Saturday, March 25, 2017

Culture analysis on race

In the 2005 comedy Next Friday it follows a young black male named Craig as he leads a hard life. In this comedy stereotypes are overused and project black people as lazy workers and as people that are destructive to their own property and to society as a whole. In this movie the producers try to use racial stereotypes such as the brute and mammy in light hearted funny tones, but all they are doing is enforcing the bad views through the characters and themes in this movie.

In this movie the writers are delivering stereotypes through the characters. Next Friday is about a young man named Craig who moves into a predominantly white neighborhood with his black cousins to get a better life. This sends the message that you cannot have a good life without moving to someplace that is predominantly white. In the first part of the movie it showed that the only reason uncle elroy could afford his house was by winning the lottery. Showing that the only way that a black person could afford to live in a good house in a good neighborhood is not by hard work but by pure luck. In many cases when black people moved into a predominantly white neighborhood the white people began to move out. This is because of a common belief that a black person cannot maintain the things they have and that they mess up their surroundings. This is portrayed when Craig's cousin day day buys a new car and within the first ten minutes of the movie ruins it.
They also show stereotypes from the past when Craig flirts with Carla, the Mexican neighbor. After witnessing this her brother says “she has jungle fever” this is referring to when they believed that blacks were monkeys and inferior. The stereotype of the mammy and the brute also occurs with uncle elroy's wife sugar and deebo, a African man who escaped from prison. Every Time you see sugar she is in the house, she makes the food and is always looking to satisfy her husband. They also introduce a character named deebo who is a prison escapee who closely symbolizes the brute. They portray deebo as a strong illegal criminal who would do anything to hurt someone. Deebo is portrayed as savage like, dumb and violent. This is a stereotype that whites used against black men to prove that they were inferior.
In this movie it shows that even today society uses many stereotypes to falsely depict black people as someone that people should be afraid of, not trust and teaches people to be cautious when letting blacks into our society.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Daredevil feminist critique

In season 2 episode 5 of Daredevil another female character is introduced into the plot and she represents power for women. While the new woman represents another source of power there still is an overbearing power of patriarchy. The patriarchy comes in when Daredevil, the hero of the city tries to protect the purity in women and wants them to just sit back and not get involved in situations because he does not think they can handle them. Also since the power from a seductress she has the ability to weaken the man which weakens his power and force him to become unfocused. Within this episode the show represents a patriarchal society where women with power cannot run without the shadow.

Previously there were two main female characters before Elektra was introduced and both of them were under the wing of Daredevil's protection. One was an assistant who was persistent in finding information no matter what position it put her in. Often she found herself in dangerous situations because she was heavy on finding the truth and due to that the alias of Daredevil, Matt Murdock is protective of her which pushes her away from him. He constantly tells her not to do certain things because he believes that she cannot take care of herself and he must be the one to take care of her which enforces the patriarchal ways. The other was a nurse who took in patients without recording it for their safety due to Daredevil. In her case Daredevil did the opposite of what he is meant to do, by trying to save he put others in danger, yet she overcame the obstacles he caused and held her own .

Elektra on the other hand is a character that attacks and reinforces the idea that this show takes place in a patriarchal society due to the fact that she is a successful woman who can hold her own in dangerous or difficult situations but then again when one particular quest is too tough she reaches out to a male for help. When she is first introduced it is through a flashback of when her and Matt first met at a party, and immediately she was seen of having wealth, power, and fearless. The first night they met she stole a Ferrari and was not worried about and consequences and during this event she was in control, she led and Matt followed. As their relationship progressed events like this occurred more and more but it was one event where she exerted too much of her power. They both broke into the house of the man who killed Matt's father but going into it he was not aware of who owned the house, when he "unexpectedly" arrived, Elektra stated who owned the house and she began to assault him. After the assault she tied him to a chair where Matt beat him within an inch of his life and from then on Elektra was telling him to finish him and kill him which Matt did not do even though she held power over him in that time.  This event shows how she had the power to force him to do things out of his character.

Years later when they are reacquainted she donates a large amount of money to his law firm for his help with illegal events because they are too much for her to handle on her own. But within this we learn that she hold power over him because she predicted him to come back and we learn that she is bloodthirsty but he still tries to drag her away from what she is to pure and protect her from all evils. This episode shows both a patriarchal society and power from women characters but in my opinion patriarchy is stronger because the power from the male character is stronger than women's.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Teaching the Next Generation about Race

The movie Zootopia brilliantly addresses issues of race and prejudice. Part of the movie’s effectiveness is due to it being recent and coming out in 2016, and it being a movie for children. Making a movie for kids is an effective form of speaking to the next generation. Zootopia is a movie about animals and a society that seems perfect but is actually riddled with segregation between species and prejudice against types of animals. The film then shows how the prejudices and “speciesism” is detrimental to society and hurts the city. This movies works to promote breaking stereotypes by showing how the society is dysfunctional and is held back by its racial discrimination. The movie promotes open mindsets and mentalities that see past race.  

To make a strong argument Zootopia separates animals into groups that are treated certain ways. The main Character, Judy Hops, is a rabbit that dreams of being a police officer. Others laugh and some try to pull her away from that dream because there has never been a rabbit police officer, while there also being no law against it. This conflict shows how prejudice can hold people back. The message that the movie is trying to break is “because society thinks you cannot do something you can’t”. Another character, Nick Wilde, was bullied growing up and discriminated against because he was a fox. Nick said ‘If the whole world is only going to see a fox as untrustworthy there is no point in trying to be anything else"  Zootopia uses the backstories of many characters to show how hard it is for people (or animals) to break out of the group or away from the stereotype they were born into. The movie elaborates further on this by resolving the conflict in the movie through acceptance and progressiveness. The movie speaks to its younger audience. Zootopia shows how treating others fairly and judging people on the content of their character is the best way to create positive outcomes in dysfunctional societies and to progress towards justice and equality.

Friday, March 10, 2017

New Girl's Relationship With Race

Image result for new girl winston coachNew Girl’s relationship with race has, for a while now, been one that the show’s viewers are quite skeptical of. A show that at face value seems harmless may actually be more complex than originally thought. In the very first episode, viewers are introduced to Coach, a young adult black male character with a habit of forgetting to use his inside voice and who works as a personal trainer at a local gym. Coach’s aggressive nature and highly physical mentality seem to promote racist stereotypes, which raises many questions. In the second episode, however, Coach is gone. Only returning to the show for one or two episodes per season, the writers explained Coach’s absence through having the other characters discuss his sudden move to Santa Monica. Later that same episode, Coach is replaced with another black male roommate named Winston Bishop. Winston had just returned to the United States from Latvia, where he had a professional career in basketball. Already, viewers began to feel sick at the immediate perpetuation of black stereotypes.

Then, however, things became more interesting. During the second season in an episode called “Cabin”, Schmidt, one of Winston’s roommates begins to fret over the idea that because Winston was the only person of color living in their apartment, Schmidt and his other roommates (Nick and Jess) were not allowing Winston to be his “blackest self.” Realizing the extent of Schmidt’s racist ignorance, Winston decides to teach him a lesson. He begins to lie to Schmidt, describing his days in the ‘hood smoking crack with his enormous, poor family.’ In a game that ends up going farther than either of them expect it to, Winston and Schmidt find themselves driving around in the projects looking to buy crack cocaine. After a scene of pure comical chaos, Winston finally breaks it down for Schmidt, explaining how ignorant it is to assume so many things about him and his past based solely on the color of his skin.

While some accuse this episode of getting away with blatant racism, others believe the opposite, seeing the benefits of an episode like this one, resisting black stereotypes and poking fun at white stereotypes at the same time. Winston, as a character, is always resisting racial and even gender stereotypes. From being revealed to actually not being good at sports, to being an excellent babysitter, to willingly spending time with groups of girls on a girls night just for fun, to remaining faithful to all of his partners, to even take a break from relationships for an entire season in order to spend more time taking care of his cat.

With Winston alone, New Girl is making great and progressive strides all the while remaining subtle and brilliantly funny.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Race Relations At The White House

In the season one episode of The West Wing, “A Proportional Response”, Sam Seaborn, the deputy chief of White House Communications  interviews Charlie Young, a young black man, to be the personal aide to the president. In the interview it is revealed that Charlie hasn’t been able to go to college despite having stellar grades and being incredibly smart and competent because he has had  to take care of his younger sister. He is the only one she has left since his mother was killed while on duty as a DC cop and they have no father. While Sam, Leo, the chief of staff, and President Bartlet all agree that they love him and he’d be perfect for the job, they hesitate to hire him, primarily because he is black. However, their main hesitation is that they don’t like the image of a young black man waiting on the president, an old white man, holding doors open for him, and carrying his bags.

While it seems innately wrong to not give somebody a job based on their race, their specific reasoning is somewhat complex and understandable to an extent; they don’t want to promote the image of a white master and a black servant. However, chief of staff, Leo McGarry, asks the opinion of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Fitzwallace, who is also black who tells him that the image wouldn’t bother him. He says that it’s an honor for anybody to serve at the pleasure of the president, so Charlie gets hired.

While the show buys into the stereotype that black fathers leave their children, Charlie is actually a really original and unique character. He’s dedicated, loyal, intelligent, and often sees things the older members of the white house staff doesn’t at first. That being said, he’s got a tough edge. In pretty much every situation where the president or the first family is in danger Charlie is the first one on the scene. While the show never directly dismantles stereotypes through Charlie, they show the relationship

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens": The Hidden Racism

CAUTION: Explicit Language

Building off of the most popular series of science-fiction action epics in movie history, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an incredible smash hit. The box office was immense, bringing in two billion dollars and having an astounding profit of over 780 million. The film was also met with extremely positive reception from critics and audiences alike. The film, though, still struggles with several instances of racial stereotypes and cliches through the use of the main character, Finn, who fell into a stereotypical black character. It only makes it worse that the character was an attempt change a large aspect of the Star Wars franchise, but seem forced and superficial.

The film features a few major characters. Finn is a former Stormtrooper, and he is also the film’s only black character. He was torn from his family to be forced to work for the First Order, until he reaches a point where he can escape after refusing to kill for his captors. As great a story as this may be cinematically, it is all too reminiscent of slave stories. Finn has been fully stripped of his identity in order to make him utterly subservient, in the same way many slaves were through familiar separation and degradation. Even when he managed to break free he is hunted down ruthlessly by his white captors. Only through the help of Rey is he able to evade capture, showing that he is still dependent on the help of more “privileged” (force sensitive) whites for survival. Although he is eventually able to fight his oppressors, in a story akin to that of Frederick Douglass, Finn remains unable to reunite with the community and family he has been torn away from.

In addition to the way his backstory is presented in a somewhat historically insensitive way, Finn as a character falls into some stereotypical traps and has an unfortunate and all too common lack of any sort dramatic agency. He is somewhat clueless, lost, but not so much so where it could be considered incompetent or intentionally stupid. What does resonate with the feelings of potential tokenism and helplessness, is that Finn seems only able to succeed when he is rescued by white people and then he is able to find his way from there.

Compared to the rest of what is widely considered to be an amazing movie, especially as it fits so well with the rest of the “Star Wars” series, is often considered to not be a huge deal. It can not be ignored, however, that some themes and stereotypes are still prominent in even films as popular and successful as “Star Wars.”

Dexter Kills Serial Killers... Not Stereotypes

The television show Dexter is a crime series about Dexter Morgan, a serial killer who is also a blood spatter analyst for the Miami PD. This series, which ran for eight seasons from 2006 to 2013, is beloved by Americans across the country. Different characters in the television show are aligned closely with stereotypes present in American culture. While the television series has a widely diverse cast, the show perpetuates many deep rooted stereotypes of race and gender. 

The show Dexter is set in the city of Miami, a very diverse area of the United States and so it is clear why it’s cast reflects its’ diversity. Unlike similar shows from the same time, Dexter has a widely diverse cast. Although the main character is white, most of the supporting characters are minorities. In fact, the cast includes representations of Hispanic, Korean and Black men and women but from the first episode it is clear that some of these representations are not positive. In the first episode, Maria LaGuerta, a Cuban American Woman, is revealed as the captain of the homicide department of the Miami PD. Although this seems to be a step in the right direction for the portrayal of women and minorities in the workplace, it soon becomes clear that the other characters resent her for being “bossy”. In a scene from the first episode, during a meeting at the police department, it is clear that Morgan’s sister, Debra, disrespects LaGuerta. Debra complains to Dexter about LaGuerta’s “bossy behavior”. This representation of women in the workplace reinforces the ideology that women in power are bossy and not respected.

Another instance in which the show perpetuates stereotypes is through the character, Vince Masuka, a Korean-American, who works as a forensics analysis. Masuka is portrayed as a slightly awkward, nerdy, forensics geek which follows closely to a stereotype of Asian Americans in today’s culture. In the first episode, Masuka talks excitedly to Dexter about an interesting find in a case. This perpetuates the ideology that Asian’s are the model minority being smart and somewhat shy.

In conclusion, Although Dexter’s cast is a much needed departure from television shows with all white casts, it reinforces the preexisting stereotypes of these minorities.

African American

Trevor Noah is a South African comedian who came to America and shows his views on race and stereotypes not only in America but in the world. Trevor Noah had a mother who was black from South Africa and a dad who was white from Sweden. In South Africa during the time of Apartheid it was forbidden for whites and blacks in Africa to even speak to each other so having a baby together was extremely illegal. However, his mother and father managed to raise Noah in secrecy during the time of Apartheid in South Africa. Often thought of as an outcast or an unwanted toy Noah managed to make it this far into his career. Noah’s show African American does a hilariously good job of teaching how to not over complicate stereotypes and to know the difference between a stereotype and the truth. He breaks stereotypes as well accepting and giving sides on why to promote them as well. 

In america people often see stereotypes as taboo or not to be used jokingly as so no one offends or hurts another person or races feelings. Those who do are usually seen as unkind and cruel people who do not care about any other individual but themselves. That is not the case when you have an outside eye looking in on what is considered to be the normal here in America. Not only in South Africa but all over the world it is seen as different and strange the weird tasks that American’s do to label the people of America. 

The biggest thing that Noah expresses in his show is that because he was considered a “mutt” he never really had a specific race he could claim as his own. However, as a kid he always said that he wanted to be black. One day a man came to his town and told him that if he goes to America there are a lot of “those” like him there. Those meaning people who are usually of more than one race, or mixed, and have a lighter skin tone than African Americans who have a darker skin tone. Noah wastes no time and gets on the next flight he could to come to America. He spends 18 hours on a plane practicing what he calls “How to be black” and watching as many black movies as he can. Despite all his efforts though, when he lands in America he is not black but in fact Puerto Rican because of his lighter skin tone. This causes him to laugh a bit and take it in as something comical and not something infuriating as some might take it. This lets him realize that not all light skin or mixed people are black, but in fact could be an entirely different race. He continues with his show talking about other controversial and interesting topics that people don’t usually think about. For instance he brings up the question “ How can someone be native to the land they’re originally from?”. Which makes complete sense when you think about it because someone who is native means a person born in a specific place or associated with a place by birth. However, if someone still lives in the place they were born how can they be a native to the place they never really left. It’s a double negative and shouldn’t be considered the normal here in America. Noah continues on and on talking about other racial and controversial topics in his show. According to Noah if we continue to treat these things as social norms we will continue to mistake stereotypes with the truth and never truly realize the differences between each other, not just here in america, but all over the world.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Breaking Bad: Is Gus Fring a Stereotype?

The television show Breaking Bad is about a high school chemistry teacher in New Mexico named Walter White who has been diagnosed with cancer. Not knowing how he would be able to pay for it, or leave any money for his family if he ends up passing away, he starts a life of cooking and selling meth. Throughout the story he meets many diverse characters. Some of theses characters can fall into the trap of having stereotypical, but the characters are so round and multifaceted as to not be stereotypical.
An example of a deep character in the series is Gus Fring, a black man who is the very top of the drug operation in New Mexico and Walter’s boss. He is very stern and strict and even resorts to murdering one of his most trusted employees to try and scare Walter and his assistant straight. One the surface that may look like a typical brute stereotype of a black man, but if you look into his motivations for his actions you can see he is much more careful and calculated than he lets on. Ever since Walter is first deffered to Gus, he was told how careful of a man he was. His highest priority is keeping his industry running without any kinks or chances of exposure. He is very intelligent and deliberate looking deeper into his character, which is contrary to most stereotypes of black men in America. From a Mexican drug peddler who just wants to care for his disabled uncle to a white drug addict with deep morals struggles and care for children, the show Breaking Bad has many characters that may seem stereotypical at first, but turn out to be very dynamic and round, transcending the grip of racial stereotypes.

Dexter the Stereotype Killer?

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A murderer was always portrayed as the “bad guy”until the television series Dexter was released in 2006. This show takes place in Miami, where the main character, Dexter, lives. Dexter is a natural born killer who’s father raised him to kill by a certain code, only killing criminals.

The show starts out with Dexter killing someone, leaving you feel uncomfortable about him. As the show progresses, however, you build a connection with him. You find yourself hoping he doesn’t get caught. This is mainly due to the normal life the writers of the show make him live. Dexter has many friends and co-workers that you learn to love, and some that you learn to hate. The show features characters of many different ethnic backgrounds, which a lot of series don’t.

However, what’s often overlooked is the sheer number of stereotypes that are woven into the heart and base of the show itself. Therefore, although Dexter incorporates racial diversity in the show mainly promotes stereotypes by what they often make the characters do or say depending on their race.

Right off the bat, the show starts with having the main character as a powerful white male in his thirties and pushes minorities to the side with slightly more minor roles. However, there is a few characters that defy stereotypes, for example Lieutenant LaGuarda. She is a powerful latina who runs the entire police department, yet while the show progresses, her character does too. They end up protecting her as a loud, annoying, emotional woman, who let’s her personal issues affect her work and let’s love interfere with official police work.

As well as Vince Masuka, an asian science geek, that’s socially awkward, and always ends up creeping people out. He always is shown in the lab typing away, or blabbering on about some science innovation and the rare times they shoot him outside the lab, he is hitting on girls and getting shot down due to him lack in social skills.

One of the biggest stereotypes on the show is Jamie Batista. She is the captain of the force’s sister, and plays a stereotypical role of a hispanic nanny and caretaker. She takes care of Dexter’s son every single day and is always willing to drop whatever she is doing to come help him no matter what the case or what time of night.
Overall, Dexter promotes many more stereotypes than it demotes, when it comes to latinos, asians, and even some whites. This is seen in social media and entertainment  everywhere, not just in Dexter. However, this being said, progress has been made in the right direction, and it will hopefully continue to progress.

Tropes in Hollywood

The Blind Side is a heartwarming movie about the struggle of Michael Oher. While the movie had good intentions and brings to light an incredible story, it perpetuates a lot of stereotypes and is full of Hollywood tropes. The blindside reinforces the stereotype that blacks are athletic, but simple people. The entire narrative of the story revolves around the trope of the “white savior.”

This movie reinforces the stereotype of the athletic, simple black man. Though this story is based around the life of a real person, there are certain parts in the movie that perpetuate this stereotype. A clear example of this is when Michael is at football practice, and seemingly doesn’t know what to do. This is unrealistic because Michael is accepted to an very nice private academy, that is very exclusive because of his athletic skills. Despite having incredible athletic talent, he has no clue how the game is played. Leigh Anne has to teach him how to play his position in a an incredibly condescending demeanor. She explains how the quarterback is like his family and he needs to protect them. She breaks down the simple job of blocking to a level so low, that it could be perceived as insulting.

The biggest trope in this film is the obvious “white savior” trope. Though this may have good intentions, it can lead to bad stereotypes and beliefs. Leigh Anne is a privileged, white woman who is shown to help Michael get through his struggles by giving taking him in. While Leigh Anne is doing a good thing, it perpetuates the idea that black people need saving and are incapable of solving their own problems.

Cultural Analysis - Grey's Anatomy

The hit tv drama Grey’s Anatomy first aired on March 27, 2005, and has since made thirteen seasons and counting. Shonda Rhimes, writer, director, producer of Grey’s and other shows such as Scandal and Private Practice, is the first African-American woman to produce a top 10 network series. Grey’s and Rhimes’ other shows are known for casting many minorities because Shonda believes that “everyone should get to see themselves reflected on TV.” Similar to real life, Grey’s Anatomy both questions many and supports some racial stereotypes through the specific characters’ personality traits.

The diversity in the show is accurate to real life in that all races are represented. From the first episode, stereotypes towards African Americans are defied. Dr. Richard Webber, Dr. Miranda Bailey, and Dr. Preston Burke are all African American and are all chiefs of surgery. These doctors play a major role in showing that African Americans are not unintelligent and not hard-working, like stereotypes play them out to be. The show starts off with four white interns and one Korean intern at the hospital, but has three African Americans playing more important roles. The fact that many African American characters are superior to white characters questions racial stereotypes by showing that white people are not superior to minorities and that they do not always have to play a leading role. While many black racial stereotypes are questioned in Grey’s Anatomy, other stereotypes for Asians are perpetuated. In the first episode, Christina Yang, who is Korean, is portrayed as very smart, hardworking, and top of her class at Stanford. The stereotype that Asians are hardworking and nerdy is reinforced. As the audience gets to know the characters, stereotypes are not as obvious, but the first episode both highlights and minimizes certain qualities of the characters.

Bailey for Chief

The Mammy Stereotype in Grey's Anatomy

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Grey’s Anatomy
is a well-known drama series about a group of medical interns in a renowned surgical program. The cast of Grey’s Anatomy is primarily white, though three or four of the lead roles are filled by minorities. Each drama-filled episode of the show follows two main story lines: one diving into the complex personal and sexual lives of the interns and doctors, and one looking at medicine and patients. It does not take a long time to notice the patterns between which characters are in romantic situations and which characters’ identities are solely developed through interactions within the hospital. Throughout the entire show, especially prominent in the first and second seasons, the personal lives of white female doctors become the main focus. Through this focus on white females and the in the desexualtion of black, female doctor Miranda Bailey through her lack of love life within the show, Grey’s Anatomy reinforces the archetype of the Mammy.

The Mammy was a big, fat, fast-talking, dumb, black slave woman who took care of the big house and any children on the plantation. She was not beautiful or sexy, nor was she the object of any man’s desires. In Season 2 Episode 12 Grey’s Anatomy, the desexualization of Dr. Bailey is briefly addressed when, after years of friendship, one of her co-workers has no idea that she has been married for years. When asked by her friend why she never mentioned her marriage at work, Dr. Bailey replied, “You never asked.” On the surface, and probably to most people viewing the episode, this interaction seems like an issue of bad friendship. However, The disinterest of this white male lead in Dr. Bailey’s personal life, especially when he is heavily involved in the personal lives of most of the white female doctors, shows the inherent dismissal of her as a desirable woman because of the color of her skin. In that same episode, Dr. Bailey is called back to the hospital for an emergency and she is wearing a dress. Upon seeing her, one of the white male interns says, “Wow, you look like a girl!” This same intern slept with countless white female doctors who he had no trouble seeing as girls, though he interacted with them in the same professional setting that he saw Dr. Miranda Bailey in every day. The discussions of Dr. Bailey’s life outside of the hospital last for a total of forty two seconds of the episode and the scene immediately switched to one following the love story of a white female intern and the date between Dr. Bailey and her husband was never talked about again. Dr. Bailey grew to a character defined by her job and strict work ethic, incapable of having a story line revolving around her personal life or love in general. The Mammy archetype being reinforced through the character Dr. Bailey was so deeply rooted in the writing of Grey’s Anatomy that it was not only demonstrated through her interactions with white male characters, but also in the overall structure of the show which managed to story lines of love when it came to its dark characters.

The character of Dr. Miranda Bailey was developed in 2005 when Grey’s Anatomy first aired, and although it ran until 2016 and Dr. Bailey’s character had plenty of time to grow more complex or dive into her personal affairs, her story lines remained primarily professional. Since Grey’s Anatomy, however, shows like Scandal, featuring a black female lead with a personality far beyond sassy or mean and professional have been developed. This growing variety, depth, and complexity in the roles obtained by black women is important in preventing the enforcement of stereotypes that can be traced all the way back to the Jim Crow South.

The Proud Family Television Series: Is it Really Prideful?

The Proud Family is a television series that aired on Disney Channel in the early 2000s, based on teenager Penny Proud and her African-American family. Although the television series ended in 2005, it is still relevant today because, since it first aired when I was so young, it was one of my generation’s first encounters with racial stereotypes. Throughout the television series, The Proud Family perpetuates some racial stereotypes while also rejecting others because some individual characters, like Trudy Proud, do not follow common stereotypes versus black mothers while, in contrast, other characters, like the Gross Sisters, perpetuate racial stereotypes throughout the series.

The series rejects many common racial stereotypes throughout the episodes. In general, the series itself was the first Disney Channel television show to have a black lead, breaking a large racial barrier on a very popular network. In the series, one prominent character who rejects common racial stereotypes against African Americans is Trudy Proud, Penny’s mother. Black motherhood is historically denounced and constantly questioned so it is extremely rare to see a strong black motherhood role in the media. Trudy Proud is a strong woman, who is the main financial, emotional, and physical supporter of her family and works as a veterinarian. In addition to her job, she is the mother of three children and an influential mentor to her oldest daughter, Penny, helping her as she navigates her teenage years. This rejects racial stereotypes because Trudy is caring and concerned with family affairs and makes good money at a respectable job, characteristics not commonly given to African-American characters on TV shows.

While the series rejects some common stereotypes against African-Americans, it also perpetuates many more. As previously mentioned, black mothers are commonly stereotyped as absent caregivers. This stereotype is perpetuated by Penny’s best friend, Dijonay, who has many misbehaved siblings whom she has to care for herself because there is no other authority figure to do so. This also perpetuates the idea that black children are disobedient. In addition to Penny’s friend, Penny’s father takes the role of the stereotypical “coon” because he is known to be a business failure who is lazy and irresponsible. Oscar Proud preserves the stereotype of a lackadaisical black father. Finally, the criminal stereotype which states that black people are dangerous, is perpetuated by the Gross Sisters. These are girls at Penny’s school who bully and take kids’ lunch money. To make the stereotype more real, they wear ragged clothes and their skin is blue to illustrate that they are “ashy”.

In conclusion, The Proud Family is still relevant today, even though it ended over ten years ago, because it planted the seed of African-American stereotypes in young viewers of Disney Channel, like myself. Before I realized it, the television show set a standard for what I expected to see in the media. While it rejected a few stereotypes, it also accepted many more, giving me false ideas about what to expect in my life and in media. The series also connects to other works of culture because the generalizations made against certain races remains a common factor in many popular television series, movies, and many more.

Color Blending

In America today, dating is seen as a very normal task. But once race becomes a factor, a simple date can seem like an attack on a family. In the episode “Baby Got Black” from the television show Family Guy fights racial stereotypes and barriers as two fathers come to an agreement for the better good.

In this episode of Family Guy, Chris begins to date a girl named Pam. This relationship is very casual, and both parents know about it. Soon after, Pam’s father confronts Peter, and claims “I don’t want my daughter to date a white boy…”. As the episode progresses, the tension between the two fathers becomes greater, and they catch the two kids together alone. Pam’s father then tells her that she does not want her to date him, and Peter tells Chris “Gotta keep the races separate. White date whites, blacks date blacks.” With this blunt comment Pam’s father sees how he has overreacted and has a change of heart, and allows pam to date Chris.

This issue with interracial relationships has been a problem ever since race relations began. In the early days of slavery, masters at times had relationships with slaves, and lost all power in the community because of it. Recently parents of a white daughter cut off all support and contact due to her black boyfriend. What this episode is showing is how foolish parents can be when it comes to protecting their child. Love is love, and parents need to respect their child’s decision no matter their views.

Is It Really A Modern Family?

The television show Modern Family has won many Emmy's and Golden Globe awards for Best Comedy. Ever since the show started in 2009, this comedy series has been a hit. It both promotes and breaks a variety of racial stereotypes, that is covered up by the use of comedy. For example, is making fun of certain races and where people come from. The show isn’t necessarily racist but can use certain racial comments from time to time. On the other hand though it does show positive sides of having a diverse family.
The main use of racial comedy used in the show is making fun of the character Gloria who is from Colombia. She has a very strong accent and has trouble saying certain words in English, and they use that to make fun of her at least once in every episode. They also make fun of her culture a lot and her son Many as well. So the show does strongly stereotype Hispanic people and Colombina culture. Also they bring in the factor that she is married to a much older, wealthy, white man. Along with that there is another character they utilize for racial comedy, Lily. Lily is adopted from Vietnam and they bring up her culture and her race sometimes in the show. For example, in one episode, one of her dad's say’s. “Leave it to the gays to raise the only underachieving Asian in America.” In this particular line they are making a reference to a basic Asian stereotype. Not only do they make fun of specific characters, the title of the show, “Modern Family” is a stereotype in itself. It’s telling america this is what the average family should look like, which is mostly white and revolves around a white family.
However the show does break some racial ideologies because it does show diversity in race, age, and sexuality, but almost tries too hard to where the family isn’t really “modern.” The stereotypes exemplified in Modern Family appear in many other types of media and all works of culture as well. Overall this comedy show breaks some racial stereotypes, but mostly reinforces them. 

Shamelessly Adressing Sterotypes

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Shameless is a television show that follows the daily life of Frank Gallagher and his six children. In season six one of his children Carl is released from Juvie after trying to smuggle drugs from Chicago into Michigan. Carl is a fourteen year old white kid from the South side of Chicago. Before he went into Juvie he was beginning to get into gang and drug crime, but by the time he came out he is a full-on gang member. Once he comes out Carl begins to talk, dress, and associate with black people. Carl is also depicted as a much different character now that he is working with a gang he is seen as a bad ass and loved by his peers as he is now a felon and a gang member.

The two large issues are with how Carl acts and how he is perceived by his peers after being released from Juvie. By braiding his hair into corn rows and beginning to talk like a black person he is committing cultural appropriation, an issue that is often talked about in the media today especially with white people getting corn rows. The second issue is upholding the stereotype that being a criminal is cool. This episode does promote stereotypes, but to bring light to the fact they are issues that our society does face. Carl is shown taking influences in popular black culture but has no respect for the influences of the culture or the history behind it.

Shameless always talks about controversial ideas, and since the show follows a white family in the ghetto of Chicago, the show’s take on race is a very interesting one. In one episode Carl was talking to his neighbor Veronica, who is black. After seeing how Carl has changed his appearance and voice to sound more like a black person she says “You think cornrows makes you black? Four hundred years of oppression makes you black” season 6 episode 5. This shows Veronica calling him out on cultural appropriation. The show doing this is a way of going against popular stereotypes in a different way. Although Carl is acting this way, the show/characters in the show state that it is not okay.

Another issue that is seen in the show is Carl being a criminal and him being respected more for things like selling drugs and guns. In one episode Carl smuggles guns into his school and starts selling to students them in the bathroom. When the principal finds out Carl gets called into his office, Carl think’s he is going to be in trouble when really the principal just wanted to buy a gun for himself. This is almost trying to say that even the principal and eventually other teachers and students will respect you more if you are committing crimes. Of course that is not true, this is only trying to show an extreme humorous side of an issue. Of course the selling of all these firearms backfires later in the show when there's a loud banging noise in the lunchroom and almost every teacher whips out a gun thinking the sound was a gunshot. This is another way the show tries to find a creative way to show present issues with race and concealed carry. Throughout the season Carl eventually finds that the negatives of his behavior like this out do the positives and he eventually leaves the gang and returned to his young crime free life. It’s important that race issues are still being brought into media in this proactive way to teach people what is and what is not okay.

Although Shameless shows this exaggerated version of Carls behavior it is not far from real life situations, especially with famous people. Many rappers today will rap about criminal activities along with all the drugs they do and are respected for it. This is extremely common in rappers from Chief Keef to G-Eazy. This behavior can even be seen in everyday high school students in videos online or just in school. It’s common to interpret black culture in an incorrect way that is easily turned into a negative stereotype. It’s important that people and the media work together to dissolve the line of confusion with stereotypes and black culture.