Ethnic Notions

According to the title of the video, ethnic notion is a critical reflection on some of the heinous stereotype thoughts that preoccupied American’s minds during the period of serious racist attack against the blacks in 1820s, until the civil movements took center stage in the country. The video itself presents some of the most demeaning reflections of blacks through cartoonist pictures which dominated American homes in the period 1940s. But most importantly, these pictures which can be best described as dehumanizing caricatures are wake up calls to the real issue of racism, which led to a lot of prejudice against innocent black population. 

One important thing that stands out in the video is just how black people were lowly prioritized to such an extent that their images were created to amuse and make people laugh. It is a very serious aspect of not only violating human equality, but also hampering to the highest degree, the basis of blacks human rights to live in dignity and respect.  However, having a critical look at these images, one is either forced deliberately or unconsciously to rethink his or her stand concerning the topic of racism. As Barbara Christian, the scholar in the video, puts it, white supremacy stereotype permeated American culture to such an extent that even public policy was skewed to disadvantage the blacks. The end result was that racism in the period of 1820s occupied a greater part of human psyche. Therefore, the black inferiority was seen as part of American culture; however, it was prejudicial towards the blacks. In summary, “Ethnic Notions” is a critical analysis through images of the reality of racism and how demeaning it is to human coexistence.

In terms of the current undertakings in various areas such as schools, places of work or any other social places, there is considerable improvement in how people value each other. Indeed such images today are viewed with a more critical lens than it was before; hence, the level of human consciousness concerning the topic has increased even more. For instance, affirmative action today is not only a concept, but a reality that has been entrenched into constitutions of many countries. In short, there is considerable change on how people view the blacks in America, and this actually is the right direction.

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