How 'Sons of Anarchy' Got Racism Right

Sons of Anarchy premiere (Getty Images)

Racialicious editor Latoya Peterson praises the popular FX drama Sons of Anarchy for its accurate portrayal of race relations in America. She says that television usually fails to get race issues right.

Television is really comfortable with showing unrepentant racists in the roles of [villains]; and playing racism for laughs or shock value. 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 [initially] 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.

Read Latoya Peterson's entire blog entry at Racialicious.

Latoya Peterson is a hip-hop feminist, anti-racist activist and deputy editor of Fusion’s Voices section, opining on pop culture, news, video games and everything that makes life worth living. 

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