Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Racist Ideologies seen in Rush Hour

Ideologies produce different forms of social consciousness. White's reading introduces one of the most common ideologies about gender. He states, "little boys like playing rough games; little girls, however, are full of sugar and spice." This quote refers to gender ideology because it describes how masculinity and femininity have not only been historically and culturally constructed in our society, but also in Nature itself.
This is a distinct parallel to the ideologies of racism because, like gender, "racism is one of the most profoundly naturalized of existing ideologies" (Hall 19). Through the media, we have social constructions of what race is, what the meaning of the imagery of race carries, and what the "problem of race" is understood to be. This is what makes ideology so powerful- because sources like media get ahold of an ideology and just run with it. They constantly repeat it and they sell it the only way how: through advertisements, in print stories, and even in film.
Take the film, Rush Hour. This film has been constantly critiqued as being "racist." Many viewers think Chris Tucker's jokes and Jackie Chan's submissive attitude are pure social constructions of a black and asian man. Here's a clip from Rush Hour 2 of the two of them walking into an Asian club scene. Chan advises Tucker to "try to blend in" and Tucker comes back at him with "What do you mean blend in- I'm 2 ft taller than everyone in here!" This highlights the racial ideology that all Asians are short.

Alike in this Rush Hour 3 clip, Carter questions a French speaking Asian..and the Asian calls him a "n word" and Carter responds back by calling his mother the "h word," however Jackie Chan has to step in and remind Carter that whore is spelled with a "w," highlighing the racial ideology that Asians are much smarter than Blacks.


  1. Rush hour is a classic when it comes to racial stereotypes.
    A great example!

  2. I posted about this exact same example before I saw your's haha. It's a perfect representation of what Hall is trying to get across. I guess great minds think alike.