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Is it still racist if you don't have the context?
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:13 PM
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jackfaire jackfaire is offline
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Default Is it still racist if you don't have the context?

I am not aware of every single stereotype out there about every single group. As such I tend to miss somethings that other people assure me are racist because when I see that character acting that way I don't think "everyone of that race must be that way" I think "that person must be that way"

For example Steve Byrne made a show Sullivan & Son where the mom character has been referred to by critics as a racist caricature of Korean mothers.

Where did Steve Byrne come up with such an offensive stereotype to put on TV? He didn't. He just wrote the character based on his mom who acts like that character did.

Watto on Phantom Menace is often referred to as being a racist Jewish image despite Lucas himself being Jewish because the alien creature has a big nose and is greedy.

I feel those are characters that aren't racist. Instead they are characters that happen to have traits that people in their own minds stereotype certain groups as having and so decide those are racist characters.

That's all things I have said before and not quite what this is about.

What I am wondering today is what if something was intended to be racist but has lost its context? Over the years I have picked up on the fact there was a somewhat distinctive style for drawing middle eastern men. A style that looks nothing like what middle eastern men actually look like.

That's why it stands out to me. If it was just "oh we drew them like they look but then threw in racism" I would be all "okay" but these were images meant to demonize them.

My step dad was watching an old Lost in Space episode when I noticed an obvious bad guy being obviously bad and his facial hair was clearly done up in the style of Middle Eastern Villains from old racist cartoons.

So the question is does that continue to be racist now that most people would look at that obviously white guy and think, "there's unfortunate hair choices" and not "Middle eastern bad dude" can things stop being racist when context is no longer there?
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