Coon Stereotypes

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The coon, which was short for raccoon, was a derogatory word used to describe free adult African Americans. It represented how White America viewed free adult blacks; depicting them as lazy, child-like, slow, dimwitted, free blacks, that acted without a purpose since they did not have a master to give them a purpose through slavery, and loved to eat watermelons and chicken. It was a clear representation that slavery was a good thing for society and without slavery free blacks would act in this manner.
After slavery was abolished, White America would continue to use the coon stereotype to ridicule blacks and make them feel as an inferior class of citizens. Creating Minstrel shows in which white actors would dress up and portray blacks as coons. Around the early 1900’s, during the Jim Crow Laws, whites believed that blacks were genetically inferior to whites, and argued that they were children, irresponsible,
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Even now we still have some Americans who use a more modern form of the coon to mock and ridicule successful African Americans in our society. One example is during the 2008 presidential campaign, in which Barrack Obama was targeted by modern racists who created photo shopped images depicting him in big clothes, eating watermelon, fried chicken, and mispronouncing his words. These modern day racists went as far as including his wife and daughters in these images. A form of the coon has even made an appearance in a modern day movie franchise, or at least being accused of being a coon. The Star Wars movie franchise was accused in 1999 of creating a racial stereotype of a coon in the form of a character named Jar Jar Binks. In which critics claimed that Jar Jar, “a bumbling dimwitted amphibian-like character, spoke Caribbean-accented Pidgin English, and had ears that suggested dreadlocks” (Pilgrim); Jar Jar looked like the latest in black cinematic

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