the care of Uncle Sam will be progress and
Another noteworthy observation is that the Filipino, Cuban and Puerto Rican infants are
naked. Uncle Sam on the other hand is clothed rather fancily. The fact that they are naked
implies that the United States is civilized and the remaining Spanish colonies are not. Like
previously stated, Uncle Sam believes that it is his duty to take these infants under his custody
even with or without their consent.
On the pillar beside the woman (Columbia), the words "U.S. Asylum" are engraved. An
asylum is an institution specifically for the mentally ill. This signifies that the Philippines and the
other colonies are to be subjected to correction because there is something mentally wrong with
them. Of course, because the white man proclaimed himself as the superior race, they are the
"doctors" of the asylum.
The White Man's Burden is said to be the duty of the white man to civilize the colonies
they believe to be savage. But really, is it truly the burden of the white man or the so called
"Negrito"? The nigger did not ask to be colonized. They did not ask to be ruled upon. They did
not ask for their right to lead their own land to be taken away. And yet, the Americans took it
upon themselves and proclaimed themselves rulers of foreign lands that so much so did not
understand their language. As depicted in the picture, the Americans themselves are the burden.
This should instead be called the "black" man's burden. Because all they did was carry them
around while the white man dictates to them what they are supposed to do.
Similar to the first picture, this picture depicts Filipinos and other colonies as black
people. To the Americans, color of the skin plays a major role on your place in society. A person
having black skin is a savage. A person possessing black skin is uncivilized. A person lacking
white skin is ignorant. Africans were always depicted as slaves back then. They were called
negros. Somehow, the Filipinos and other races such as the Chinese underwent a "Negroization"
because they possessed the wrong pigment of the skin. Because of this, the Americans viewed
them as the inferior race and themselves, the superior. They believe it is the destiny of the white
man to colonize these races in order to civilize them and get them away from the "path of errors".
That they are the chosen ones picked by God himself.
It is to be noted that the Americans are on piggyback rides on the Filipinos. It is as if they
only view the Filipinos as horses or slaves. It is also as if Uncle Sam doesn't know where he is
leading them to. Like he is leading them to nowhere. It seems the United States withholds the
Filipinos' right in their government because they see them unfit to rule and yet they themselves
cannot lead their people properly. The picture then implies that the Philippines, as well as the
colonies handed over by Spain, are going nowhere under the direction of the United States.
There has always been the issue of racism in the expansion of the United States. Looking
at the picture, the white man acts high and mighty. To them, they are the superior race. These
included the Englishmen and the Americans. Other races that stray from the white color are
classified in the "Others". To them, the "Others" are the barbarous and savage race. The white
men believed in "Manifest Destiny" wherein it states that they were destined to expand all
throughout the nations. They believed that to stop the chaos happening in the nations, God
appointed them to lead the nations to proper civilization. Because of this, they deprived the
Filipinos the right to leadership as they deemed them unfit for the responsibility.