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View Full Version : The perpetuation of racial stereotypes



jtk1519
02-11-2006, 09:19 PM
*This could wind up being a long post depending on how much I ramble so consider yourselves warned. Now, to quote Dennis Miller, "I don't want to get on a rant here, but..."*

I started a new job a few weeks back. The job itself is a combination of boring and hard, but the people I work for and with are just awesome. It is without question the most diverse group I have ever been a part of. Our team numbers about 25 strong and consists of my boss who is a sex addicted mountain man on lone from Colorado whose accent sounds like it belongs in the movie "Fargo" rather than West/Central Texas, and my other boss who is a straight redneck from East Texas (where else) who loves to brag about the smoker he built that can smoke 20 briskets at one time and the fact that given a week, he can manufacture by hand pretty much any type of firearm imaginable. We also have a guy who moved here a couple of months ago from Leeds in the UK, a guy who moved here a few weeks ago from Kenya, two older folks who are just a few years removed from their native Mexico, a hyperactive Canadian and a guy who, judging by his tattoos and references to our team as a "PC crap induced bag of M&Ms", I'm pretty sure is a white supremacist. It's been interesting to say the very least.

Anyway, the point of this thread is that I'm teamed up with a Hispanic guy about my age (late-teens to early-20s) that is like a darker skinned version of myself. He's a big, sport addicted, somewhat arrogant and very laid back guy... just like me. It's almost impossible to get this guy mad because he is so laid back and he loves to tease and joke around... just like me. Anyway, when I first started working with him, he called me what some might call a "racial slur". He didn't mean anything by it and I knew it so I laughed and promptly replied with a slur of my own. We both laughed and since then we rarely call each other by our real names but rather a plethora of racially inspired nicknames that probably don't belong on this board. When we're around other people or customers, we refrain from using such language, but the rest of the time we let 'em fly and have a good laugh about it. Mind you, none of our "slurs" are directed at other people... just at each other.

All this has got me asking a few questions of myself... questions that I now pose to the rest of you. Is what we are doing wrong? In a way, I guess we are perpetuating racial stereotypes, but both of realize that these stereotypes are stupid, for the most part baseless and because of that they just don't offend us. He told me the other day that I would never get with a certain girl because "white guys are too boring" and I have asked him "How many family members can you squeeze into a single cab truck?". That's small and relatively tame example of the kind of rhetoric I am talking about. Neither one of us were even remotely close to being offended by the other's remarks because I think we both know how ignorant those stereotypes are (though to be fair, I am a little boring).

I fear as though I am conning myself into thinking that I am a front-runner for a new wave of American's that views racial stereotypes as ignorant and uses them for punch lines in an attempt to squash some of the racial divides that persist in our country. In a really narcissistic way, I almost envision myself (as well as my co-worker) as modern day rebels, leading our generation into a brave new world free of the racial binds that have held us down. Perhaps my arrogance has taken over because I don't understand why some people are offended by such ignorant remarks and I wish others felt as I did. It is my opinion that racially offensive remarks are only offensive if you let them be, and it is that quickness to get offended that has kept some of the racial divides in our country in place over the last several decades. In other words, I wish people would lighten the hell up and laugh stuff off instead of running and pouting in the corner when somebody says something. I really feel that if we took this relaxed attitude and stopped crying to mommy ever ten minutes, the racial walls in our country would slowly begin to crumble and we could start to see the eloquent words of the Declaration of Independence - "...all men are created equal..." - start to manifest themselves in our nation.

I think I’m starting to get full of myself because in many ways I feel like I’m at the forefront of a radical, and even controversial movement that can laugh off racial stereotypes while at the same time appreciating another human being for what they are… a special creation of the good Lord himself… no better or worse than myself. I try to keep my ego in check because I realize deep down is side that my own insignificance prevents me from being what my ego sometimes tells me I am. I don’t have an inflated view of myself mind you… quite the opposite I have battled depression and self-esteem issues for a good part of the last decade. I realize and understand what I truly am… Bono stuck in Tony Siragusa’s body, but my mind is off somewhere else… attached to the body of someone who can actually do something signifigant it would appear.

*And so concludes the tormented and somewhat juvenile ramblings of a madman. Thanks for listening.*

dragons08
02-11-2006, 09:26 PM
as long as you dont say them to other people, and to just your friend, i dont think it matters..me and my friends do that to eachother, and we'll all laugh about it..as long as noone is affended its fine

SeguinMatadors
02-11-2006, 09:41 PM
I have a good friend who was born in India... I met him at school this year and we have bonded.... we also share a similar relationship to that....

I have lifelong friend who is black and we joke about eachothers ethnicities too..... he will joke around about how if he had one night with my girl that she would never go back to me... with the whole "once you go black you don't go black" and the endowed black guys stereotype. I will tease him about various things that are related to black people such as welfare and what not... I really do appreciate his openness in the whole situation and it makes for great laughs. However, the N word is a line have never crossed with him.

slorch
02-11-2006, 09:50 PM
Just remember, it doesn't matter if you are offended or not, only if the other person is.

Sounds like to me you value each other's differences and that's what it's all about.

You never know when the wrong person is around the corner... within ear's reach, so be careful.

I will always listen to a rational, well founded post such as this one.

dragons08
02-11-2006, 09:53 PM
Just remember, it doesn't matter if you are offended or not, only if the other person is.

Sounds like to me you value each other's differences and that's what it's all about.

You never know when the wrong person is around the corner... within ear's reach, so be careful.
usually we dont say it in public..usually its in a car, at someones house..basically where its almost impossible for somebody to hear it..

wide-e-wide
02-11-2006, 10:02 PM
I will tease him about various things that are related to black people such as welfare and what not...

yeah...Lord knows there are no white people on welfare:rolleyes:

Miss Kitty
02-11-2006, 10:03 PM
That was a very nice post. Your observations and questions are valid.

The truth is, our generations need to move on. The fact is, none of us have suffered what our ancestors did before us. That is history and history is very important. But we are the present and the future. It is time we recognize and appreciate the values and differences in each other. Talk about them, joke about them even, if it is mutual just keep the tone of the conversation respectful. We will always have stereotypes, right or wrong. We just need to learn how to deal with it as positively as possible. But as stated before, always be aware that there will always be someone who may not be as open mined as you are.

I think you have allot of wisdom for a young man. Keep a positive attitude.

dragons08
02-11-2006, 10:04 PM
yeah...Lord knows there are no white people on welfare:rolleyes:
notice how it says "sterotypes"..

SeguinMatadors
02-11-2006, 10:07 PM
notice how it says "sterotypes"..

Exactly. Thanks DO8.

wide-e-wide
02-11-2006, 10:07 PM
notice how it says "sterotypes"..

I know...I know...it just didn't sound right though.

SeguinMatadors
02-11-2006, 10:10 PM
I know...I know...it just didn't sound right though.

How did it not sound right? Is it not something that is typically stereotyped onto black people as a whole?

dragons08
02-11-2006, 10:12 PM
Exactly. Thanks DO8.
no problem, always gotta help a fellow pimp out, were a rare breed these days :cool:

wide-e-wide
02-11-2006, 10:12 PM
How did it not sound right? Is it not something that is typically stereotyped onto black people as a whole?


I realize that...

But you said "various things that are related to black people"
Not "various stereotypes about black people"
Bad choice of words.

jtk1519
02-11-2006, 10:14 PM
I really like fired chicken and watermelon. Just thought I would throw that out.

dragons08
02-11-2006, 10:19 PM
I really like fired chicken and watermelon. Just thought I would throw that out.
that was random, to say the least

Miss Kitty
02-11-2006, 10:21 PM
I really like fired chicken and watermelon. Just thought I would throw that out.


Everbody in the South likes fried chicken and watermellon silly. It is hard to have watermelon seed spittin contests with out watermelons.

wide-e-wide
02-11-2006, 10:23 PM
A long time friend of mine went to Brookshire Bros. grocery store one night...it was June 18th....
He came back all pissed off...we were sittin' around drinking some beer and BBQ'n.....so I say...
"Hey...what's wrong with you man?"
and he goes off on a 5 minute rant about racist grocery stores...

It seems Brookshire Bros. had all of the watermelon,chicken,BBQ sauce and grape soda.........in a huge display at the front of the store...with "Celebrate Juneteenth" signs all over the store...

There was about 12-15 guys ...of all races listening to him.....when he got done.......everybody busted out laughing.

It's funny........but it's not funny.....'ya know what I mean?
Some things are so etched in the American psyche that people do them without even thinking...
The stereotype of black folks...watermelons and chicken is ridiculous...
I guess my Dad is black then......because he can eat the hell out of some fried chicken and watermelon.

dragons08
02-11-2006, 10:28 PM
Everbody in the South likes fried chicken and watermellon silly. It is hard to have watermelon seed spittin contests with out watermelons.
i prefer sunflower seeds...i havent eaten those things in 3 months....stupid braces..its so tempting to eat them to..they sit right in the front as i want into the pantry...one day i'll cave..i caved on just about all the other 'donts' except sun flower seeds, probally because of how i eat them..i just eat them whole

Firebird
02-11-2006, 10:53 PM
JTK, I heartily agree that it is good that, hopefully, a new wave of people are around that can see racial stereotypes for what they really are. For someone who believes that such slurs and cracks really are a load of crap, it is funny in a sense-- but what makes them funny is that anyone is actually ignorant to believe that stuff.

But racial stereotypes stop being funny the minute someone who actually believes them gives voice to their opinion. I'll give an example:

I onnce lived in a house where one of my five roomates was African American. (Actually, his father was, his mother was white) Sometimes he used to make jokes about stuff being "ghetto" or things like that. But the house was a "safe" zone. While we all lived there, it was easy to forget that real racism still existed, that there were folks out there who still felt that way.

A real wake up call came a few weeks ago, ironically at a Bible study. Some of the men in the study were asking me about some experiences I had over seas, in a country where almost no dark-skinned people of any type live. They asked what they thought of Americans. I responded that since they were only exposed to Hollywood type portrayals, they actually believed that all African-Americans were drug selling thugs.

One of the men sitting there said "Well..... sounds like they got a pretty accurate view". The table commenced spitting out the same sort of comments and jokes that my roomate used to make. But this wasn't funny, it turned your stomach. And my respect for men I used to hold in high regard plummeted.

What I'm trying to say is, I wish for a day when we can all laugh at racial sterotypes. I'm glad you and your co-worker have that kind of safe zone. But as long as folks who still believe them exist, there will always be a chance that it isn't funny at all.

SeguinMatadors
02-11-2006, 10:57 PM
I realize that...

But you said "various things that are related to black people"
Not "various stereotypes about black people"
Bad choice of words.

Gotcha.

ktCarl
02-12-2006, 09:09 AM
If you want to witness the perpetuation of racial stereotypes on T.V. then watch the Dave Chappelle's Show.

stevefoxsc
02-18-2006, 03:03 PM
At times they can be funny and humor but again they can offend here are are examples and i hope i dont offend any one by posting these that i got in a chain email once if they do offend you please PM and i will remove them as asap.


The 10 truths


10 TRUTHS BLACK HISPANIC AND ASIAN PEOPLE KNOW, BUT WHITE PEOPLE WON'T ADMIT:
1. Elvis is dead.
2. Jesus was not white.
3. Rap music is here to stay.
4. Kissing your pet is not cute or clean.
5. Skinny does not equal sexy.
6. Thomas Jefferson had black children.
7. A 5 year old child is too big for a stroller.
8. N'SYNC will never hold a candle to the Jackson 5.
9. An occasional BUTT whooping helps a child stay in line.
10. Having your children curse you out in public is not normal.

10 TRUTHS WHITE BLACK AND ASIAN PEOPLE KNOW, BUT HISPANIC PEOPLE WON'T ADMIT:
1. Hickey's are not attractive.
2. Chicken is food, not a roommate.
3. Jesus is not a name for your son.
4. Your country's flag is not a car decoration.
5. Cars are not meant to touch the ground.
6. "Jump out and run" is not in any insurance policies.
7. 10 people to a car is considered too many.
8. Your in America you speak our language.
9. Mami and Papi can't possibly be the nickname of every person in your family.
10. Letting your children run wildly through the store is not normal.

10 TRUTHS WHITE HISPANIC AND ASIAN PEOPLE KNOW, BUT BLACK PEOPLE WON'T ADMIT:
1. O.J. did it.
2. Tupac is dead.
3. Teeth should not be decorated.
4. Ranch is a salad dressing, not a side dish.
5. Your pastor doesn't know everything.
6. Jesse Jackson will never be President.
7. RED is not a Kool Aid flavor, it's a color.
8. Church does not require expensive clothes.
9. Crown Royal bags are meant to be thrown away.
10. Your rims and sound system should not be worth more than your car.

10 TRUTHS WHITE HISPANIC AND BLACK PEOPLE KNOW, BUT ASIAN PEOPLE WON'T ADMIT
1. You cant drive.
2. Disneyland is not the happiest place on earth.
3. The peace sign is outdated.
4. Rice is not a main course.
5. Taking pictures is fun, taking pictures of strangers is just weird.
6. Feet were meant to grow.
7. You need girls just as much as you need boys.
8. Dogs were meant to be pets, not eaten.
9. You dont need above a 4.0 to graduate.
10. Fanny packs are not an accessory.

slorch
02-18-2006, 03:24 PM
JTK, I heartily agree that it is good that, hopefully, a new wave of people are around that can see racial stereotypes for what they really are. For someone who believes that such slurs and cracks really are a load of crap, it is funny in a sense-- but what makes them funny is that anyone is actually ignorant to believe that stuff.

But racial stereotypes stop being funny the minute someone who actually believes them gives voice to their opinion. I'll give an example:

I onnce lived in a house where one of my five roomates was African American. (Actually, his father was, his mother was white) Sometimes he used to make jokes about stuff being "ghetto" or things like that. But the house was a "safe" zone. While we all lived there, it was easy to forget that real racism still existed, that there were folks out there who still felt that way.

A real wake up call came a few weeks ago, ironically at a Bible study. Some of the men in the study were asking me about some experiences I had over seas, in a country where almost no dark-skinned people of any type live. They asked what they thought of Americans. I responded that since they were only exposed to Hollywood type portrayals, they actually believed that all African-Americans were drug selling thugs.

One of the men sitting there said "Well..... sounds like they got a pretty accurate view". The table commenced spitting out the same sort of comments and jokes that my roomate used to make. But this wasn't funny, it turned your stomach. And my respect for men I used to hold in high regard plummeted.

What I'm trying to say is, I wish for a day when we can all laugh at racial sterotypes. I'm glad you and your co-worker have that kind of safe zone. But as long as folks who still believe them exist, there will always be a chance that it isn't funny at all.
very well said...