Stereotypes and Visual Evidence

Donny Lumpkins of the site New American Media: Expanding the News Lens Through Ethnic Media wrote the following about the Georgetown/Bayi Rockets basketball brawl:

Most of the Georgetown players are big, young, black men and for me it was strange to see them so handily taken down by the smaller, thinner-looking Chinese players. But then I remembered the Chinese players are soldiers and the Georgetown players are civilians and it all made more sense.

From the picture posted with the article, the Africans are hardly bigger and buffer than the Chinese. They seem to be both of almost equally height and build. A better and larger photo (bottom centre) illustrates the same thing. I don’t understand how someone can see any worthwhile physical difference. Differences which seem quite stereotypical. Sadly, the rest of the article leaves much to be desired analytically and he even tries to absolve the Georgetown team’s reactionary violence by stating:

The perception around the internet is that the Chinese players overreacted and the American players resorted to the level that was necessary to make it out of there with their lives and dignity.

So it was a perception (though not necessarily his own) that the American team was not only in danger of being killed live on television with an audience but that this necessitated violence to secure their dignity. Perhaps only an American can keep a straight face when asserting implicitly that violence is permissible to secure one’s dignity.

DIGNITY (from Apple dictionary):

the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect

  • a composed or serious manner or style
  • a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect
  • a high or honorable rank or position


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