In "The Whites of Their Eyes" Stuart Hall makes an interesting point in his discussion of how TV shows deal with issues of race. One thing he says that I have never had the impression of is that the shows dealing with racial issues (conflict) all imply that black people are actually the source of the problem, and although the assumed intent of these shows is to promote positive race relations the message that is actually being sent is that black people (who usually represent the race being discriminated against) "are the source of the problem" and that almost all TV shows that address race include this hidden message. This article does not look to have been published in its entirety in our textbook so it is possible that Hall goes into more detail on this point. At the beginning of the semester we talked a little about racial stereotypes seen on TV and in movies. This reading gives some good examples of racial stereotypes that have been seen in media repeatedly through the years. He also brings up an intriguing point about how the ways race is portrayed today include vestiges of the older representations.
In Banet-Weiser's article she uses The Cosby Show as an example of a cultural breakthrough. This show was unique in its portrayal of an upper-class African-American family. In this respect it was a cultural and racial breakthrough. It is good to see cartoons like Dora the Explorer become mainstream hits with children. Nickelodeon's commitment to diversity in its programming is very commendable. One key point that Banet-Weiser makes is what likely enabled Dora to become such a popular mainstream cartoon: Banet-Weiser says that the aspects of Latino culture incorporated into Dora are put into the show in a "safe way" in order to "not alienate" white audiences. Race does not seem to matter as much in our society as it used to, and hopefully this will lead to white Americans being comfortable and accepting of shows like Dora that introduce children to other cultures.