Black doctors, lawyers, and company managers are a common and on the rise in America today. Although America has broken some barriers and made progress in the past 200 years, American popular culture has lagged behind and still illustrates the damaging stereotype of the inferior, poor, gangster African American.
First of all, American popular culture shows whites superiority over blacks by confining them in a box of inferior identical roles. Since the founding of America, whites have thought blacks to be inferior and have always treated them as so. Even though we have come a long way of being slaves and discriminated against, blacks only get recognition by living in the past. For example, one of the best black actors in America is Denzel Washington. He is a dynamic actor, but most of his roles seem to be the same. As in his movie Meet the Titans where he was the head black coach of a foot ball team and had to overcome racial barriers in order to lead his team to success. Similarly, another Academy Award movie featuring a majority of black people is The Help. This movie is about black maids and they’re difficulty dealing with white masters. Like all the other dynamic movies featuring African Americans, it only gets recognition because of its dealings with race and slavery. As long as African Americans are stuck in these never ending racial roles, they will always be seen as inferior, and America will continue to lag behind.
Moreover, blacks are continually portrayed as poor or the classic rags to riches in American popular culture. In American history, when slaves were first freed they all had no property or jobs and could not acquire money or wealth. Therefore they were all known to be poor and on the bottom of the totem pole. Black Americans have long surpassed this stereotype and there are many successful and wealthy blacks. But American popular culture enforces the damaging stereotype that all blacks are poor, less wealthy, and if they are rich, they started off poor. For instance, there is a show entitled Everybody Hates Chris. This show is about a black family trying to live in a white world, and they’re struggles with fitting in. The dad in the show has two jobs, and is portrayed as cheap because he counts every penny his family spends. This show imposes the stereotype that blacks cannot keep up with whites and are always poor. Likewise a popular song that is catching on in American popular culture is Started from the Bottom by Drake. This song is very popular in the black community because Drake is speaking of how he started poor and with nothing in life, but now he has finally made it to the top and reached success. This is the story with many other artists in American popular culture such as Nicki Minaj, and they only help to show that blacks can never just be wealthy, but they had to struggle to get to where they are.
Finally, America continues to illustrate blacks in popular culture as the conventional criminal gangster type. It has known for years that if something went missing, or a crime occurred, the black person is usually always blamed first. And in the past cops have always been suspicious of black people, and that is where the term, “driving while being black” comes from. American pop culture does nothing but implement this image. Rappers such as Lil Wayne, Chief Keef, and T.I who only raps about all the gangs they are in, drugs they use, and guns they own add to this damaging image. These are the people young black boys look up to, and grow up to live this gangster stereotype. Chief Keef states in his song Love Sosa, “Fucking with them O-boys you gon’ get fucked over.” This means that if you mess with the people in his gang it will result in violence towards you, which usually involves guns and death. Also, in a movie I have yet to see, but is apparently every normal black persons favorite movie is entitled Friday. From what I heard this movie has a cast of a majority of blacks who all live in a bad neighborhood and are all “hustlers”. This movie being the choice of most black people causes them to live in the stereotype of black gangsters forever.
In conclusion, while America has shown progress since the times of slavery, we are still lagging and are stuck in an American popular culture which implements damaging stereotypes into our lives on a daily basis. Black young kids look for people who look like them in popular culture and if the only role models they see are the stereotypes popular culture presents, then they will grow up to live and believe in these lies. Not only is this damaging to the future of black Americans, it is damaging to the character and identity of the black race. As long as these stereotypes are upheld in American popular culture, America will always continue to lag behind and live in a world of damaging stereotypes.
When an eleventh grade English class is shown a film summarizing racial stereotypes in nineteenth century pop culture, a silence befalls the classroom that is interrupted only by occasional "What?!"s of disgust. To a group of twenty-first century teenagers, funny racial stereotypes of the Civil War Period are appalling. But during a time of incredible inequality, racial stereotypes were emphasized and utilized as a way of maintaining a certain social hierarchy. Minstrel shows and Zip Coon posters encouraged audiences to laugh at black Americans. Minstrel Shows and Zip Coon posters prolonged the existence slavery. As demonstrated by the appalled eleventh grade class, we have come far from these days. Such demonstrations of racial stereotypes as minstrel shows are no longer a source of entertainment. In other forms though, certain stereotypes continue to be presented for entertainment. Even though racial stereotypes of the past have since been exposed as inaccurate and ostracized as disgustingly degrading, however, similar racial stereotypes are often played upon today by American pop culture as a source of laughs.
Immediately following the Civil War, American social media honed in on negative stereotypes of the black American as a means by which to prolong the justification of slavery. By creating stereotypical black people, portions of the white population were able to advertise for the continued existence of slavery under the assumption that all black people were exactly as they were portrayed on TV. Minstrel Shows featuring the Sambo and Zip Coon kept white audience members laughing at black slaves and were forms of bullying that kept the white dudes on top of the social hierarchy. In this past time, stereotypes targeted specific races and were used to belittle them. For a long time, American popular culture revolved around these awful, false stereotypes that lots of people believed to be completely true!
We have come to a point of coexistence, though, in which a racially diverse audience can laugh at certain stereotypes together. Instead of laughing at the Sambo, the Zip Coon, the Bandit, or the Shylock, we have begun to laugh with each other at newly recognized stereotypical differences. When the eleventh grade English class was shown a skit from the Chapelle Show mocking the stereotypes of White, Hispanic, and African Americans, laughs erupted. Although certain aspects of the show were certainly politically incorrect, it poked fun at all races. No one race was targeted and the racially diverse classroom laughed together. Even in a less politically incorrect shows such as Glee, characters are created to fit certain stereotypes - stereotypes commonly noted at high schools across the country. Stereotypes exist across the board and have come to be known not as bad things, but instead as accepted differences.
Differences will always exist, and generalizations will always be made. If as a society we can acknowledge or even laugh at theses differences without belittling any one race, gender, religion, or culture then, I believe that it is okay to laugh. We have come a long way from the degradation of the racial stereotyping of the nineteenth century. And although, certain stereotypes will never cease to exist, we are now at least aware of ramifications and exceptions. Stereotypes of all kind are, for now, just a part of reality. If handled properly, stereotypes in American pop culture are just a piece of reality.
“I think that I may be the voice of my generation... Or at least a voice…of a generation." -Lena Dunham, Girls.
Girls, a relatively new show that airs on Sunday nights on HBO, has received a skyrocket of popularity in the last few months, It's creator, writer, producer, and star Lena Dunham received two awards at this past Grammy's. However, the show has also drawn an uproar of criticism, at both extreme ends of the spectrum. Some websites deem the show "today's funniest show on tv", and view it as a vital addition to today's television programming, such as Rolling Stone Magazine. However, others have severely criticized the show's morals, sexually explicit content, particularly Dunham's almost guaranteed-per-episode nudity, and especially it's completely whitewashed cast. Dunham and fellow producer Judd Appatow have responded to these race criticisms, yet many are still unsatisfied. Dunham has explained that she's writing from personal experience, and what she knows. She has also cited the religious and personality differences of the characters, as if that helps the situation. However, critics make many vital points, such as it is incredibly unrealistic that in Brooklyn one would never run in to a person of color. Others also argue that maybe a lack of diversity wouldn't be such an issue if the show didn't have the extremely broad and inclusive name "Girls"
Another related issue with much of today's still unfortunately white dominated media is adding "token" colored characters, such as the "sassy black friend" or the intelligent, successful Asian coworker. As someone who is personally interested in writing and art, I have often wondered about the debate of whether there is a suggested "line" as to which characters to write about - for instance, because I am a girl, would I not have enough "first hand experience" to write from the perspective of a male character? Or a character of a different race? However, wouldn't writing from the perspective of a diverse array of characters create interesting art, that could potentially also reveal internal stereotypes about those who are different from the author?
In a recent episode of Girls' second season, Dunham added an African American love interest. However, not only was he African American, but he was Republican, which was an obvious, immediate contradiction to Dunham's character's and the show itself's values, and it thus wasn't at all surprising that he was written off after only one epsidode. Personally, this attempt at adding diversity on the show felt half-hearted and really quite pathetic.
I didn't initially plan to center my examination of race in today's media and culture around Girls, but I feel that it is a fascinating segway in to society's thoughts on this issue. Girls is blogged about and discussed online, in print, and in television far more than any other currently running television show, even though it is on HBO, a network that isn't even available on standard cable. Although the quality of the show is arguably higher than most sitcoms, sitcoms which are often obviously offensive and that thrive off of popular stereotypes, Girls appears to receive harsher criticism.
Although racism and outdated, offensive stereotypes continue to thrive in much of today's media, I do feel that media is beginning to improve, although far too gradually. Because so much of the world is able to voice its opinions to a large audience, such as through blogs, social media, and podcasts, this has inspired a trend of youth voices gaining substantial power in today's media. (The fact that most teen bloggers are girls is a whole other issue). OPRF student Tavi Gevinson's online magazine RookieMag thrives on a diverse writing staff and fascinating, sophisticated articles that more accutaly represent today's teenagers than the majority of adult-produced works. Girls creator Lena Dunham is only 26. I think that this trend of young voices permeating media and culture offers excellent opportunity to put an end to the outdated stereotypes and racist tendencies that still dominate in today's culture. Will they take advantage of this opportunity and produce high quality, possibly controversial art that more accuratly and fairly represents current American society? That is the real question, but from what we're beginning to see, I think it's safe to say they (we) will.
In the past, during the Civil War era, stereotypes and racism were much more intense than what they are like now. Almost all African Americans were slaves to the white supremacists living in that time. Living a miserable life of fear and inferiority created stereotypes for African Americans that stuck with them for a generous amount of time after the Civil War. Not only did those stereotypes cause racism to expand over the lives of African Americans, but it eventually began to be applied to other races as well. Although racism was very prominent in the past, our nation has developed an acceptance towards all races that have helped our country evolve into what it is today, an accepting and fair country.
The media plays a very important role in resolving racism today. While there are a lot of television shows that have white characters as protagonists, there are many shows that have African Americans as the protagonist. Shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, with Will Smith as the lead character, and Everybody Hates Chris, where Chris Rock plays the main character. Also commercials on TV also show how racism is being addressed and being resolved. There are many different races that appear in beauty and intellectual commercials for men and women. This just shows how far we have come in history fighting through racism and giving people their rights that they deserve.
Another example of how racism is being resolved is through music. There are many stereotypical music genres that go along with race. Rap music usually appeals to African Americans and pop and rock/alternative usually appeals to Whites. Even though these stereotypes still exist today, we do see change occurring in musical stereotypes. More white rappers are emerging, such as Mackelmore and Eminem, and more African American pop singers are coming about, such as Beyonce and Rihanna. Also, not only is racism being addressed through the artists, but lyrics in songs also seem to provide proof that we are trying to change our world. Hannah Rand, a student from OPRF wrote a song that questions why we think we are different. In the song she sings, "What would it take to see, we're not that different after all." This just shows that we are acknowledging the fact of racism and trying to change it.
While professor Berdanine claims that our nation "has seriously lagged behind" and racism is still prominent today, I believe that our nation has come very far. I think that through music, television shows, and ads in the media, the problem of racism in the world has been acknowledged and is being resolved slowly. I think the sooner we acknowledge the problem of racism, the sooner we can come up with a solution to it.
Society has made tremendous steps in dropping racist ideologies, however that does not at all mean race is completely ignored in American culture. Race is a topic that will likely never be omitted from popular culture, but that does not necessarily signify simplistic or damaging material. On the contrary, if a program can openly discuss race without being offensive, it shows societal progress. Entertainment has largely rid itself of racial stereotypes, and the content it produces has more substance. People have begun to put more focus on racism rather than race itself.
Modern films and TV shows do not portray blacks as they so horribly did in the past. Entertainment now uses very few distinguishable stereotypes; all types of people are shown to be equal. Currently, not too many minorities other than blacks are cast in these programs, however the characters that are present do not support the stereotypical person of that race. Black people used to be seen as unintelligent brutes, but now popular culture shows them as being even with everybody else and often times being intellectually superior.
While the prominence of race has seemed to fade with time, writers have substituted in more postmodern discussions about racism. It has become somewhat common to see a white character ask someone else if they are being racist or worry whether or not they are offending someone. Most of the time it is for comedic effect. For example, in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, two of the characters realize that they might be racist, so they then attempt to make black friends to prove that they are in fact not racist. The only times racial stereotypes get involved anymore are when white characters comment on them and make the situation awkward.
There are a few TV shows and movies that still do display very offensive racial stereotypes, but the sources of the harm should be taken into account. Creators of shows such as South Park pride themselves on just how offensive they can be. Although they have made fun of basically every race, that is the basis of the show and how they get their money. People should not take them seriously because that is simply what they do, and they give nobody special treatment. Entertainment is a business, after all.
Humans probably will never achieve a point where race has no affect on life, but at least it will diminish to a negligible amount. Society is now more racially sensitive; people respect others' culture and call people out when they do otherwise. Popular culture reflects the current state that society is in. America has not yet reached the point it strives for, but it has accomplished a lot in the past several years.
Racial divides have been present in America since its birth. From the start, slave traders brought slaves from Africa and sold them to cruel masters who kept them in abysmal conditions, using the race of the slaves as a justification of their treatment. This immoral institution wasn't abolished until 1865, almost ninety years after the nation declared independence. Since then, African Americans have made some progress in gaining rights. For example, they are now able to vote, and segregation no longer exists anywhere in the country. In fact, in 2008, the United States inaugurated Barack Obama, its first African American president. While the United States has begun the bridge racial divides politically, however, there is still a lot of discrimination in today's society and popular culture.
Many people must combat discrimination in just about every area of their lives, at work and in public. For example, statistics show that African Americans are far less likely to be promoted and be hired for upper management jobs than white people with the same qualifications. The workplace is not the only where African Americans must face treatment such as this, many people just around town act differently when they see an African American on the street because their perceptions of African Americans are influenced by stereotypes that cast them as dangerous.
Many of these stereotypes are reinforced by images in popular culture. One such figure is Tracy Jordan of the popular sitcom, 30 Rock. Tina Fey's satirical show, which is a parody of a TV channel, particularly the variety show that they create. In this show, Tracy Jordan is a caricature of the stereotypic African American. While this fantastic show is a satire, and is thus commenting on society, they are still perpetuating the idea that African Americans are lazy, uneducated, and childish. Another such character is Cleveland from Family Guy.
Personally, I find the prejudices about people who are different from ourselves to be one of the more disturbing aspects of today's society. Our uniqueness and individuality is part of the beauty of being human. The moment that we start accepting others as equal is the moment that we start working together to make a better world.
Henrietta Berdanine, a professor of critical Race Theory at the Northern Jackson College, hypothesized that although American society and politics has become racially aware over the past century, our popular culture has not. She argues that representation of other minority races are stuck with “damaging racial stereotypes”. While there are occasional skits, songs, books, plays, ect that may play up racial stereotypes, over all I think our country has come a very long way from the minstrel era of the early twentieth century.
American popular culture has been known for hanging onto stereotypes like holding onto a grudge. In this sense, Berdanine sees America’s popular culture as lagging behind the social and political progression of the country in regards to racial acceptance. A perfect example would be the 2013 Oscars presentation with Seth McFarlane. Throughout the award ceremony, various skits and monologues presented racially offensive jokes about Jewish people, African Americans, native Spanish speakers, as well as women. Here in 2013, people still laugh at these horribly crude and antagonizing jabs at other racial groups. This particular example had so much coverage from the media, with hundreds speaking out about the controversy over MacFarlane’s performance, no one even thought to pay attention to the second deadline for “the fiscal cliff” approaching in just a few days. While looking just at this, Berdanine’s thesis appears true. However, a double-edged blade challenges this idea that America is deeply rooted in past stereotypes from the minstrel era, for now new stereotypes may cause Berdanine to revise her thesis. Popular comedy shows, such as the Chappelle Show, poke fun at racial groups not usually associated with racism in the media, and such jokes would not have been around fifty years ago. Therefore, in the grand scheme of where our nation was over a century ago, our popular culture has improved greatly from the times of the incredibly damaging minstrel shows, as the nation has shifted to a more racially accepting society.
American popular culture often times moves at warp speed, mirroring, mocking, and responding to current social and political changes. The media, with technology, is continually spewing out various opinions, interpretations, and messages to the public. Since the time of minstrel shows, I believe American culture has improved greatly. Just think about the hundreds of incredibly successful musicians, artists, and comedians who just a century ago would not be able to express themselves outside of a racially oppressive display. Our music is now more than ever incredibly diversified, with different races and ethnicities cutting across previous racial barriers of genre and style. Opportunities in movies and television shows no longer bind certain people to fulfilling degrading roles. Flipping through newspapers and magazines, our media better represents the range of ethnicities our nation is filled with. The time of minstrel show stereotypes have indeed changed with the acceptance of race in modern American politics and society.
Overall, Berdanine’s thesis is very negative about the current standings of American popular culture.
While recognizing how our political and social spheres have grown increasing aware and understanding about race, she believes the stereotypes of types of the minstrel era America still degrade certain people today. However, I have more faith in our modernized culture. American media and music, art and literature, has indeed grown with the other racially accepting constructions of our nation. Looking at the stereotypes of the past, compared to the still present stereotypes today (because there are still barriers to overcome) America is no longer as widely and intensely degrading as it was one hundred years ago. Otherwise, the term “Melting Pot” for the U.S. would not be so widely recognized today.
This video is one of my favorites on youtube. It is called 'Beauty and the Beat'. (Not to be confused with the less clever song by Justin Bieber.) It is very clearly a parody of the Walt Disney movie 'Beauty and the Beast'. The creators decided to add a little twist to this story by making it about the black community. They do this to be humorous, and while it is very funny, it also could be considered to be racist. Some people have found this video to be racist and an insult to the black community. The intent is clearly to be humorous and have no deeper meaning. The people in this video portray many negative stereotypes about black people. They include drug use, the consumption of fried-chicken and many more that you might notice throughout the video. This is a very obvious example of the media negatively portraying African-American citizens. There are very many more examples that are not quite as noticeable. A good example of that is Roosevelt Franklin, he was a muppet on Sesame Street in the 70's who was kicked off the show because he was viewed as promoting black stereotypes. He frequantly spoke in scat and was as far as the viewers knew, raised by a single parent. (It was never known whether or not he had a father.) Sesame Street recieved many letters from viewers saying that he was too much of a stereotype or that he did not speak "black" enough. He frequantly taught an elementary school and it offended many of the viewer's parents that his class represented a detention room and how unruly all of the students were, inicluding himself. That is just one example of negative depiction of the African-American people. There are many more recent examples of stereotypes promoted by the media, pretty much any episode of Family Guy is a good example, but they tend to carry less weight with the viewers now. It is almost as if people have stopped caring about racial prejudices. This can only get stronger as our culture becomes more and more comfortable with differences.
Centuries ago, this nation was facing the most extreme racism it had ever seen because of slavery. The African-American race was completely dehumanized and discriminated against in every aspect of their lives because of this oppressive system, and although they finally achieved their goal of becoming free men it did not come with all of the changes they had expected. Even after they were considered to be just as much a citizen of the United States as any white man, the idea that they were inferior to the white race was belabored to them with everything they did in their daily lives. The color of their skin limited them from jobs they were capable of holding, and left them with only one option; to continue working for inhumanely cheat wages on the plantations they had already spent so much of their lives on. Although the stereotypes this race was labeled with in the past are so prominent in this nation’s history, this society in the United States has improved drastically in respecting the equal citizenship and opportunities of people no matter what their skin color.
In the past, every aspect of an African-American’s life constantly reminded them of the fact that they had a different skin color than those who were thought to be superior to them. This idea was publicized in every aspect of social life in the past, the Jim Crow laws physically segregated the black citizens to backs of busses, other sides of restaurants, different water fountains and all other aspects that today are thought of as basic rights. The discrimination that they faced in the country whose growth they had contributed so much to was only enhanced when it came to social media. Such as the cartoons we watched in class, black laborers were portrayed as embarrassing characters with low intelligence levels and social status. This fad did not diminish quickly; there are even examples in recent TV Series. In the show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, the commonly known theme song is a perfect example, in the theme song he is explaining why he was forced to move from West Philadelphia, and within the explanation he states that “some guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood”. This image could be interpreted as a group of boys of any race, maybe even a mix of different races, but instead they portray these guys as five large black boys with gold chains around their necks and black jumpsuits. This pattern of making groups of black boys seen inferior and dangerous was a very common pattern for social media, but even this example is a very subtle occurrence of social racism and that is because over time this fad has been lessening continuously.
In modern social media, African-American characters in movies and TV series rarely have their character based on their race. In TV series such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scrubs” which are two sit-coms/soap operas placed in hospital settings, both have a primary character who is African-American and a talented and intelligent doctor. In “Scrubs”, Dr. Turk starts off as any surgical intern, but throughout his years at Sacred Heart Hospital he is promoted to the chief of surgery. One of Turk’s main obstacles in his career is how he feels men in the highest rankings of the medical system may judge him based on his race, but he proves time and time again how the stereotypes that are associated with African-American men are not based on the color of their skin. He constantly proves his abilities and strengths as a successful surgeon and overcomes any racial prejudices constantly. The fact that TV has transformed from blatant racial discriminations, to a subtle pattern of racial prejudices all the way to an era of supporting racial equality openly and affectively on programs that can be seen all around the world is inspiring and shows how much more accepting our nation has become.
As well as African-American’s playing the roles of successful black figures in the world of their sit-coms; they also play a key role in social media which is working behind the cameras. This opportunity that so many famous directors such as Salim Akil, Janice Cook, Paris Barclay and many more, have earned is more than those from the history of this nation ever would have expected. These directors have made millions and have been so successful in their work, which only reiterates the point that in today’s society the idea that the color of one’s skin may restrict them in their goals is completely false, and if a person tries hard enough they can achieve anything somebody of a different race could.
This nation has come far in the past few centuries, during the freedom of the slaves and when this country was facing issues about the oppressive system that their economy strived on, the idea of living in equality with African-Americans was nearly impossible to most citizens. Although they believed that their chances were slim, the African-American race followed their leaders and used their initiative to advance them to where they are today. This nation is no longer one that will limit a person based on the color of their skin, because if somebody shows the necessary skills and initiative to achieve a goal for themselves, then that is all that matters.
The blogging assignment for American Studies -- due by Friday, 3/1 -- is to write an original argument in response to the following AP-style prompt:
For all the progress in regards to racial understanding, awareness and acceptance within American society and politics over the past 200 or so years, American popular culture -- with only a few notable exceptions -- has seriously lagged behind, continuing to appear mired in the era of minstrel shows with their simplistic yet powerful and damaging racial stereotypes.
Henrietta Berdanine, professor of Critical Race Theory at Northern Jackson College (1973-)
In a well-organized essay, defend, challenge or qualify Professor Berdanine's view of race in present-day American popular culture. Whether you agree or disagree with her assessment, show your awareness of historical racial stereotypes and support your conclusions with an analysis of specific evidence from American popular culture, such as films, TV shows, music, fashion, books, commercials, etc.
All the requirements for a strong original argument apply -- in terms of a complex thesis, coherent organization, logical use of evidence, awareness of the opposing side and clear, eloquent and original language and voice. But since you will be writing this on the blog, for an audience larger than just our class, feel free to be looser with paragraph structure and a bit more informal or personal with your language.
Extra credit (due during this or our next blogging cycle): Discuss a work of contemporary American satire -- a film, TV show, song, etc, from the last few years that uses the techniques of satire to make a larger point about society. Even though we are in a unit on constructing race, your example does not need to involve race as its primary subject matter.
Your post should include the following:
1. A summary of the work of culture -- maybe including a link to a video or lyrics.
2. An analysis of how the work uses techniques of satire -- irony, hyperbole, understatement, and/or parody.
3. An analysis of how the work is not simply making fun of certain people or institutions but how the work is trying to criticize and ultimately change society.
Note that we're asking you to do more than just #1 -- giving us an example. You need to analyze that example.
As we all know, Black History Month is coming up, and I have decided to take a closer look into MacNolia’s piece “In Service.” I would really like to understand/appreciate the bigger meaning of the poem.(so if you have anything to say go ahead and share.)
The setting is in Akron, Ohio, 1948, in Dr. Wittenberg’s POV.
When looking at the time period, blacks were discriminated against and considered inferior. From being forced to America in the 15thcentury to the civil rights movements, abolishing discrimination was a huge struggle for African Americans. I believe MacNolia set this poem during this time period for a reason. This was an era of terror for the black race. Even though discrimination was rough, some good things did happen, like Jackie Robinson being the first African American in the MLB. (Etc)
Wittenberg’s tone in this poem just illustrates how mocking and petty whites treated blacks back then.
“Come over next week and bring
Some laundry—we’ll show you what
She can do. She can spell
Any word you can pretty much
Think of: although—at least,
I’m not sure—I don’t believe
She knows what they all mean.”
MacNolia enforces a blatant mocking/ ironic tone here to show how poorly she was treated as a human being while working for these people. She has Dr. Wittenberg talking to us as if he was talking to another benevolent man about her, which seems to be bragging; however, to me comes off really as insolent and mocking towards her abilities. This poem represents a lot about the black’s situation during this time period.
http://rookiemag.com/2012/02/other-girls/ (Mr. Heidkamp, for some reason it won't let me link it to a word in my post)
In an article from Rookie, a girl from New York talks about her expiriences in school and in society being an Asian girl. She talks about how people would say racist comments such as, "Are you Chinese or Korean? I’m not trying to be offensive, I just can’t tell you apart".
She goes on to talk about how because everyone in her world thought of her as different, she knew she was different. She mentions that when she got cable she watched MTV and the music videos on it. She dreamed of being beautiful like the women in the music videos because those women weren't different and seemed to be like by everyone else.
Later in her life she moves into the suburbs, where there are a lot of white kids and she is among the few Asians in her school. While she was there she kept feeling more and more left out and she began to study the white girls in class so she could act like them. She even listened in on there conversations to see what stores they shopped at so she could get the same clothes as them so she could look like them.
Racism and stereotypes in America today can be a cause to why feminists are upset. When young girls who aren't white feel left out, they do all they can to become white or become something that they believe society would like better than their real selves. They believe they have to change themseleves to be liked.
I agree with what this article is saying because its true. I went to a small-ish catholic school and when other people in my class would start to wear and do something, i would follow the trend, because it was what was socially acceptable at the time. If everyone wanted Hollister or Abercrombie clothes, i did too because that was accepted. Young adults in America are becoming less themselves because they want to follow the social norm by being the pretty Barbie doll or be one of the beautiful girls in a movie video.
I would like to qualify that yes some presidents are using racism and stereotypes to gain votes in the poles. The African Americans of the United States haven’t forgotten the civil rights movement. Most of the baby boomers have lived through it and are relaying the stories to their children and grandchildren. I believe that what President Carter said in the Article was right. The politicians have been using racism for years to appeal to whatever percentage of the population still lives within the confines of black and white. I also can’t believe both Newt Gringrich and Rick Santorum when they say that they were not making comments specifically about black people. I can understand Gringrich’s defense but that does not change the fact that he explicitly used those terms. But Santorum really has no excuse. In fact, his was the worst defense that I have seen him make so far.
I understand that a lot of people just term blacks as being too sensitive. But can you really blame us? I think that you would do the same thing after being discriminated against for at least 300 years (I counting years prior to the American Revolution). But I digress; this use of racial stereotypes is applied throughout politics and is open to all races. Even President Obama said during a campaign speech that we should try to get more work so that we don’t rely on the Japanese and Chinese to make everything for us. This is again buying into the stereotypes that we have laid out for everyone. While it is true that right now the most commonly used stereotype is blacks, politicians usually refer to Hispanics when they debate about illegal immigrants and we have even given the politicians certain stereotypes and criteria to meet to fit into that specific stereotype.
While we learn about race in class, it’s so different when it’s applied in real life. Politics is known to be a dirty business and you shouldn’t play unless if you don’t want to get a little bit of mud on you. Politics tends to adjust terms and phrases just right so that the politician can appeal to any audience that they want. I think that the use of stereotypes are used all the time in politics. I mean Chicago is one of the most racially segregated cities in America. The reason for this: politics and the mentality of the general public. I think that politician generally just use stereotypes as a stepping stone to get what they want regardless of what happens to the examples and races that they use.
For the next blog post, please write an original argument on one of the following topics below. Whichever topic you choose, support your argument with appropriate evidence from your reading, observation or experience. Your argument does not need to be multiple paragraphs, but you should have a clear structure, where you make claims, back them up with data, and provide a warrant for how the data supports a particular claim and your overall argument. Feel free to establish exigence and make your thesis as complex as possible.
Topic #1: Richard Corliss writes in Time magazine:
Ask any reader who has seen the movie version of a favorite novel, and the answer will usually be, 'The book was better.' That's because readers of a novel have already made their own perfect movie version. They have visualized it, fleshed out the locations and set the pace as they either zipped through the book or scrupulously savored every word. Often they have even cast it.
Many lovers of books argue that films are a lesser art form. Even if the film is a masterpiece, it will never provide the viewer with the same rich, thoughtful experience as a reader gets when reading a book. Write an argument which defends, challenges or qualifies this assertion.
If you have not been following the Republican presidential campaign closely, watch the following statement from Republican candidate Newt Gingrich about food stamps and the African American community. Also, for background you might read the following news article about Republican candidates using racially-tinged rhetoric in their campaigns.
Leonard Pitts, an African American newspaper columnist, writes:
I got my first job when I was 12. The deacons at my church paid me $2 a week to keep it swept and mopped.
So I do not need Newt Gingrich to lecture me about a good work ethic. In this, I suspect I speak for the vast majority of 39 million African-Americans.
There has been a lot of talk about whether Gingrich's recent language, including his performance at last week's South Carolina debate and his earlier declaration that Barack Obama has been America's best "food stamp president," amounts to a coded appeal to racist sensitivities. The answer is simple: Yes.
Gingrich joins a line of Republicans stretching back at least to Richard Nixon. From that president's trumpeting of "law and order" (i.e., "I will get these black demonstrators off the streets") to Ronald Reagan's denunciation of "welfare queens" (i.e., "I will stop these lazy black women from living high on your tax dollars") to George H.W. Bush's use of Willie Horton (i.e., "Elect me or this scary black man will get you") the GOP long ago mastered the craft of using nonracial language to say racial things.
So Gingrich is working from a well-thumbed playbook when he hectors blacks about their work ethic and says they should demand paychecks and not be "satisfied" with food stamps. As if most blacks had ever done anything else. As if a jobless rate that for some mysterious reason runs twice the national average does not make paychecks hard to come by. As if blacks were the only, or even the majority of, food stamp recipients.
Then write an argument in which you defend, challenge or qualify Pitts' assertion that Republican candidates are using racism -- stereotyping and insulting black people, in particular -- to win votes.
Many people criticize Dave chappelle for his style of comedy and skits he performs because a lot of his skits and jokes are based on racial stereotypes. For example the clip from the show that we watched in class with white people dancing to electric guitar, black people dancing to drum beats, and Latino people dancing to a mixture of beats gutar and keyboard.
Why are sterotypes like these funny? Well first of all, stereotypes would not be funny if there was absolutely no truth to them. Also, the majority of people find dave chappele's style of sterotypical comedy funny because they are so exagerated. For example in the clip when the white people where eating dinner and then all of a sudden once they hear an electric guitar, they all get up and start moshpit style dancing. Ofcourse nobody believes this would ever happen, but that is also why it is funny because it is so ridiculous.
Many people believe that even though these racial stereotypes are put out their in a comedic way, these distorted images eventually become a reality and you start to percieve other races in deifferent ways. I believe this to some extent, but mainly when it comes to racist cartoon images that distort the faces and bodies of people of different race. Like in certain old cartoons where they would show black people with big lips. This distorted image gets into peoples heads, and subconciously alters their perception.
I don't believe that Dave Chappelle does this. I dont believe that he projects sterotypes. I believe that what he did was a good thing and that is that he put all the racial sterotypes out on the table and stripped them of their power through comedy. Becuase when you can truly laugh at something like that you dont take it seriously anymore, and I believe that we shouldn't take them seriously because as dave shows, they are just over exagerated generalizations.
Mike Birbiglia, a comedian on Comedy Central, is, in my opinion, one of the funniest comedians on television today. One of my favorite sketches by him, entitled "Goals," is all about how people of different races treat each other.
He starts off his sketch with a jab at the different nicknames people of different races give each other. He makes fun of the way white people are constantly called "cracker" by making it into something that doesn't even register as an insult, but just as a type of food. From this, he moves on to how white people make fun of themselves for being white. A white man himself, Birbiglia only perpetuates the stereotypes that he makes fun of while he makes fun of them.
One of the best parts of this sketch is Birbiglia's rendition of the "white guy doing a black guy doing a white guy" voice. With this voice, Birbiglia explains that everyone makes fun of everyone else no matter what. Different races always find something within another race that is easy to imitate. This voice fits the Zip Coon stereotype where a white person is imitating a black person imitating a white person, but managing to sound ridiculous and silly while doing it.
Categorizing individuals by type of race plays a huge part in the american culture. After researching how American citizens acted in the early 1900's, an individual can see how whites racially profiled blacks and segregated them only because of skin color. However, going towards the 21st century, people began to realize that racial profiling was an ignorant and an act of stupidity. In 1992, Michael Jackson released a song called "Black Or White". This song suggests that people should live colorblind when it comes to race because the main affect race has on an individual is the tone of an individual's skin and not personality. He also despises society.
Michael Jackson conveys that he wants to be racially colorblind when he says," If you're thinkin bout being my brother it dont matter if your black or white." During this time period, this quote would be frowned upon sub consciously because although people were trying to get rid of racial discrimination, its been going on for so long and their elders have planted images in other generations.
Michael Jackson hates how society categorizes people when he says, " I am tired of this devil, I am tired of this stuff, I am tired of business, So when the going gets rough". This shows his hate for society by comparing it to the devil because of the irrational decision made by them to discriminate. Although this song was well received by the public, there was still contraversy on the lyrics to the song by critics saying that the song had unrealistic ideas. This song has given me the conclusion that although racial profiling is almost unavoidable because of influence by family members, there were people who are ready to step out and fight the fact that it is immoral.
Racial stereotyping and profiling have become an unintentional, and normal occurrence since slavery took a turn off the road of normality and seemed to have created racism. Currently, race is something that is not only immediately judged by many just based on their outward appearance but is taken into consideration on other factors too that seem, sometimes irrelevant to a topic of concern.
For instance, on college surveys and standardized tests they always ask for your race, and although that my be taking a count on a recent study or statistic, the college one goes to or the grade one receives should not be determined by the color of a persons skin.
Modern day media has completely blow up the idea of race by emphasising racial stero types in TV shows and movies of all different generes. Believe it or not, just a few minutes ago I got home from viewing a play called Doubt. The purpose of the production was not at all to point out racial stereotypes, but in looking deeper into the play, there are many clear distinctions of the hints at racism.
In the play, the african american, eighth grade, boy is attending an all white private, Catholic school in the mid- 1960s. Although it could have been interpreted as his family attempting for him to come off as a "coon", his character, who is never directly seen in the play, remains pretty steady to his roots. His mother is called in to speak with the principal for a wrong doing and they are trying to put emphasis on treating him "like the others", just completely pointing out his differences form the other kids.
The mothers character was very strong in the play and she represented a strong black woman, but with the Principal being a white nun with extremely formal way of presenting herself, the mother does not restrain from the "soul" that she seems to behold just from what she must have been raised in.
This play pointed out the small things in racial stereotyping that many people would not notice by deeply observing the meaning of race within the play. The difference in the way the black people and white people act in the play is most defiantly noticeably different, which gave away the continued struggles with racism in the 60's. The problem has yet to be resolved, or even reduced, but due to the different colors of skin and the reputations each race has built up, it looks like we might have to get used to people judging others based on race.
Disney's Pocahontas was written as a love story between two star-crossed lovers. While the intent of Disney was probably just to put a Romeo and Juliet story in a different historical context, on the way, the writers managed to depict two stereotypical visions of Whites and Native Americans.
The English settlers come across in the movie with the stereotype of greedy, selfish, and dim whites. Governor Ratcliff sings multiple songs about how much he wants wealth and glory. He also very easily tricks all of his crew that the trip is for them and that the Indians are out to get them.
On the other side of Jamestown's fence in the forest you have another stereotype. The Native American tribe is portrayed as wise, connected to nature, and honest. Pocahontas has a loving relationship with a willow tree and her father. The tribe is also willing to be convinced to negotiate with the settlers.
Oddly enough, for both of these visions of the two different races there are times when they act the opposite. There are definitely white people who love nature far more than they value money and fame. There are also definitely Indians who have embraced capitalism in their casinos.
Race has always had a prevalent role in American culture. When people are separated into groups, often it is by race. It also seems that we judge people based on their race. When we do that it makes us seem ignorant because we often are only Paying attention to the stereotypes that we have always heard about.
Music seems to be a piece of media that has a lot to do with race in our minds. On the show In Living Color, Jim Carrey did a parody of the song Informer by Snow and called it Imposter. Snow is a white artist whos style was close to reggae. In Jim Carrey's parody he says "hear me on the radio think I could not be blacker, but in my video you see I'm really a cracker." This implies that all reggae artists are black and that to have a white singer doing reggae is unusual. In the video for the parody he is shown wearing the stereotypical rapper clothes like baggy pants and "bling". His clothes and the lyrics to the song show how prominent a part race still holds in our society.
There are many stereotypes that were prevalent within periods of U.S. History, which have survived into the modern era. These racist views can be highly damaging to the population that they are directed towards. Eddie Murphy in this skit shows an exaggerated version of a stereotype for comedic effect.
In this skit Eddie Murphy parodies Mr. Rodgers as done by a poor African American man. The setting is Mr. Robinson’s apartment in a poor neighborhood. This is gathered by the decayed state of apartment, the wallpaper is peeling and the paint is faded. He uses poor grammar and bad language in order to make a point about the stereotypes of African Americans. He is poor which is another part of the stereotype he is trying to parody.
When the white landlord comes to the door it presents a portrayal of the stereotypical white man. He is well dressed and has no compassion as he blows cigar smoke in his face and yells at him. He’s greedy as evidenced by his displays of wealth and his harsh treatment of Mr. Robinson.
When he does the puppet show he shows the African American population talking to the white president. The president puppet’s back is turned the entire time and he is completely apathetic to their needs. The questions they ask are related to government support which they receive which is another part of the stereotype.
This skit’s exaggeration of a stereotype serves as a commentary on its ridiculousness. The stereotype portrayed may be a variation of the racist views that became prevalent during the reconstruction era.
Last year a show called Outsourced aired on NBC. The plot of the show is that the company a man named Todd works for is being outsourced to India. He is then sent by his boss to train the new Indian employees. Todd and his employees go through many situations that involve the differences between life in America and India. Throughout Outsourced the stereotype that Indians are ignorant is highlighted and then satirized. .
One character on the show is named Gupta. Gupta depicts the stereotype that Indians are ignorant through all of his dumb actions. One example is that Gupta yells at customers while on the phone and lacks any talent for a call center. This example shows his ignorance because he does not know how to act with a customer. Another example is that he lacks self-awareness. When the employees are learning about how to fake being American Gupta sings and dances crazily and when the other employees ask him to stop he doesn't.. The way Gupta dances shows how he is ignorant to what others feel or that what he is doing is embarrassing. Although most of the situations Gupta finds himself in are very funny they all show the stereotype of the ignorant Indian.
Outsourced highlights many other stereotypes such as knowing little about America. In one episode the employees have to learn to fake American accents in order for customers not to hang up because the company is outsourced. Not only does this situation reinforce this stereotype but it also is comedic.
Outsourced shows that no stereotype can be true for everyone and how stereotypes are very wrong about the different races. When people see Gupta or the other employees on screen they realize how wrong the stereotypes are about Indians. Overall, Outsourced uses the stereotypes people think about Indians to make everyone laugh about the idiocy behind them.
Since the time of slavery, race has been a dominant issue in our country. The idea of race has been taken over by stereotypes made throughout the years, and unfortunately have stuck. One of the most common racial interactions that have been used for comedic effects is the relationship between white and blacks.
Saturday Night Live, a late night comedy show filled with different skits, used this racial subject many times in their show. One of the more popular ones is eddie murphy's "White Like Me". This skit makes fun of whites from a black's perspective, but also makes fun of the racial prejudice still occurring today.
It begins with Eddie murphy "training" to go out into the world as a whit man. Even his acts while he is in training (reading Hallmark cards, walking with your butt tight, ect.) begin to identity the white race in almost a patronizing way. He then proceeds to cover himself with makeup and a toupée to become a "typical white man". He dresses in a business suit, walks stiff and almost shows no personality. HIs look alone contributes to falsely define white men.
Once Eddie Murphy's "experiment" begins it worsens. When he is white he is able to do things he claims no black person can do. For example, he gets free stuff and can take any amount of money from the bank with nothing to offer them. The fact that white men are seen as people who have more privileges stereotypes racial prejudice in America already, but when he interacts with other black people is when they really touch on identifying race.
In the first interaction "White" Eddie is on a bus and there is only one other black man. The moment the black man steps off the bus the remaining passengers, all white, proceed to have a party upon the bus. Almost celebrating the riddance of the black man. The second occurrence is at the bank, when "Mr.White" attempts to take $50,000 from the bank with no paperwork and a black man is helping him, it seems as if he will not receive the money. But when a white banker assists to him he is given the money without any questions.
Finally in the end they make a parody of the old free black stereotype of a "coon". The "Coon" is a black man attempting to be a white man but fails. Eddie Murphy almost proves that that is not true and then gathers a bunch of friends to follow him in his experiment, because according to the skit is is easier to live in this country as a white than a black.
Of course this is over exaggerated for comedic effect, but they are attempting to make fun of real situations that go on in our current nation. This is the perfect example of race being a false social construction, it is not who we are but how we are treated, according to this video.
In this particular episode of "The Office" Micheal Scot desides to have a "Racial Diversity Day" (Link Below). In the begining his intentions are good but he actually ends up offending a coworker and making the rest of his employees uncomfertable. Though this insident is highly exadurated it does say somthing about Amerioca.
In my personal experiance people have been blatantly racist whithoout realizing it. One example is when a person I know made a comment that "all indians do is run convinence stores" when I tried to make the person aware of this they simply said, "It is not a stereotype or racist it is a fact". Though this person does not consider his or her self racist they are blind to the fact that they are encouraging negetive stereotypes.
this is how alot of America acts. They belive that certain stereo types are fact and do not consider them racist and in some instances even consider them to be evidence of diversity. The ideas I have pesonally witnessed coenside perfectly with this seemingly exadurated episode of "the Office". Proving to me that this episode really is not to far off from how some Americans actually think and act.
All in all far too many Americans think like Micheal Scott does. People belive they are encouraging diversity while really encouraging racism. Americans need to learn that there is a fine but well defined line between diversity and racism. And you might just end up smacked across the face.
Race is a very important issue in America and is used to define and categorize people. In many ways, race is a social construction based on the dominant stereotypes of a culture. This is seen all the time in culture, whether in a stand up comedy routine, movie, song, or TV show like Saturday Night Live. While many people to take a humorous approach to dealing with race issues, race has more effect on people than just portraying them in a stereotypical light on TV. Race comes up in important national issues like education, crime, gang violence, immigration, and affirmative action. While we are watching and laughing about funny racial stereotypes on TV, we should take a minute and sit back to think about what message the program is sending.
In this episode of SNL, the cast performs a skit making fun of Hispanics, specifically Dominicans. The men and women's looks alone tell a story: the slick, black hair and mustaches for men and big, curly hair with bright colored, tightly fitted clothing for the women. Of course not all Dominicans look like this, and having Dominican family I can tell you that most don't even come close. The dancing is also a reflection of common misconceptions about Dominicans; not all Dominicans know how to salsa or merengue, nor would they break into dance every few seconds. Finally, SNL portrays Dominicans in an almost soap opera-ish light. The affair and accompanying drama is typical of a Hispanic soap opera.
I think that SNL was ultimately making fun of Hispanic stereotypes, not Hispanics. If the actors' behaviors hadn't been so over the top, viewers might have called it racist, but the ridiculousness of it made it funny. Additionally, SNL was making fun of parts of Hispanic culture that really exist: dark hair and bright clothes, salsa dancing, and soap-opera drama are definitely exist in the culture, but they are sometimes just over-emphasized by outside races. While I don't think that SNL was necessarily sending a good message, they were only playing up stereotypes that already exist in American culture. It is also nice to see a piece of culture humorizing something other than "white" or "black". While racial profiling is never a good thing, there is some fairness in all races being subject to it.
When we think of race, we generally associate it with the color of a person's skin or the etnicity of a person, but what exactly is race? Does it really matter? Or is it something we put in our own heads as a thing that should matter? When we really think about it, race is just a generalization we make when we first meet people. The first thing you notice about a person is the way they look, and one of the biggest physical features of a person is the color of their skin. The unfortunate part of all this is there are certain stereotypes we generalize with certain races, which often gives people the wrong first impression. Reputation, class status, and acedemic achievement are among the many generalizations that go hand in hand with race and first impressions.
There are different stereotypes that go with different races and ethnicities, but the only reason these stereotypes exist is because we, as a human culture, put them into practice. This isn't to say that these stereotypes are all together false, but when we say things like "Asians get the best grades", we all know it isn't completely true. Grades shouldn't have anything to do with the color of a person's skin or the ethnic background they have, it should come from a person's attitude towards acedemic achievement and determination to get good grades. An Asian person has to try just as hard as a white person or an African American person to do well in school. It all has to do with how hard a person tries.
It shouldn't matter if you're black, white, asian, hispanic, or any other ethnicity. Race is something we, as a human race, create in our minds. Trying to imagine a world without race is close to impossible for us, who are so accustomed to seeing people as colors, rather than who they really are; but try it. Imagine a world where we were all the same colors that we are now, but without it mattering. Imagine color not making a difference in the way people treat you.
So…culturally, in America we try to avoid talking about race in some instances because well it can leave a really bad impression of people. Dr. Laura who was a radio personality said it on her show and got a lot of flack for it. Senator Doug Lamborn was highly criticized for calling President Obama a “tar baby”. I think that racism and the concept of racism is still an issue in this country because there are people's grandparents who have worked fields in the south and had to survive segregation. There are people’s parents who grew up in the Civil Rights Movement and saw the country change before their own eyes. After the civil Rights movement, Black people had a huge surge for whatever term they wanted to be associated with. Blacks were vehemently against any word that was used to refer to them when they were in slavery or segregation. The ironic part is the most offensive name that blacks were given is still in use today. Because of the civil rights movement and the constant awareness of race; there is a conception that white people should not use this word. Chris Rock addresses this issue in Chris Rock’s “Kill the Messenger”.
WARNING! : THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS A LOT OF CURSING INCLUDING THE N WORD AND THE F BOMB. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH CURSING OR THESE TWO WORDS, I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO FIND ANOTHER VIDEO TO READ AND/OR COMMENT ON.
With the civil rights movement came these walls or topics that Americans, specifically white Americans, couldn't discuss without setting up a mine field of emotion: Black stereotypes, race, what certain people can and cannot do. The biggest thing of all was what to call Black people. For a while people said, we want to be called Afro-American, then it was African-American, and then it was just Black. However, Black people regarded the following terms and phrases to be derogatory: The "N" Word, coon, tar baby, mammy, jungle bunny, jiggaboo, schwarze, boy, pickaninny, darky, buckwheat, Aunt Jemima, Spook, Porchmonkey, Kaffir, Colored, Spade, and Zulu. These are only a few terms.
I would have to say that Chris Rock addresses a stereotype about white people which is that people really don't know how to act around black people because they are afraid that they will offend us. This is shown with the stereotypical white people not being able to know when he/she can use the "N" word. This also points to the stereotype that black people are constantly think that all white people are racist and that they all want to bring us down. (hinted in the extra words to the song in the video). While these stereotypes aren't true, racism has become such an easy excuse for people to be angry at one another. For instance, I know that sometimes someone(we're just going to name them would say, "Mrs. Q gave me an F on my paper and she gave Trevor an A. Trevor's paper was terrible! Mine was way better than his. I'm telling you that lady is racist." This is an example of how quick we as Americans are to jump to conclusions of race and how extremely confortable we are with pinning someone down as being a racist.
Now to answer Chris Rock's question, the answer is No. There are too many people who are sensitive to the word and that sensitivity indicates sensitivity to race on a certain level. There remains this sense of cautiousness when we address any one. I think that the video addresses this issue of race that White People are constantly trying to not offend black people for fear that we will react in an unreasonable manner. I think that this particular situation is very prevalent in some cases because a lot of music that teens listen to by black artists do contains this word. So I understand the frustration that someone can feel when faced with a situation like this.
I know that doing this blog entry on the "N" word was a little extreme but there remains the fact that even black people use it because hey we're black. My opinion is that we, Black people, shouldn't use the "N" word because we are putting ourselves down when your won race when in fact your own race is still trying to get people to stop using it because it is degrading.
For those of you who have not seen this episode of 30 Rock, the context is that Tracy is having issues dealing with his father so he is brought into Jack's office to see a therapist for help. Jack is soon asked to impersonate Tracy's father and, based on a few simple clues, is able to reconstruct his character apparently very well.
With only the facts that Tracy's father was from North Philadelphia, worked in a Campbell's soup factory, and had a droopy lip, Jack somehow drew that his father also enjoys collared greens and gambles away welfare checks. How was it that Jack "knew?" Simply because society constructs the way people typically act based on their race.
This clip plays off of the idea that we find it safe to assume that black people bust up chifforobes for a nickel and white people are nasally etiquette-nazis. We formulate stereotypes everyday even without thinking about it, and 30 Rock turned it into satire.