I was watching yet another SNL sketch on racial stereotypes (black guy at an ATM) and I caught myself thinking "Yeah, that's funny, but I can't really relate to that". I mean I understand that kind of jokes intellectually, their premise being 'all black people are lazy stealing bastards always involved in criminal activity and what not'. I get that. I just don't feel it.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say something which is borderline racist for some people. Me, I see a black guy on the subway and right away I picture him with a sax/harmonica and I swear B.B.King just starts playing in my head. Just like that. Maybe that's stupid/shallow/racist/naive, but that's what happens.
I don't tighten my grasp on my handbag, I want to push the guy on stage! I assume that's because over here in Russia (Moscow in particular) we don't have the "Afro-American situation", but rather a 'Tajiko-Uzbeks situation'. So that's why I seem to have this romantic image of a black musician (you see, even the word 'black' doesn't sound offensive to me, I quite like it actually). I'm sure it's just a stereotype, but isn't it sort of positive?
So, what do you think about all that? Do you have nice stereotypes about some races/ethnic groups etc? Can stereotypes actually be good or nice?
P.S. for all you African-American guys - please, don't be insulted, I don't mean to hurt your feelings by any of this. I'm sorry if it sounded offensive.
I‘m a White guy of British -Irish background, just so you know, living in California. And just to give you my perspective.
The word „Black“ has not, to my knowledge, become an offensive word over here. Not yet. There’s always been a bit of confusion over what the polite way was to refer to Black people in the US. And, we’ve pretty much dictated their requests. In the 1950s White people thought it was polite to call people „colored.“ But, Black people always hated that word because it was associated with segregation in the US South. Then, in the 1960s, Black people wanted to be called „African-American“ to kind of affirm their heritage. That worked for awhile until some Black people started objecting saying, since most Black people had never been to Africa and knew nothing about the place, that it made no sense to call themselves „African-Americans“. After all, White Americans didn’t refer to themselves as „European-Americans.“ So, to even the playing field, Black people said they were just Black, like White people were White. It seemed balanced and fair. So in the 1970s (maybe even starting in the late 1960s) up until now the word „Black“ was accepted as the polite word to refer to Black people. I still use the word myself. But, over the last 5 years I’d say the word „African-American“ has re-emerged as the polite way to refer to Black people now. We’ve come full circle so to speak. So, now on TV and news and in other media, polite commentators refer to the „African-American“ community. Black was accepted for so long it hasn’t really totally gone out of style yet. Saying „Black“ is just a bit old-fashioned, but I doubt anyone finds it offensive.
humor is very culturally based. It works fairly well between the Brits and Americans for some reason (I love the old Fawlty Towers show with John Cleese from the 70s) but it tend to fail across other cultural lines