Where do these stereotypes come from?

(I post this here as i imagine it’d end up here anyway).

These are some racist stereotypes, where do they come from…

-Jews are greedy
-Jews control the media
-African-Americans do drugs
-Asians are good at maths
-Gays speak with a lisp
-Whites in the southern US are racist.
-Whites in the southern US like guns.
Now please don’t draw any comparisons between myself and the examples i brought up.
Please don’t just give facts disproving the stereotype.
I’d just like to ask where they came from, as they clearly didnt come out of thin air.

I’ll bite.

In medieval Europe, when the banking industry began and economics was not a subject taught in schools, the Catholic Church had laws against lending money with interest (usury). Christians weren’t allowed. Jews were. So, the banking industry was disproportionately run by Jews. The stereotype comes from a logical flaw, that correlation implies causation.

Why the stereotype has persisted I don’t know.

I think they happen when a minority of extremes is perceived as the majority.

Let’s take gay guys for example. Most people who are immediately identifiable as gay are so identifiable because they are flamboyantly, outrageously gay. They may be the few willing to step up and say, ‘‘Yeah, I’m gay, what of it?’’ I don’t think it’s unreasonable to acknowledge that there have been core groups of gay men with identifiable superficial characteristics in common. Go to a gay club and you’ll see what I mean. There’s an entire culture there, part of which grew out of the burden placed on so many to stand up for their rights as human beings. As Margaret Cho bluntly put it, ‘‘If I have to fight my entire life for the right to fuck, then dammit, I’m going to kick up my heels and fuck!’’ The lisp is, to some extent, a part of that culture and shared bond of living in a society that is largely hostile to homosexuals. Asking ‘‘why’’ the lisp came to be is kind of a chicken and egg question, but I lean toward it being an environmental social phenomenon. IME the lisp seems to crop up in groups, not individuals who have never been exposed to other gay men.

Now, hidden behind that minority of lisping, prancing extremes is an entire population of gay men who don’t look or act much differently than any other man. There is, if you will, a rainbow of diversity among gay men. There are gay men at the grocery store, at your job, in your family, driving your bus, and you probably don’t even know it because they do not exhibit those stereotypes.

The problem is, people don’t notice or identify the quiet, average gay men as gay. So they form the impression that ‘‘gay men talk with a lisp’’ when in fact it’s only a small minority of them that do.
Obligatory Onion Link

So too with the ‘‘Asians are smart/good at math’’ thing. Where are Asians most noticed by the general population? Why, in colleges and business, of course–exactly where you’d notice something like intelligence. Nobody notices the poor ones toiling away in sweatshops or those average middle-class Asian families because those aren’t cases where you would readily assess intelligence. I woudl also venture that a lot of Asians who gain scholarships and internships and jobs abroad do so because they are remarkably smart, and many of the truly stupid Asians are stuck without opportunity in their homelands. Thus, only the outliers stand out.

I once asked about this stereotype. I had come home from a bar where someone had said that Scientologists were the new Jews and they now owned Hollywood. My only knowledge of such things were jokes made by Jon Stewart and a few other Jewish Comedians, so I wanted the straight dope (then if ever the subject came up again, I could speak towards it.)

I can’t find the link, because search doesn’t seem to be working for me this morning. I phrased the question poorly, something like: Is the entertainment industry really controlled by Jews? I don’t recall the words, but I was accused of hate speech for it. I was compared to saying black people like fried chicken and Jewish people used the blood of babies to make Matzo Balls.

But after all the crying about hate-speech died down, I got a few good answers. (The original thread would be better than my poor memory, but as I said, search isn’t working.)

As best as I recall,

The thing is, that’s justifying “lots of jews being in the media”.
Does anyone hat accepts that justification have a problem with “Jews are over-represented in the media” (as i’ve seen that statement been a blow up on these boards)

The stereotype exists because those people exist. They are the minority, but they are often the loud, colorful, and memorable people. There are enough of them that you’ve probably run into them at one time or another. They are caricatures of the respective cultures, but not entirely unjustified ones.

For example,

Jewish people can often be more frank and aggressive about financial matters than many European gentiles are comfortable with. It is a cultural thing.

If you’ve ever met a real southern bigot, then it’s quite easy to paint all the other southern conservatives who share the same cultural values and interests as bigots too. After all if walks, like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck a right?

Stereotypes exist because we form patterns and templates in our mids based on previous interactions to help us in new situations. If every snake you ever met was calm and someone’s pet, you’d probably get bit when you went over to pet the rattlesnake. We form our base opinions of race and culture in the same manner. This isn’t a bad thing; it is only bad when we allow our preconceived notion to keep us from evaluating each person we meet as an individual. Most of the times it’s a useful tool to help us know how to avoid potentially dangerous people. For example: if you lived in an urban area, and every male that you met wearing typical “thug” wear was an obnoxious bully, then you wouldn’t be racist for walking across the street when you saw a group of young men in such outfits. Regardless of their color, you were just avoiding the unpleasant “thug” pattern you’ve developed from experience.

I’m not making fun, because I have my share of typos. But man, I just cannot parse that sentence in any way that makes sense. Can you rephrase that?

As mentioned, usury laws basically enabled Jews to become in charge of the banking industry. I suspect part of why it lingered was the continued prominence of certain Jewish families (ie, the Rothschilds)

No idea, but I’d suspect it’s kind of an extension of the first.

There tends to be the perception that drug use is a low-income, inner-city problem. A disproportionate percentage of African Americans live in low-income, inner-city areas. Additionally, the conviction/imprisonment rates are also disproportionate: I won’t get into the possible reasons for that but I imagine it’s pretty easy to figure out.

Solely in my experience: Many south/east Asian cultures put a big emphasis on educational and financial success. In the US, factor in that a lot of Asians kids are even still first-generation Americans, providing an extra impetus for parents, seeing America as ‘the land of opportunity’, to pressure their children into prioritizing academics over everything.

No fucking clue.

They fought a terribly, bloody war in order to retain slaves, refused to accept blacks as citizens, and at one point the President had to bring in the Army in order to safely get some black kids into a previously segregated school. Racists may or may not be n the minority now and may or may not have been then, but there were some very big incidents that understandably tinted the view of southerners as a group.

Because they have them. In most other westernized nations, it would be strange, if possible at all, for an individual to own a firearm for “self defense” or what have you. I don’t know but I’m betting that gun ownership rates are higher in the south than in most other parts of the country, and once again, a minority colors the view of the whole.

I think this was already answered. I think they actually are overrepresented in the media. There are only ~13 million Jews in the world and look how many you see in movie and tv credits (study the history of Hollywood studios if looking at credits isn’t enough for you.) But so what? It does not bother me one iota and I don’t think I’m racist for pointing out what seems to be pretty obvious.

You know, I’m trying to think if I’ve ever actually heard or thought this. I’ve heard tons of nasty stuff about black people but I don’t think this is one of them. If I had to guess I’d say it came from the crack epidemic in the '80s that mostly effected inner cities, which were predominantly black at the time. Have you heard this one recently?

My guess is that this came from the language barrier being so great that math was the only thing they understood when they got here, so they focused on getting really good at it.

Because a lot of gays do, and people don’t notice the ones who don’t.

I grew up in the south. I would say the second one is very true. What I’ve heard about this is that all the soldiers from the civil war brought their guns home and people have just loved owning them ever since. Hunting is also popular there.

Re: the racist thing: I don’t know what to think about this. Some days I think “goddamnit, everyone I meet and talk to for more than 5 minutes turns out to be racist,” and some days I look at it from a different point of view and think nobody is all that racist these days. I will defend the south by saying I’ve lived and travelled all over and I really don’t think the deep sentiment there is any more racist than the rest of the country. People outside the south are more eager to tell you they’re not racist, but words don’t always match actions and feelings. Like here in Arizona, people will preface a racist statement with, "I’m not racist or anything, but . . . ", whereas they probably wouldn’t bother to add that first part in the south.

I think part of it, as well, is that they LOST that war. It’s not like whites outside the South weren’t just as racist, albeit sometimes in different ways, but it became acceptable to focus on Southern racism, while other racism essentially got (and gets) a pass. Plus, racism is going to flare up more where there is interracial interaction, which (statistically) is going to be in the entire South and the urban North, but with the latter you have a much more complex ethnic mix than just black / white.

Much of early Hollywood- ie., the big movie houses- was run by Jews. Samuel Goldwyn and Louis Mayer (of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer fame), Carl Laemmle and most of his partners (who founded what is now Universal Studios), William Fox (nee Fuchs, founder of 20th Century Fox), Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky (founders of Paramount), Harry Cohn (founder of Columbia Pictures), the Warner Brothers (who changed their name from Eichelbaum, and founded- duh- Warner Bros.)…

Why so many Jews went to Hollywood, I have no idea. D.W. Griffith, the first director/producer to set up shop there, was not Jewish. My best guess is that since film was an entirely new industry, they were able to rise as high as their talent took them, without having to deal with the institutionalized anti-Semitism of other industries of the time.

I also have no idea if most Hollywood moguls are still Jewish. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Michael Eisner.

Steven Spielberg is a Jew, and I imagine - despite not being a studio exec - he has quite a bit of pull in Hollywood.

So is it really racist to say Jews are overrepresented in Hollywood? What about if I said I thought blacks were overrepresented in the media? It seems to me that they are ~13% of the population but they are in >50% of tv shows and commercials. I absolutely don’t care - it does not bother me in the least, but I wonder if I would be thought of as a racist if the topic ever came up and I said that. Sounds ridiculous.

I realize a lot of the “Jews control the media!” people ARE racists, but I don’t think just neutrally stating something that seems to be true makes you racist.

If someone crunched numbers and found out that that Jews and blacks were in the media in roughly the same numbers they are in the general population, then I would freely admit I’m wrong. I’m just pointing out things from casual observation which can be and often is mistaken. I realize confirmation bias is strong.

Wait…blacks are OVER represented in the media? I find it very hard to believe that!

Go watch 10 commercials. I bet black people are in at least 5 of them (probably 6 or 7 but I think 5 is a safe bet.) Compare to 13% in general population. Again, I don’t have any problem with it, it’s just something I’ve noticed.

Read what you just said again.

“…black people are in at least 5 [of 10 commercials]”

Not “half the people in commercials are black”, but “half of all commercials contain a black person.” See the fallacy there?

You’ll probably see a black person in every state and major city, too- not just in 13% of them. It doesn’t mean that they are “overrepresented”.

Well, the issue here is, “does that bother you?” I couldn’t care less if Jews do control the media. It’s not like we’re all rushing out to buy menorahs or something. If you’re terrified of Jewish “control of the media”, then you’re probably a racist. If you acknowledge Jewish control of the media and move on, you probably aren’t.

White (Christians) control just about everything else. That doesn’t particularly bother me either.

Anyway, this is kind of missing the point. Jews once controlled Hollywood. They may still do, to some degree- but Hollywood is not the sum total of “the media”, and they certainly don’t control the news media. Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black, et al. are all nominally Christian.

ETA: You probably see more black people in commercials than most people do by the nature of your viewing habits. There will be lots of black people (guys, mostly) in the commercials they show during football telecasts, for example- not so much during 60 Minutes- because black guys are as likely as anyone (possibly more likely) to watch football, and 60 Minutes is watched by old white people.

I knew what I was saying. I don’t think it is a fallacy so much as I just didn’t (and don’t) want to write a treatise about it. If someone wanted to do a scientific study I’d read the result but I’m not going to do it because (here it comes for the third time) I don’t care.

Who’s “you” The Royal You or are you talking to me? I don’t watch football.

If you really do think 50% of the people in commercials are black, then I can only assume you’re experiencing confirmation bias, or Arizona network affiliates are weird.

I’m not assuming you watch football. I’m just throwing football out there as an example of a broadcast which will have more African-American themed advertising attached.

Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of tv, and when I do, I fast forward through the commercials, but I’m much more likely to watch something like 60 Minutes than the NFL. It could be confirmation bias, I acknowledged that in post 13. It just seems like a few years ago I started noticing lots of black people in commercials - I don’t mean a black guy showing up in an ensemble commercial - I mean a laundry detergent or whatever commercial where the family is black. Once I noticed it, the confirmation bias could’ve kicked in, but I swear it seems like close to every other commercial I see features black people. Even if it was 1 in 4 they would be overrepresented by two times. It could’ve been a trend for awhile. Madison Avenue is extremely trendy. It seems to be dying down a little bit but for awhile almost every commercial had to try to incorporate some kind of humor.

I’ve never met a gay man that talked in a lisp. However, I know and have met many that speak with a certain inflection that is easily identifiable, no matter what the underlying accent may be. There are plenty of gay men that don’t have the “gay accent”, but the accent is far more prevalent among gays than heterosexual men.

I’ve met several heterosexual men who speak with the inflection, but all were quite involved in stage acting and live theater. One of my good friends majored in theater in college. He went in without the inflection. After he graduated, his voice was fah-laming, despite being solidly hetero; he was in an LTR with a woman.