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Racist Stereotypes, can’t stop it, better to laugh at it

10 Mar

For my final blog I just want to talk about race in general. I understand that we are all different and that it is impossible to truly be colorblind. We all have stereotypes about different races and that’s ok. The problem arises when we choose to act on those stereotypes and let them inhibit us from potential relationships. Take me for example, I am a white male born and raised in the country. From that alone many people could draw a stereotype that I am a racist redneck that hangs a rebel flag in my front yard and beats his wife. But this isn’t the case; I don’t hang a rebel flag in my front yard ;). But in all seriousness, when I tell people I grew up in the country people act like I personally own slaves and have an armory of 50 guns. That’s ok to THINK that, but don’t let it detour you from talking to me and finding out who I am. Same goes for all races; have your stereotypes and joke about them. If you can’t laugh at yourself then you are just a miserable person.


Pussified white men need black thugs to kill for them

2 Mar

For this week’s blog I decided to watch Horrible Bosses. Despite being hilarious, If you do an oppositional reading of the film you see that there is no real racial representation. You see three white men that say they hate their job, but their bosses suck. So since their bosses suck so bad they decide to kill them, but in order to do that they need to find a thug to coach them. So they go to a ghetto bar where everyone in the bar is black. They come across Jamie Foxx’s character Motherfucker Jones who becomes their murder guide. The part that seems really odd about the film, is that why the three guy’s bosses suck, their jobs all seem to be high paying and affords them comfortable lives. The fact that these three white guys with descent lives have to go find people of lower sophistication to help them kill their bosses shows how spoiled they are. On top of that the first thing they think when lower sophistication is mentioned is black people. Hilarious movie, but doesn’t do much for racial equality.

Armageddon of race?

23 Feb

For this blog I watched the movie “Armageddon”. This movie bolsters a lot of stars like Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, and Billy Bob Thornton. The thing that really strikes me about this is that the cast is predominantly white. The only ethnic characters portrayed are Michael Clark Duncan as Bear, big strong physical laborer. Also, there is Keith David who portrays a General in charge of making decisions for the president at NASA. There was Latino man who is sent into outer space to help drill on the asteroid also but is killed off early and never given much camera time. For the most part the movie focuses on white men. Even the black general is controlled by the president of the United States who is portrayed by a white actor. Armageddon gives little mention to other races other than white. Which this really strikes me about this movie that suggests the world is going to be destroyed and the only people who can save the world are all white. No one of any other race or ethnicity can have a say in protecting the world.

Desperately White!

3 Feb
For this blog I chose to watch Desperate Housewives. On the latest episode of this show one thing that stood out to me racially was that Vanessa Williams character (Renee) is in a relationship with a white European man. This in and of itself really isn’t that significant, the thing that really caught my attention was that you hardly realize that Vanessa Williams and her boyfriend’s character aren’t the typical “white” cast. They blend in so well with the rest of the whiteness the show portrays. This show has a few different diverse groups in it with Eva Longoria and her family being Latinos and Vanessa Williams, but their race isn’t even noticed in the show because everyone is upper to middle class and all portray whiteness. No one really speaks with an accent or has financial troubles. This kind of reinforces what we were talking about in class how white is the dominant ideology on television and even people of different races might identify with someone of similar race on the show, they are still being fed the notion of white being the best.

Magazines: The Reinforcement of Our Stereotypes

27 Jan

The three magazines I selected were actually pretty diverse in content. Conveniently they all are mailed to me for various reasons. First I examined Game Informer magazine which I get from my membership to GameStop. Another magazine I looked at was Maxim magazine which has been mailed to me ever since I signed up for what I thought was a Sports Illustrated subscription (but I’m not complaining even though my fiancé doesn’t care for it). Finally I looked at Better Homes and Garden which was a magazine I’m guessing the previous tenant of my apartment got or the guy I bought my Sports Illustrated subscription from thought that Maxim and Better Homes and Garden together was close enough.

When I looked through them specifically for a racial identity it was actually kind of funny just how our stereotypes of race are portrayed in the magazines we read. In Game Informer the races represented in all types of ads and articles are predominantly Oriental  and White men from the ages of about 18-35. When we think of video games, what kind of people do we honestly think of? Typically Asians and overweight White guys. This magazine reinforces that. Next up with Maxim magazine, we see many attractive women in their twenties. This magazine is aimed at younger to middle aged men with disposable income that can attract a beautiful women such as the ones seen in the magazine. The predominant race in the magazine is White, not surprisingly. However there are brief glimpses of Black and Latinos. Finally with Better Homes and Garden we get a very narrow view of race as the magazine is geared towards middle-aged White women. There is hardly any diversity here either. In general, I realized that whatever stereotype you can think of for a specific group racially, culturally, or whatever you look at; There is probably a magazine geared towards that specific group. They don’t really go out of their way to gain new readers, basically you just go find YOUR magazine and stop reading this one.

Producers are “Victims” of “Special” casting choices

21 Jan

In the latest episode of Law and Order SVU i tried to look for racial identity issues once more. The things that really stood out to me were the commercials. I looked specifcally at commercials and noticed that nearly every commercial included a minority in some capacity working as equal next to dominant white race we see so prevently in media. It seems as if it is done more purposefully than by coincidence. The first commercial I seen was for a new type of singing show like American Idol where the judges turn their backs to the performers while they sing. I noticed that there were four judges, only one of whom was black. Then when Law and Order came back on I noticed that there is only one prominent black man in the show. I then realized many shows and commercials we see on major networks always feature what we call the “token black guy”. I feel like this sends the message that only one black person is acceptable among a group of white people in media. Really to get past this issue I feel as if when casting characters, producers should be more aware of the races they cast in their show and stop being so deliberite to get the right number of races in and just cast who would be best for the part. In many cases having at least two black men to identify with eachother. Black people who watch the show would probably identify better with the show as a whole as it would not be so much race dominated, rather it would encompass anyone and everyone. We as a society preach equality, its fair time we actually practice it and stop pretending to.

(I feel it is worth noting that i refer to people of color as “black” and not “African American” due to the fact that a person of any color can be African American technically. Charlize Theron is African American. Therefore I deem the term inaccurate and prefer to use simple terms to describe a person’s race.)


Rappers have to be “Gangsta”?

13 Jan

Group: African Americans

Summary: I watched Law and Order: Special Victims Unit on Netflix. Typically new episodes air on NBC at 10:00 on Wednesdays. In the episode I watched (Wildlife) Detective Stabler goes undercover to bust an animal smuggling ring. They encounter a rapper “Gots Money” portrayed by Big Boi. Detective Tutuola interrogates Gots Money to learn more about the smuggling ring and brings up many racial stereotypes.

Analysis: Gots Money is portrayed as being the typical successful rapper. He claims that he grew up on the streets, used to deal drugs, and has slept with tons of women. He is now a “gangsta”. He puts off the vibe that he is a dangerous man and everyone should fear him but want to hang out with him at the same time. However after being interrogated by Detective Tutuola he cracks and admits that he is really just a kid from the suburbs that made up his past in order to seem more credible. This shows that many rappers (especially young African American males) feel that they have to engage in crimial behavior and wear as much “bling” as possible in order to be accepted by society. If you come from privlaged beginnings people won’t accept you as a rapper. This show does a good job pointing out the stereotypes we have for nearly all social groups and races. Typically many of the stereotypes are shown as being ingnorant throughout the course of the episode.

Response: In this episode I thought it was very interesting that Tutuola (Rapper Ice-T) and Gots Money (Rapper Big Boi) were the two in the interrogation room talking about rappers stereotypes. I also noticed MANY other stereotypes and social groups highlighted throughout the series. Detective Olivia Benson is a strong female that is still unmarried into her forties. Detective Elliot Stabler is married, father of five, and devout Catholic with a strong moral code. Detective Finn Tutuola gives us an African American perspective in his attitude and language which is more “street” than the other detectives and was a former narcotics detective. Detective Munch is an older Jewish man that likes to read into any and all conspiracy theories. He also portrays a very high intellect by knowing many facts off the top of his head. Dr. Huang is Asian and portrays the Eastern Philosophy in that he is always calm and doesn’t act without first thinking. Medical Examiner Dr. Warner is a black female that portrays very high intellect who once served in the military. There were even a few episodes in the series that included Detective Lake, who was Native American and speaks in a dialect that we normally associate with Native Americans. Law and Order SVU does a great job trying to include all races into the show and showing them in a positive light while maintaining some of the stereotypes we hold about certain races.