Re: RARA-AVIS: Spenser and stereotypes

From: Schooley (
Date: 16 Nov 2001

Carrie Pruett wrote:

> Here's my thing - if the minority sidekick is automatically offensive than
> it seems your alternatives are (1) never have a white male hero or (2) have
> a white male hero with only white friends so that there's no risk of one
> coming off as superior.

I thought I gave a couple of examples of better alternatives. Point is, the white male hero might want to treat the other-race sidekick as an equal, or perhaps even a better. Or it might be a way to explore ideas about character and personality, as I think others have credited Parker with doing. The author might even be using a negative example to make the point. I'm sure others on the list could come up with more and better alternatives to fixing stereotypes into unchanging personalities.

> Well, they don't "have to be" that way, but they are. You can't fault a
> story for all the "better" alternatives it rejected.

Uh, why not? That's what you did above. I think Parker made a bad choice. My suggestion of an alternative is made only to illustrate my earlier argument about the characters being racial stereotypes. It is not an "I could do better" statement. An example of such an empty alternative would be an unsupported suggestion from me that you spell your name with a "K".


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