Apu & Racism

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Dave hall

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Nov 18, 1991, 7:23:43 PM11/18/91
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In regards to the recent discussion about Apu & Racism, people seem to be
forgetting that the Simpsons is first, and foremost, a cartoon show. (Yes, I
said the "C" word!) And second, it pokes fun at everything & everyone,
including stereotypes; much in the same way the Zucker brothers did with
their "Airplane" movie.

Racism, by one definition, is the belief that human abilities are determined
by race, or the superiority of a particular race. By this definition, how is
Matt Groening & Company racist in regards to Apu running an convience store?

Racism, by another definition, is the antagonism between people of different
races. You don't see this being committed on the series, nor from its
producers. If the producers were really racist, I don't think they would
have shown Apu in bed with Princess Cashmere; nor show any non-whites on the
series, like most cartoon series 15-20 years ago.

Base on these definitions, it is somewhat fruitless to even discuss racism,
in regards to Apu, without making a direct connection.


In Jason (JYAN...@hamp.hampshire.edu) original article:

>Abu is given a stereotypical job for middle-easterners/people of upper
>african/mediterrean descent, that of owning a convience store.

Yes, a true stereotype, in the sense of the word, but how does it, in itself,
depicted as being racist according to the truer definition of the word? The
trouble with stereotyping is that it's often closely associated with racism,
or rather, stereotyping is what is visibly seen, and expressed by racist
individuals. These racist individuals use stereotyping is merely a tool, or
device to degrade, or belittle those races they don't like, and/or think
inferior. Unless the stereotype, in itself, is racist by nature, it couldn't
truly be called racist. Perhaps, your question could have been re-worded:
"Why did Matt Groening use a stereotype, that of Apu owning a convience
store, that's closely associated with racial attitudes -- because he's an
Indian?" (Perhaps not a good example, just one possible wording.)

To further convey this difference, if one had walked into a few 7-Elevens and
see only Indians behind the counter. It wouldn't be racist for them to say:
"Most Indians work at 7-Eleven", but it would be racist to say: "Indians are
only dumb enough to work at 7-Eleven."


- Dave

"A person first starts to live when he can live outside of himself"
- Albert Einstein


--- (Dave hall) a user of sys6626, running waffle 1.64
E-mail: da...@sys6626.bison.mb.ca
system 6626: 63 point west drive, winnipeg manitoba canada R3T 5G8

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