Summer session finals: And an answer sheet

The question and video come from The Situationist, which asks, “Do We Miss Racial Stereotypes Today that Will Be Evident Tomorrow?”  There is an informative discussion of a classic US movie that is heavily racist (“Birth of a Nation,” which appears to give the KKK a heroes’ welcome) and perhaps a transitional political ad.  And then there’s the  recent McCain ad:


Anwer the Situation’s question with specific reference to the film above.  Be sure you explain your answer.


So no one has tried this one, and I can’t tell whether it was because it was too hard, too obvious or too boring.  But, retiring into the professorial mode, I offer this:

With questions like this, there is often no one right answer (oh, sure).  One way, however, of gaining a critical stance on the video would be to consider what you would say of yourself if, after a VERY great deal of thought and hard work, you pulled off some major accomplishment and found yourself described as, say, “appealingly flashy.”  There you are, perhaps, considered the best graduate student in philosophy in one of the top ten schools and you hear someone describe you as having a lot of pizazz.  That could well be at least close to a put down.

So here’s my worry:  very successful African Americans can have star power of the sort sexy Hollywood stars have, but their intelligence, powers of organization and vision are not going to be part of the story for some people, since they haven’t yet gotten around to admitting that’s what non-whites are capable of.  And behind this is another ugly thought that some people without vision are having:  Obama is only about self promotion.  Just like Paris and Brittney.


One thought on “Summer session finals: And an answer sheet

  1. I was doing something else entirely when it suddenly occurred to me why McCain’s anti-Obama ad might contain a racial stereotype. Further, I realized that if the ad had been about a woman, I would have gotten it right away.

    That’s sort of a hint??

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