Racism isn’t always marked by a burning cross on a front lawn, or a bunch of dudes in bed sheets marching around holding the Union Jack aloft. Racism can be subtle, it can call on unspoken assumptions (read: prejudices) that we’re not even aware of. Until, of course, some idiot in the marketing department for a new TV show decides to use those very assumptions to sell their product. Observe:
“Is this the face of a THIEF?” The unspoken answer is: No, of course not! She’s a white, female, well-fed member of the middle class. Judging by looks alone (which is what we’ve been tasked to do), members of the dominant culture (of which I am one) would say No, of course this woman doesn’t look like a thief, and not only because she’s looking away in a typical “Why no, officer” style, but predominantly because white ladies don’t steal shit. Which begs the question: What does a thief look like? The unspoken answer is, of course, someone with traits unlike this woman’s: dark-skinned males.
So we’re being compelled to watch this show based on the novelty of white people breaking the law, because that’s just so crazy, right? Which is racist. Right?