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Hollywood and national stereotypes

We posted a cartoon Dwight Peterson sent us poking fun at the drivers's licence for illegal Mexican immigrants. Christopher Jones was amused, others were offended. Christopher now says: "Although Dwight Peterson simply let us see the drivers license, I don't see anything really offensive about Alfonso Bedoya's picture. Bedoya was just playing a stereotype Mexican bandit who would kill, rape and pull the teeth out of any victim and he fit the part admirably.

This brings me to Hollywood and its stereotypes. It is an amazing testimony to the power of images and the cinema that evil as presented by the Hollywood dream machine (since the talkies or even before) has taken some very clear forms and has contributed to our popular cultural picture of those peoples.

We have seen everyone imaginable: the evil German soldier of the SS; the Russian rapist, the Arab maniac, the Mexican killer; the insidious Jap, the wild Chinese commie and even the money greedy Gringo shooting buffalo. But there's one we haven't seen: the Israeli killer. We shouldn't worry so much about the stereotypes we know and better ponder the case of the one stereotype who has never been shown on the screen".

Ronald Hilton - 09.21.03