Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Learn Spanish, kids! And subtle racial stereotypes!

A chihuahua and a cat were sitting down to dinner in a nice
restaurant. The chihuahua was saying words in English and Spanish, and
the words would appear on the screen. "They have it all wrong," I
quipped. "Their Mexican chihuahua should be in the kitchen, washing
dishes." And a minute later, he was, because he had no money to pay
the bill.

I was just joking because the chihuahua was already such a racial
parody. At least I can quite easily explain to Finn that dinosaurs did
not drag their tails on the ground when they walked. But these sorts
of things are cumulative and insidious. I asked Pete if I was being
overly sensitive or reasonable, and he said "Both."

Yeah. I don't want to be an overly pc freak job, but are we not more
sophisticated than this?

"Things do not change; we change."
-- Henry David Thoreau


kateohkatie said...

I think it's because it's late afternoon and I'm exhausted, but I don't get it - you made the joke now you're wondering if you're racist? Or did you read the joke somewhere else? I iz confuzed.

kittywhumpus said...

I made the sardonic joke because I thought that the cartoon was using racial stereotypes with the chihuahua and the accent, and then the cartoon actually put the characters into the kitchen doing dishes. I probably did not write out the blog post very well.

It was just to say that these things are so pervasive in our society, that it probably was not considered as inappropriate at all to whoever made the cartoon. They just wanted to teach kids the Spanish words for "broccoli" and "restaurant." And having to do the dishes when you can't pay your bill is an old gag. But put together, it becomes part of the unending stream of messages that teach kids what society thinks of different groups.