Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Another shande far di goyim

I should have known when I read the synopsis that I wasn't going to like tonight's Law & Order repeat. Here is an adapted run-down from the NBC site:

Religious sensitivities flare when a man is mysteriously killed after desecrating a treasured edition of the Hebrew Torah. As the authorities investigate, they find the dead man was paid by the cousin of a prominent synagogue member to defile the book -- which might prompt a lucrative property sale. But as the Assistant D.A. probes the family feud, his prosecution is hobbled by political pressure and a debate concerning whether the greater crime was done to the slain man or to the holy text.


Why did this have to be on television for all the world to see? The stereotyped characters, the money thing, the rabbi twisting the Law in order to justify his participation in a lie -- ay, yi, yi. It was painful to watch. Do we know people like this? Of course we do. But does it have anything to do with being Jewish? I've met plenty of people who have a New York accent, are stingy with money, a bit on the crafty side, and are definitely NOT members-of-the-tribe.

Maybe I should be happy that we've become so integrated into American society that a whole episode is dedicated to us...

Or maybe we don't need to be so integrated.

I am turning into someone from my grandparents' generation. I am embarrassed when we are portrayed so negatively for all the world to see. With the current climate, we don't need any more negative portrayals.

Ironically, the anti-Semites still claim that Hollywood is run by the Jews.

5 comments:

Baleboosteh said...

I totally agree. Law and Order in particular are really bad for 'stereo typing'.
The 'baddie' in Law and Order is always African American or Hispanic/Latin American or now maybe Jewish??

Crys said...

I read this article a while ago about Jews running Hollywood - http://www.eonline.com/Features/Specials/Jews/
I don't remember how I came across it, but it was interesting.

Congratulations on starting your new position! We are happy that you get to be where you wanted to be!

Sharone said...
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PepGiraffe said...

Sorry, baleboosteh, but I watch a lot (too much) L&O and you are way off base - it simply is not true that the baddies are always "always African American or Hispanic/Latin American . . . "

According to an article in The New Republic on 9/7/03 (reference)instead of depicting reality, Wolf's scriptwriters take high-profile crimes committed by blacks, and replace the bad guys with whites, and invent white racist monsters that bear no relation to anything seen in New York during the past 100 years. And so, while according to NYPD crime reports, over 89 percent of suspects in violent crimes are black or Hispanic, L&O presents a looking-glass world in the grips of a white crime wave.

Probably not the most unbiased of sources, but I also found a paper called Images of Prime Time Justice which has a lot of information. Some statistics they talk about are the racial composition of Law & Order and NYPD Blue. The paper reports that L&O shows whites are the offender or suspect between 65-75% of the time (depending on the crime) though NYC Police Department data show that it is 13%. More pressingly, they are shown as victims 76% of the time, as opposed to the real life number if 19%.

This is not to say that the show isn't racist. It may well be, but it isn't racist by showing most of the bad guys as non-white.

I am sure there is more information out there, but I don't have time to find it. Still thinking about original post FS.

Rivster said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Crys!! We're really excited too ;)