| Prof Randall's
Note: During Hurricane Katrina a picture was published showing a
black man carryring a basket with green bottles. There has develop
an entire "pulp culture" on the internet which has taken his head
and placed it on top of other pictures. One of my students in my
course wrote analysis of the pictures which is insightful. She
is white and in her own word she is "an Ultra-Conservative
Republican. . . intelligent enough to spot racism when I see it and
I am bold enough to call it racism when I see it. Thinking something
is funny does not make it less racist."
I wish I had a 1000 more students like her.
In preparing for my Constitutional Law midterm I came across an
interesting message board on 4law school.com. It had unfortunate
pictures of an alleged looter carrying a container of beer through
the New Orleans flood. The initial picture was entitled
“Opportunity because earning it, is just for suckas.” Reading more
I found support for this picture and the message it portrayed and
encouragement for the original artist to post more pictures and
I had just finished my readings had been struck by some of the
ideas that it’s hard for the Majority group to see racism or
subordination because everything seems okay to them. And that the
views can become so clouded in what they see and not what other’s
see. It made me think about the past views that we have had, that
the world was flat, that Earth was the center of the universe, that
the Sun revolved around us, and some of the current stereotypes that
are perpetuated today, many of which were discussed in the video
I also thought about your story about how you over heard women
making inappropriate racially based comments when you worked in
Alaska and how you approached them only to be blown off because one
of them was a member of the race they were bashing. You told the
women she ought to be offended.
After reading the posts in the discussion forum on
4lawschool.com, I decided to follow suit and use the opportunity to
let the supporters of these images know that they ought to be
ashamed and offended. And to help them see the racism involved, I
attempted to show them (symbolically define for them) the racism in
Considering that the discussion board is made up of future
lawyers, I though this might be a good time to help the future
lawmakers see the racism that exists even in comedically based
pictures. Below is what I had to say. Please excuse some of the
language and reference to popular culture (Dave Chappell). If you do
not include the writing in italics I will be within the page limit.
these Pictures Racist?
I am saddened by how many of you don't realize
that those pictures are racist. As those who study the law, you
should be much more informed. It's not just the action, it's the
I hope you'll do some self reflecting and realize that Dave Chappell
is funny, Chief is not. (Probably the reason Dave Chappell is a rich
bitch and Chief spends his time creating and posting pictures on
I also noticed that everyone here assumes that
the man picture was a looter. No chance that was his stash of beer?
Maybe the man didn't want to leave his beer, maybe that's all he had
I enjoyed your attempt at saying it didn't
matter whether the man pictured was Black or White. He was being
made fun of because he was a looter. But how many pictures were
taken of White looters? Do you think that is because they didn't
loot? Did you notice that White people were always pictured as
protecting their land from looters?
I know that you’ve all convinced yourselves
that the evolution was the only racist picture so I’d like to point
out what is racist with the otherrs.
Picture 1, the authentic picture surrounded
by a board with the
caption “Opportunity, because earning it, is for suckas.” I’m
surprised you can’t see the correlation between the stereotype that
Black men are lazy and willing to live off the work of others and
the quote. This goes directly to that. Had it been a White man as
many of you suggested, would you have thought it to be so funny.
Chances are you would have felt sorry for the man thinking “Oh, that
poor hard working blue collar man, he just can’t get a break. He’s
lost everything and now all he can do is drink his despair away.”
Picture 2, the Grand Theft Picture. Not
only does this picture show a
man who is allegedly looting, but now you’ve decided to lump him in
with additional criminal activity. This harkens back to the time
when Black men were portrayed as thugs just waiting to rape any
White woman who crossed their path.
Picture 3, Braveheart meets “Lootie.”
I’m not even sure I understand this one, why it would even be funny.
But, it is the least racist picture.
It at least shows the man fighting for freedom, which I think is a
much better connotation that the other pictures. In fact, the man
you call “Lootie” was essentially fighting for his freedom against
the waters that were holding him captive.
Picture 4, M.J. Lootie. Seriously, you
can’t see what’s racist about this? You’ve taken a positive Black
male image and replaced it with
man you believe to be the lowest scum of the earth. You are saying
that all Black men are the same, criminals and superstars alike.
Would you have thought it was funny if it were a White looter’s head
on top of M.J. body? And why M.J. why not someone who has a
drinking or drug problem like Martin Lawrence or Darryl Strawberry?
Wouldn’t that have made more sense that choosing someone who’s never
been accused of alcoholism
Picture 5, Lootie and the Blowfish.
Once again a positive Black male
is associated with a man you think is worthless. I think Kanye West
would really like to hang out with you guys. Again, wouldn’t it have
made sense to choose a musical star with an addiction problem. You
mentioned Dave Chappell, wouldn’t it have been “funnier” if it were
the body of Rick James?
Picture 6, Evolution. I’m so glad that
you guys can see what is so wrong with this picture. I was surprised
how long it took you though.
Picture 7, Lootie needs a make-over.
This one might be a little harder for you to pick up on, but the
connotation is that Lootie can be
made over into a nice metrosexual who won’t cause anymore problems.
He’s not good enough the way he is. He’d be better if he’d join the
culture of the White man. You could even go so far as to say it
shows that he’d be better off as a Gay White man than as a Black man
with any sexual preference.
Picture 8, Where’s Lootie. While I was
glad to see there was one family of color being represented in the
picture as something other than looters, you’ll notice once again
that the family is only good because they are just like the rest of
the people around them. This suggests that minorities should not
hold on to their culture but assimilate into White society.
Picture 9, Lootie the alien. If you
can’t see how a Black man being driven down the street so that he
can escape and return to his own planet has racist connotations, I’m
concerned about your knowledge of history and the current
plight of the KKK. There are plenty White Supremists who just want
the Black man to “go back where you came from.”
Picture 10, Lootie Woods. Again we
address the problem with
with associating a positive image with one you see as criminal. I’m
curious, if it wasn’t about “Lootie” being Black, then why not put
his face on the body of John Daly, who has a history of hitting the
Picture 11, Another Evolution Picture.
Though the picture is of an orc from Lord of the Rings, the caption
suggests that it’s a looter from 900 B.C. and with a caption of
“Something’s Never Change” there is nothing but racism about. To
suggest that Black men have not evolved since 900 B.C. is something
only someone who truly believes in their own race’s superiority
Picture 12, Darth Vader Looter. I’m sure
it was by accident that the Black man is being associated with a
monsterous evil villain who wasn’t there for his son. Just another
perpetuation of Black men not being strong father figures.
Picture 13, O.J. Lootie. This one
shines so brightly with racism that it’s hard to see how no one
picked up on it. It’s widely know that a majority of White
Americans see the O.J.Simpson criminal trial as an
of justice. The picture here is saying that Lootie will be just
another Black criminal who will escape punishment. I’m not a big
supported of the O.J. verdict, but Barretta got off, too. It’s not
about being Black or White when it comes to trial. You should know
that it comes down to rich or poor. O.J. and Barretta had money they
are free. Prison is often about poverty, similar to much of the
tragedy of New Orleans.
Picture 14, Lazy Lootie getting a beer
handed to him while he lies about. Though this picture at least
shows a White man on high keeping a Black man down by giving him an
addictive substance, it
again shows the Black man relaxing and taking handouts. Notice, too,
that the children (or cherubs/angels) are with the White man, who is
clearly being shown as a God. Hmm, a White God, I think you might be
using that good ole White supremist theory that “God created (White
people) in his image.”
Pictures 15 and 16, Sticking it to the White
Man. This another clear representation that these pictures were
all based on racism. It they weren’t and the statement is true that
it could have been a White looter and it would have been just as
funny, how would the caption “Sticking it to the White man,”
accompanied by a picture of two White men, have made any sense?
I am a law student, a 2L. The pictures created
quite a conversation piece in my Race & Racism in American Law class
today. I printed them out and passed them around. I don't recall
anyone saying that they thought the pictures were not racist.
And to the unregisterd user who said the pictures were funny but
that doesn't make him a racist. It's not that you are a racist, the
pictures are racist. There is a difference between a racist object,
action, situation, law, effect, etc. and a racist person.
Calling me a racist for pointing out the racism is ridiculous. The
pictures created the theme and "Lootie's" face was posted on the
bodies of other Black men. The association with all Black men was
made by the one who created the pictures and the one who posted
them. The theme is clear. To deny it is to disregard your own posts
regarding how you cannot look at the pictures individual (in
reference to the evolution pics) but must consider them as a whole.
All of the law students on here should recognize that it doesn't
take intent to be racist, a disparate impact has been recognized as
being racist. The pictures cater to and promote stereotypes that's
why you find them funny. Promotion of those stereotypes is a
hinderance for those depicted. As my prof said today, when you are
representing a Black man accused of a crime these stereotypes may
affect the way you see him as presumptively guilty or innocent and
the way you represent him as such.
Going back to this whole "it would be just as funny if it were a
White guy" theme, please explain how a white guy's head on M.J.'s
body would be funny/make sense, or on Tiger's body or O.J.'s. Your
claim doesn't fit the evidence. The pictures under the caption
"sticking it to the White man" wouldn't make sense if the original
picture had been a White man.
I know you fear being labeled a racist and I'm not labeling you a
racist, but your actions are racist and the thoughts and themes
being promoted in the pictures are racist. Calling them humourous
doesn't make them any less racist.
And not hiring someone because of their race and claiming it's
because of a "gut feeling" will just add to institutional racism.
Being that you are entering into a field which is supposed to
represent all of humanity and fight the good fight it's sad that you
can only see your view.
p.s You are so worried about who I am here's some info. I am a 2L at
UDSL. I am a Dave Chappelle fan. I am an Ultra-Conservative
Republican. I am intelligent enough to spot racism when I see it and
I am bold enough to call it racism when I see it. Thinking something
is funny does not make it less racist. It's is funny that you try to
attack people on their characteristics when you know your argument
lacks merit. You want me not to be a law student (why the hell else
would I be on this site) and you attacked Tim for only having 52
posts. That's a sign of someone who can't stand to battle on the