Television is really comfortable with showing unrepentant racists in the roles of villians; and playing racism for laughs or shockvalue. But what we don’t normally see in pop culture is the urge toward showing full characters. Including the racist bits.
I’ve been following Sons of Anarchy since the beginning of Season 3, and I was initally going to write about how the show treats whiteness. The world of Sons is almost an unauthorized form of whiteness that is rarely depicted without derision – defiantly lower class, quasi-ethnic, and trapped in the same kinds of systems that count as pathology in communities of color, but get the “trash” label when the conversation shifts to whites in the same situation.
However, that piece was put on hold because the subplot on this season is around a character named Juice Ortiz – and the problems that arise between his identity and the rules of the club.
[SPOILERS for the entire Juice story arc as well as other parts of the series ahead. This is your one and only warning.] Continue reading