Haphazard Observations of the Everyday

And a little fiction by Miguela Holt y Roybal

Miguela Holt y Roybal

Miguela Holt y Roybal
Location
New Mexico, USA
Birthday
March 10
Title
Monarch of All She Surveys
Company
Good
Bio
Miguela Holt y Roybal is my maiden name en Espanol. I am a retired schoolteacher and aspiring author looking for crumbs of beauty among the ruins. My novel has been a work in progress for longer than I care to admit. It is a postmodern pastiche of magical realism and about a young woman from New Mexico who goes to work in Washington, DC during the 1980s. She has been a longtime witness to the secret rituals of the Penitente culture in her home state and learns about herself and redemption as she sallies forth on her quest for novelty and adventure. I claim fair useage of images found on the internet that illustrate some of my posts. All contents copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

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FEBRUARY 3, 2012 11:17AM

Vintage Racist Valentines

Rate: 74 Flag

valentine how

Valentine's Day:  A Celebration of Love? 

Children all over the United States enjoy a party on Valentine's Day where they decorate boxes with white butcher paper and red heart-shaped doilies into which little cards are distributed by the teachers.  I remember those parties with a great deal of pleasure even though I shamefully admit to giving the kids I didn't like so much the cards with skunks or Barney Rubble on them. 

I am a person who has a passion for all things vintage and so naturally some of the things I love to collect are old paper Valentines, the type that we would give to our classmates at school parties. This interest has led me to look for them on sites such as ebay and etsy and I would like to share some that I have found that are very disturbing. 

What is Native Appropriation?         

If you are not a Native American, it is easy to look at the following valentines and think they are cute.  Adorable round faced children with wide eyes are dressed in traditional Indian garments with a Valentine message of love.  Those of us who are native, don’t find them so cute.  You may not be familiar with the idea of native appropriation but according to the Native Appropriations blogspot, it is “the use of indigenous cultures, traditions, languages, and images in popular culture, advertising, and everyday life.”         

This sounds flattering, but it is not.  It is a continuation of the dominant European culture robbing us.  Margo Thunderbird, an activist of the Shinnecock Nation who holds a language camp for native children in New York, explains why the white man’s hijacking of a culture for advertising is wrong:   “They came for our land, for what grew or could be grown on it, for the resources in it, and for our clean air and pure water. They stole these things from us, and in the taking they also stole our free ways and the best of our leaders, killed in battle or assassinated. And now, after all that, they’ve come for the very last of our possessions; now they want our pride, our history, our spiritual traditions. They want to rewrite and remake these things, to claim them for themselves. The lies and thefts just never end.”

The following cards are NOT a part of my collection because I only collect objects of beauty.  They were found during my research for this post.

   val3

 

valentine chief

 

valentine squaw

 

 valentine i am hunting for you

 

valentine injun 12

 

valentine injun 7

 

 valentine injun 5

 

 valentine squaw and cowboy

 

valentine indian girl

Other Cultures

Children are not born hating other races or ethnic groups.  They are taught how to hate and it is so disgusting to think that such evil greeting cards were a part of Valentine's Day celebrations in the past. I am heartened to know that manufacturers no longer mass produce the likes of the despicable cards that I found during my research. 

Indians were not the only non-white culture who were hurt and mocked by valentines.  Asian people were insulted in the card below.

 valentine asian

Some of the most egregious examples reinforced negative stereotypes of black people such as this adorable little girl depicted in the following Valentine:

valentine african girl with watermelons

I almost didn't include the card below because its message is unspeakably hateful and borders on the criminal.

valentine racist 

I even found a Valentine card/calendar of a man in a kilt illustrating the negative stereotype of the extreme thrift associated with people from Scotland.

valentine vintage-racist-scottish-valentine 

 The hatred in some cards was not confined to racism, I also found some that suggested rape and disease! 

I like to think that we live in a more enlightened time where people who are racist are considered to have low IQs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/intelligence-study-links-prejudice_n_1237796.html

 Love to all,

Miguela

 

Sources:

http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.com/

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/ict_sbc/a-week-in-the-life-of-the-stereotypical-indian

http://mycultureisnotatrend.tumblr.com/

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ashfordpublishing/2011/09/19/ashford-publishing-radio-presents-margo-thunderbird

 

 

 

 

  

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These cards boggle my mind. What were they thinking? or I should say Not Thinking. Great research. I do remember the ones with the skunks and some cupids. I hope we have evolved from this.
rated with love
My God. Indeed, what WERE they thinking? Clearly, not much in the realm of reason or intelligence. Thanks for bringing us this useful lesson in history.
I remember seeing these sort of cards fifty years ago. What do you suppose the people selling them as collectibles are really thinking?
Holy crap. They are ALL offensive. The one you almost didn't include is mind-blowing. ~r
Miguela, these are really repulsive and I'd like to think as a nation we're better than that now, but as an example of how we ARE NOT could be found in anti-Obama bumper stickers back in the days of the last election and even after the election. Margo Thunderbird certainly has it correct in her statement that you quoted above!
Yikes! I don't recall seeing any cards like these as a child. I do remember the Little Black Sambo storybook and the Aunt Jemima pancake mix and the commercials that went with those. Looks like we've made some progress since those days.
Great post. We talked about appropriation before ....nice to see this. All are bad, the 2nd to last one is especially atrocious.
This is oddly interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Don't know whether to laugh or cry!! Like all of your blogs, a slice of Americana... this time one of our painful history. I'm with Mary's comment!!
Wow. Just wow.

But it makes me think of going to Sambo's restaurant as a child, and seeing the cartoons of little black Sambo along the bottom of the menu, and thinking nothing at all of it. I lived in rural Oregon where there wasn't a black person (or a Hispanic person, or an Asian person) for 300 miles. I'd read about racial prejudice in books, and of course I thought "we aren't prejudiced!" because there weren't any. I grew up in a startlingly white place, and didn't understand the messages.

These cards are truly horrible.
Very informative. I may have sent and received one of these back in the 50's. I think we have made some progress since, but not enough. The next to the last card is shocking and disgusting. I assume it is from the first third of the 20th century when thousands of blacks were lynched in the country and Saturday night lynching was a social event. Our racial history is something we should be deeply ashamed of. R
Yeah, the second to last one was the beyond offensive one for me, and I imagine back then it was too.
"Strange Fruit" indeed! I do remember seeing similar cards back in the day. We like to think that we're oh-so beyond that now, but as designanator points out, the images and messages are still out there, repackaged and refreshed for a new, unwary generation.
Love to you, Miguela, for helping to show how racism can show up in what seems to be a benign way. I am old enough to have either sent or received some of the examples above. They didn't seem as offensive to my native ancestors as that second-to- last one is to my African ones. Age and wisdom taught me it is everywhere and should be offensive to all.

Lezlie
I felt nauseous looking at them, but I would bet as a kid, I probably gave and got a few, I can't remember. Everyone in the class got one, whether they liked you or not. The only reason they stopped making them was it was no longer profitable, decency had nothing to do with it!
YUCK!!! Not your very well done post, obviously, but the incredibly offensive cards... supposed to be sweet and funny? Yuck!
Thank you for digging out history and presenting what was. I don't see why everyone's so repulsed.
RomanticPoetess--Thanks for reading and for your comment. I believe that we have evolved from this low because such cards are no longer mass produced.
Mary--The card manufacturers were merely reflecting the culture of the time period which thankfully would not tolerate such blatant racial hatred. Thanks for commenting!

alsoknownas--Like you, I suspect that the people who collect such cards harbor the hatred that they express. That is why I wanted to make it perfectly clear that these are not a part of my collection. Thank you for mentioning that.
Joan--The card that suggested a lynching was almost incomprehensible, I agree, ald also wonder what kind of company would produce such an abhorrant Valentine?

Dandylion--Yikes, indeed.

Designanator--I try to avoid politics like the plague but I have to agree that I have seen some very disrepectful printed pieces that disrespect our president. Margo Thunderbird is a very interesting lady who not only runs the language camps for youngsters to learn and use their native language, she also has a successful farm where she raises medicinal herbs. I should write a post about her. Thank you.
Offensive? Yes. But the cards are a reflection of the society during which they were produced. The good news is that today these cards wouldn't be tolerated.
Matt--I remember the Indian cards as a child but by thankfully the Civil Rights movement was in full swing and never had to see the awful and disparaging cards against black people. There only one little girl in our school who was of African descent and our classmates would never have wanted to hurt her feelings. We knew better.

Scarlett--Thank you for the compliment and I still feel bad about including the card you mentioned in this post. I don't like being associated with it at all except to condemn the hatred that inspired it.

BluestockingBabe--They were indeed interesting cards but only like examining some alien lifeform. Thanks for reading and for commenting.
BrazenPrincess--Thanks for your sweet compliment. As a fellow native woman, I knew this would be of interest to you.

froggy--I had forgotten about that restaurant called Sambo's and wonder what it morphed into once its name was no longer acceptable. I mentioned in an earlier acknowledgement to a comment that there was one black child at our school. She portrayed the role of my mother in a play and we thought nothing of it. She was just another one of our classmates. Thanks for commenting.

Gerald--How right you are about our shameful racist past in this country. I can imagine children writing the names on of their classmates on these Valentines and not comprehending the potential hurt the might have caused. I am so glad that we will not see the likes of these cards again. Although, with the native depictions, I am not so sure. People are attracted to the Southwest Indian and think they are cool to emulate. It's not cool.
Tink--Of course the card you referenced was as repulsive at the time as it is now to most people, nevertheless someone named Gencie signed and sent it to a sweetheart. It's really hard to comprehend.

Toritto--There are more than four dark corners in this country and some of them are very sinister, indeed. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

ccdarling--We must call out the ignorance of racial hatred wherever we see it. Thanks for adding to the discussion. It will take constant vigilance because we humans can be such ugly animals.
The Europeans who came to this country stole from the natives their land and their way of life. I consider this to be one of the saddest chapters in human history. I remember the valentines.
OMIGOD. The one you almost didn't show is horrific. How could anyone think this was an appropriate valentine with the image of being lynched looming over it? Thank you for sharing these. Illuminating!
baltimore aureole--We are nothing but animals the way we sometimes treat each other. Do people send Easter cards? Poor bunnies.

L in the Southeast--The native cards are kind of insidious because they look so benign but in the end they are as hateful as the referenced card showing a lynching. As a person of mixed heritage you know this and I thank you for reminding us that hate is still everywhere and we should watch for it and call it out by name.


Scanner--Bingo! You hit the nail on the head. These cards were no longer profitable but I bet there are still some that depict native culture printed today. You can see fake Indian jewelry etc. all over etsy for example.
Sally--The cards were sweet and funny only if your land and culture were not stolen from you, as you rightly point out. Thanks for commenting.

dwhite--It's true that the cards are only representative of the time that they were printed yet modern day people's revulsion to them demonstrates to me that we have changed--some.
I remember the cards too but the one with the noose just made me sick.
If racism was over I would be thrilled but its not.
HUGGGGGGGGGG
Good God. Someone hand-tied that wee rope around the illustrated neck of a hideous cartoon. I wonder how that felt, to the person who tied, the person who selected and sent, the person who received. Pain just oozes out all over.
I can't believe these actually existed.
I find the Cleveland Indians' mascot particularly offensive. ... Anyone who has taken ethnic studies classes or has studied history has seen similar images of many peoples, including Arabs, Jews and Mexicans.

There was the anti-semitic propaganda of the Nazis, which made Jewish people look like criminals, thugs and clowns, and the images propagated by ignorant U.S. marketers and Hollywood screenwriters of "lazy Mexicans" in serapes snoozing under saguaros. (Especially ironic given that generations of Mexicans have built this nation's roads, houses and buildings, and have cleaned, picked and cooked its food, and cared for its children).

And what about all the "vintage" (Madmen-era) advertising depicting women as weak-minded, infantile and shallow creatures who dance around fridges and ovens? I even saw an old ad encouraging women to douche with Lysol! ... Maybe it's good to remember that people--all people--go through periods of rank ignorance before becoming truly enlightened. As a nation, we've got a long way to go ...
Alas, I grew up in a time when this kind of thing was common. It was "cute" to say "How?"

At least we've come a ways since this overt racism. Very interesting to see it again.
That first Valentine triggered a memory. The hanging one turned my stomach...and I have a sinking feeling some people even today would buy it and send as a "joke". I don't hang around people like that but hear rumors of their existence.
Wow. Most of these can be attributed to ignorance and "the times" (which are changing, just not fast enough) -- but the lynching one. All I can do is blink.blink.blink. There's no naive ignorance attached to that one.
Clearly Miguela you have done the work and I certainly do understand how offensive to be used as a prop either for valentines, food products, or sports teams. I think you made your point with a great assist from these cards.
The one with the lynched man actually made gasp in horror. Excuse my French, but what the FUCK?
Excellent finds! Now try the website withoutsanctuary.org to see the legacy of American racism against African-Americans via postcards...
OMG. How repulsive. As bad as things are my god they were much worse then. Or, the hateful freaks just can't get away with it as much.
Like Mimetalker, that first photo brought back a memory. I wouldn't doubt at all that I gave or received a valentine like that. You used to buy them in a box, all assorted little ones like that, and you pretty much gave one to every person in your class.

Of course, the culture that allowed these to be made was ignorant and backward. (Maybe we've progressed beyond that - one can hope.) But as a kid, I'm sure I thought these were kind of cool. As a second-grader, I didn't know much about U.S. history and policy with regard to Native Americans, but I did know that being picked to play Pocahontas in a school production felt like an honor. My perception of Native Americans was based in ignorance, but my feelings were of respect.
Fabulous, Miguela! Thanks for researching and writing this post.
Good illustration of how demeaning racial stereotypes were so casually and unthinkingly presented Miguela.

Some lived on outside the U.S. I was in Taiwan in the 80s where you could buy a brand of toothpaste called Darkie. It features a minstrel figure in blackface with a huge gleaming smile that would have made Louis Armstrong look like he was afflicted with lockjaw. In googling this I see they've since muted the figure and changed the name to Darlie.
"I Love you but I hate certain ethnic groups."

"I see nothing wrong with insulting large numbers of people in the way I ask you to be my valentine."

"Just in case you were wondering, no I am not a brain trust."

Great post, Michaela. Thank you for doing this research so we don't have to!

But I think I'll stick to hearts and flowers, all the same!

rated
It's amazing what people don't think about and as recent studies show lack of empathy and IQ do go hand in hand. Where I volunteer one man comes in and always asks me in an insulting tone "how's the little hippie girl today" since he learned my opinions on respecting the planet. One day I used the same tone and asked him "how's the old redneck today."

He looked quite surprised and hurt. All I could think of was he was too dumb to think about what his words felt like to me. I bet if people saw cards depicting insulting stereotypes about them they would start to understand, even if they have low IQ's.

Thanks for the post and research. It keeps us all growing and learning.
I seem to remember some of these from the 50's and 60's. It is kind of shocking to see them again and understand what is being conveyed...
You pick the most interesting subjects to post about. Even though you are my sister, as a writer, you are my HERO !!!
I collect vintage postcards. I have seen some pretty racist messages on those but none as bad as 'that' one. I have to believe that we have all evolved into better people in 2012. Could you imagine explaining the meaning of any of these to a child now?
That is the way it was back then. They didn't even think! That is the world I was raised in. I am so glad things are at least a tiny bit better now. Great Post!
This is so well done Miguela! Whst horrific sentiments!
I don't remember these specifically, but I do remember the stereotypes and racism in books and cards and cartoons and rhymes. And I remember not thinking much about them at the time. That hurts.
I never saw any cards like these when I as a kid. If they ever were sold in 1950s-60s suburban Philadelphia, then my parents wsely never brought them into the house, nor did my neighbors'. r.
This is one example of how shameless and utterly contemptible stereotyping can be. I tried to read this with the skepticism I usually bring to anything that talks about showing racism -- in the same vein I tried to be skeptical of claims of racism on the parts of people in office.

I only had to take a look at the first card to see that my skepticism wasn't going to remain. By the time I got to that last card, I can only say that my shock at seeing it was profound. I vaguely recall seeing some cards like the Native American ones as a kid. Not those others.

Thanks, Miguela for showing this little trip down "memory lane" of a past that I think it would be best to bury. Until we face this sort of bigotry, though, it will keep showing up in things like this. Today, it is usually a bit more subtle, but not always.

Thanks once again for highlighting this. While disturbing and upsetting, it definitely is something we should be aware of;

Then and Now.

--r--
This post is marvelous on so many levels. I am so glad you shared them and the political incorrectness is just unreal. None the less they are marvelous to see and enjoy from an historic perspective.
Quick correction: that second to last card is what utterly shocked me. I could hardly find fault with the last one, so shocked was I by that imge of the black man about to be hanged -- AS A VALENTINE CARD!???!

I cannot imagine anyone being proud to send that to anyone else. At any time.
Actually, I am also shocked by the black man hanging himself. I don't know how I missed it. Guess my malfunctioning camera is driving me ridiculously frustrated trying to get it to upload while I do this..
They were different times, simple as that! There are many conservatives who would bring us back to those times. People need to take their politics seriously, or PC will be a thing of the past!
Miguela, can you please post a link to a site that explains more about what is and is not offensive to natives?

Most of these valentines were clearly offensive, some obviously more so than others. On the cutsie cards, I'm offended more by the stereotypical speech than by the age-appropriate images.

But the short explanation you gave (“the use of indigenous cultures, traditions, languages, and images in popular culture, advertising, and everyday life.”) is so all-inclusive that it could begin to rival the Islamic prohibition on images of Mohammed. It leaves me wondering if a native could ever be depicted on a child's valentine card. If so, how? If not, doesn't that raise other issues of inclusiveness and respect?
It seems like subtle, self-reinforcing memes that erupt from the bottom-up can have just as disruptive an effect on people's subconscious and social mores as deliberate, top-down propaganda from a centralized government or corporate apparatus.

That said, what happens if a government or corporation can use these subtle, entertaining mediums to spread messages in a way that flies under our radar?

For example, if a white racist southerner got up on stage and gave a speech and argued about the "badness" of the groups depicted in the signs below, chances are a good many people in some areas would oppose them.

On the other hand, a large % of those good many people would probably stand around and be silent, if the message of racism was more subtle and was confined to Valentines Day cards, thus showing the potency of this medium as a means of spreading a nefarious message that is harder to refute.

Interesting.

r
That's an appalling collection!

The post is great though :)
Actually as these sit in my recent memory , I feel just so saddened that anyone really could have been swayed by these images. It certainly does take many years to grow up and beware of this kind of thing and I feel a little wiser from this post already..
Most of the creators are men. A few women would be callous enough to pull off bigotry in their creations.

Insofar as collectors and collections go, these remnants are significant reminders of history and how easily hatred is spread from generation to generation.
The role of racism hasn't been more acute than it is RIGHT NOW in our national poitical dialogue, and the denial never stronger either. The majority, as usual, looks away, the mainstream media doesn't sell adds by directing attention to it, and what hope their is lies in media like this that appeals to those few persons of conscience who can't stand the hypocrasy, like you.
A terrific post. I sure do remember the vintage, but was probably too young or blind to notice the racism. A different age, indeed.
A clevelander by origin. . . I'm still amazed that Cleveland baseball has managed to hang on to Chief Whahoo... Lot's of hot discussion there but everyone seems to have agreed to disagree. Go Tribe!
Congrats on the E.P!
A terrific post. I sure do remember the vintage, but was probably too young or blind to notice the racism. A different age, indeed.
A clevelander by origin. . . I'm still amazed that Cleveland baseball has managed to hang on to Chief Whahoo... Lot's of hot discussion there but everyone seems to have agreed to disagree. Go Tribe!
Congrats on the E.P!
I've had one of these up on my blog for over a year now- not a word about it though so far!- Americans are a combination of absolute cowards on race, combined with either pure ignorance, isolated lily-white attitudes, or an absolute shocking lack of historical knowledge merged in a marriage from hell with a pre-disposition towards the LIES of consensus history.

These cards and the advertising msgs on my blog are merely a tiny fractional reflection of 4 centuries of H8TE!

The whole country was built on a racism based "burden"- How is that for a BS justification!!!

Film (Birth of a Nation), Words (Black Like Me), Paintings (Grandma Moses)- the list just goes on and on and on and on ... A country where movies are made with titles like, "The Great White Hope" - (hope for getting that darkie our of the Championship Belt back then, and the White House right now!)

All this said, it gets better all the time- Haters, YOU are an endangered species and the 2012 election is our SAFARI ON YOUR ASS!!!!!!!

Auwe (Alas)
I wince as I remember the 1950's Valentines Day parties and card exchanges at my grade school. I'm sure all of these would have been exchanged without a second thought...well maybe not the one with guy getting lynched.
The idea of cute kid in costume being offensive is offensive to me. I belong to a group whose mission it is to preserver Norwegian heritage and culture, and membership is open to all who want to preserve and appreciate it. My son-in-law (a person from India) comes to our functions and waves the Norwegian flag. Is he being offensive? When I am with my Russian friends, I speak Russian and drink vodka. Am I being offensive?

I think there must be a way to share our cultures and flags and costumes and folk-tales without worrying that someone will be offended.

That man about to hang himself is just wrong.
Those cards are horrifying to say the least!
I too remember going to Sambo's as a child and thinking nothing of the imagery. It never occurred to me that it could be hurtful to someone else, but then I was a little girl. We have to be taught those things.
Informative post, thank you.
Miguela, You could have a field day showing how other cultural media portrayed minorities. The movies are a prime example, certainly well into the thirties and perhaps beyond. Remember, it wasn't until 1954 that school segregation was outlawed. We have a dreadful historical record of racism, but we have made progress.
Did you all just never get valentine's cards or what? Most of these are cute, even if they are associated with lynching and called evil. There are real policy issues facing Indians to address, and real ongoing genocides in parts of this world, that call out for attention.
I thought everything that could be said had been said in the comments but there's this - several people commented that it is or is now commonly acknowledged that racism is a sign of low intelligence. I have to object. It was one of the huge lessons of my life to know very intelligent, educated people who were far more, and more overtly racist than the uneducated, theoretically (and in some cases actually, truth be told) less intelligent people I grew up with.

Consider the man, I believe his name is Charles Murray, or something Murray, one of the authors of the notorious book, The Bell Curve, who is not only prodigiously intelligent by any measure, but also deeply racist, and he uses his intelligence to support and promote his racism.

Racism is is a function of emotion and psychology, not intellect. Which is not to say it isn't stupid!

While I'm at it, an admission: as a child, though I was sensitive to issues of race at an early age, I loved the book Little Black Sambo. What I got from it was Sambo's pride in himself, the love and care his parents showed for him, and mostly his utter brilliance at outsmarting the tigers and once they stupidly turned themselves into butter, harvesting it and taking it home to his mother. I looked it up before writing this and learned that as it was originally written & illustrated, Sambo was an East Indian child and the butter he gathered from the tigers was ghee. In the 20th century, apparently, it was rewritten and American Southern Black pseudo-dialect introduced.

That all introduces subjects I shouldn't extend this already too lengthy comment with but go ahead and read the story. Granted, the illustrations are a good part of the racist perception but the story alone I still like.
http://www.fullbooks.com/The-Story-of-Little-Black-Sambo.html
All are racist and offensive. There is no reason for anyone to hold on to these items unless it is to make sure that they are not forgotten. Let's talk about appropriation again on St. Patrick's Day or the next time someone buys a box of "Lucky Charms".
Wow, a really good pause for reflection! I remember the cards, and now, to see some again, it is heinous to think that these were intended -- for children?! Thanks for the research and post, and yes, I'm sure I am not the only one who would love a post on Margo. R.
Wow - this is heap-big bigotry!

Me no likie.

.
I remember these types of cards. The children who gave or received them were oblivious to their implication. We just kept count of how many we had aquired. I’m pretty sure their parents were just as unaware. It took having friends who were not Caucasian to even begin to get an understanding of prejudice. A few years ago, for the first time in my life, I experienced prejudice firsthand and it was quite a shock. Can’t imagine living it all my life.
I've studied the Indian cards over and over again, and in no way do I see them as an incitement to "hate", as you write. I remember those cards, got a few myself. Indeed, with stories of the Deerfield massacre still told around my town (more than 40 villagers clubbed and burned to death by Indians and Frenchmen), those valentines served to quell my fears of "the other". The cards depicting blacks are another matter, but the Indian cards: harmless. Historians warn of "presentism", the judging of the past by contemporary mores. That's what you've done. As you might surmise from my screen name, I find nothing offensive about the Scottish card.

You've looked at these cards without taking into consideration their context in the times, another thing historians and especially archaeologists warn against. Ironically, if those Indian cards were the only artifacts to survive from the 1950's into the far distant future, archaeologists of the future would conclude that Indians were much beloved by people of the '50s. The cards are "nice", and betray no fear or loathing of Indians. Twenty years ago Massachusetts removed the Indian arrow from the Pilgrim hat on the Mass Pike logo. It was a strictly PC move. But the tribal elders of the Wompanoags objected, arguing correctly that the erasure of the arrow would erase the actual involvement of Indians from Mass. history. Again, if the new Mass Pike logo were the only cultural artifact to survive into the far distant future, archaeologists then could not even know Indians had once lived in Massachusetts.

Finally, Is a valentine's card depicting a Muslim woman in a burqa, with the caption, 'Be my ji-heart', racist? Or is it a political statement? Or both? Just thinking.
I liked the post, although I think the Indian cards are somewhat different than the ones with blacks, especially the lynching, which even then wasn't something you would hope many people found funny. It says something postive it seems to me that it seems ... shocking to see the black images in particular, if also the Asian ones too. Personally, the Indians I found somewhat less so, on average, if making fun of language I'm not keen on.
We're not the only Great Power with a myth about how we became a Great Power either on a "improvement mission," viz Russia in the Caucasus or China in Tibet and Xinjiang, if its easier to say that as part of the group that was militarily more powerful in that process too. I'm a little bit Indian, Creek, if not that much, enough for one son to have the "Mongolian spot" birthmark indicative of Asian descent that the nurses found odd when he was born until I said I was part Indian.
It seems to me that over time, the Indians in their numerous tribes are making a quiet but very effective comeback, probably more of a future political issue than some would think, especially in Hawaii, if not just there, as there are more Indians-Native Peoples than many assume, even just as enrolled members of tribes, which of course I am not, and might not could be. They have Constitutions, and a whole legal universe that is an interesting subset of contemporary legal practice, if that system rests a little uneasily with some people's wish to always centralize and homogenize too, for reasons that vary as to intent friendly or hostile, although leaving well-enough alone to me seems wise, although its not as easy to win a civil case on a reservation doing business with an enrolled member compared to its non-tribal court counterpart. They also earned that it seems to me as to having semi to full sovereign status, as was envisioned under the Constitution.
Well let's be thankful that we have progressed as a culture (though it's always two steps forward and one back at best.)

I was with my sweetie on Valencia Street in the Mission in SF just yesterday and almost got her a Valentine card. The problem was they were all too snarky.

But snark is a big step up from the ugliness you revealed above.
The lynching card is horrifying.