This clip is from the Associated Press coverage of the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009. She was the Court's first Hispanic justice and its third female justice. In one of the opening images, Justice Sotomayor is seen standing alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden at a podium, a moment that the narrator describes as "a picture of diversity." Sotomayor describes herself as "an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences." The AP portrays reactions to the appointment as a mix of praise from "Hispanic groups" and criticism from "conservative groups." The role of Sotomayor's life experiences in her professional judgement is also evident in an excerpt of the president's remarks in which he refers to "the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey." Emphasizing the theme of ideological differences in the Supreme Court, reporter Julie Pace concludes the AP report by stating that "many on the left" hope Sotomayor will be a "counterpoint to the Court's conservatives."
Speedy Gonzalez, or Speedy, is a Mexican mouse that first appeared in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon series in 1955. Speedy wears a traditional rural Mexican outfit consisting of an oversized yellow sombrero, white shirt and trousers, and a red kerchief, and speaks with an exaggerated Mexican accent. Known as “The Fastest Mouse in All of Mexico,” Speedy is famous for outrunning and outsmarting a variety of dumber, lazier cats and other foes – all with exaggerated Mexican accents and other stereotyped traits. In the episode Mexicali Schmoes, two cats try in vain to capture Speedy and his cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez. Speedy has been voiced by five different actors since 1953, each of whom is white. He will be voiced by George Lopez in an upcoming 2014 release, who is also producing the film. And for the record – “schmo” is a Yiddish word, popular in America, meaning a fool or a bore.
This 2015 video from Aisha Harris at online news, politics, and culture magazine Slate.com uses scenes from popular U.S. television shows to illustrate how people of color continue to be represented stereotypically and as peripheral minor characters in television shows because the roles and characters written for them are created by predominantly White writers. The video points out a range of stereotypical tropes such as the token minor or first to get killed off Black characters (such as T-Dog in The Walking Dead), or one-dimensional token Black, Latino, or Asian sidekicks (such as Winston in New Girl, or George from Law & Order: SVU), or servants (such as Rosario in Will & Grace, or Sum in Sex and the City) in contrast with complexly portrayed White characters in the same shows. There are also the exotic, sexy Latinas with a foreign accent (such as Gloria in Modern Family), or emasculated Asian male foreigners (such as Raj in The Big Bang Theory or Han in Two Broke Girls) who serve as the comedic relief because of their foreignness, which in turn makes the White characters look better and reinforces that they are what is “normal.” The video also connects these limited and damaging representations with how they affect viewers’ perceptions and behaviors in everyday life. At the end, the video creators argue that while some shows are now getting better at depicting people of color in leading roles (such as Grey’s Anatomy), it is because the writers and producers behind the show reflect diversity and include people who actually know what it’s like to live as a multi-dimensional person of color.
"He loved the American dream...with a vengeance." Tony Montana is the hero at the center of Scarface, a 1983 feature film with a lasting cult following. The first and second acts of the film follow Montana's rise from refugee to drug kingpin while the third act concludes with a violent and precipitous fall. Images, clips, and quotes from the movie appear frequently in pop culture as posters, t-shirts, and in pop lyrics (for example, "The World Is Yours" by Nas). Montana is played by Al Pacino, an actor who would have been well-known to audiences in 1983 for his portrayal of Michael Coreleone in The Godfather a decade earlier. Pacino's very public Italian-American identity (along with his inconsistent on-screen Cuban accent) contribute to a confusing representation of Cuban politics and refugee life in Miami.
Aimed at humanizing and shedding light on the realities and experiences of detained migrants, this illustration is part of Visions From the Inside, a visual art collection based on letters written by detained migrants at the Karnes County detention center, a for-profit immigrant family detention center in Texas.