Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice, and Oppression

My daughter loves to watch George Lopez on Nickelodeon.  On a recent episode, George’s neighbor was displaying a statue that George felt was offensive to Hispanics.  It was a statue of a Mexican in a sombrero taking a nap next to a cart.  George confronted the neighbor who was Caucasian.  The neighbor could not understand why George was upset about the statue (Leschin, 2007).

About this same time there was a controversy in San Antonio over a mural that was planned for the Mission Drive-in revitalization project.  The proposal was for a mural which depicted a sleeping Mexican against a wall.  Some prominent area Hispanics were critical of the mural, claiming that it did not accurately depict Hispanics.  Advocates for the mural claimed that it was capturing an image from the past.  It was the same image that was depicted on 1940’s travel brochures and was on the wall of the original drive-in.  Still, many think that it conveys the message that Mexicans are lazy and therefore, are against the mural (Forsyth, 2012).

Both the episode of George Lopez and the proposed mural in San Antonio depict Mexicans in a negative way.  I feel that images like this about any group are unnecessary.  It angers me when I see stereotypical messages like these. 

George Lopez is a Hispanic actor and his show is about a typical Hispanic American family living in California.  I find myself thing that the show perpetuates many of these stereotypical statements about Hispanics when it shouldn’t.  The message I am receiving is that it is OK to make fun of a race if it is your own.  In order for these types of messages to stop, everyone must stop using these stereotypes. 


Forsyth, J. (March 3, 2012). “Sleeping Mexican” mural draws TX protest. Reuters. Retrieved from

Leschin. L. (writer), & Epps, S. (director). (April 24, 2007). George Can’t Let Sleeping Mexicans Lie [George Lopez]. Helford, P. (Producer). Los Angeles, California. Warner Bros. Television.

1 comment:

The Early Childhood Manoir said...

I have to agree with you. I am not Hispanic but I often feel very uncomfortable about Lopez’s jokes. I feel they perpetuate prejudices and are not funny as far as I am concerned. I feel that same type of discomfort when black people are made fun of in shows for being criminals. My son and I would watch Everybody Hates Chris, and often I could not believe the jokes. They were so racist and Chris Rock thought they were funny. If people from other racial backgrounds made those jokes, it would be upsetting, then why is it funny coming from a black comedian? Often comedians perpetuate those stereotypes and put people in that Catch-22 position where even though my feelings are hurt, I get the response that it is just a comedy. Thank you for sharing.