"All in the Family" and its Anti-Polish bigotry and impact on Polish Americans:
June 2, 2013
Now that the media is talking about the passing of one of the characters on "All in the family" Jean Stapleton....Polish American Review folks talk about the impact all of the Anti-Polish sound bites from this national TV show had on the attitude of Americans on Polish Americans and on Polish Americans themselves.
(PAR) John Lurszen:
Stapleton was a fine actor. I'm just amazed that a show that had so much ethnic bigotry in it would be entertaining to the masses out there. I guess if you can put hate and bigotry into an "entertaining" format like Norman Lear did a good job of, you can market any kind of bigotry. The notion that "All in the Family" was suppose to "stop" ethnic bigotry, which Norman Lear claimed, was absolute nonsense. This show did a good job of mainstreaming bigotry and ethnic slurs into the living rooms of America against the ethnic group Norman Lear bashed the most, which was the Polish people.
(PAR) Jim Rozinski:
Jean Stapleton was very good actor in "All in the Family". So were all of the actors in the show. The acting was so good that when the Polish guy acted like a buffoon and had cereal drooling out of his mouth, which then prompted Archie Bunker to say to him, YOU ARE ONE MEATHEAD DUMB POLACK! - the next day - being a Polish American - I was subjected to the these same anti-Polish slurs from other kids who watched Archie Bunker along with their parents. Other kids would say to me, WHY ARE YOU POLISH PEOPLE SUCH DUMB MEATHHEAD POLACKS??? I then would say to them, WHAT do you mean? Why do you say that? They then would say - WELL WE SEE HOW DUMB YOU Polish people are every day on "All in the Family"! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I couldn't believe there were people out their kids and adults who were getting a bad image of Polish people because of a STUPID WHITE TRASH show that was OBVIOUSLY DESIGNED to BASH Polish people!!!
Even as a young kid I could see what Norman Lear was trying to do to Polish people who were the DISPROPORTIONATE target of hateful ethnic slurs on the show. So I told these kids, who said they had a "bad image" of Polish people based on what they saw on "All in the Family", that they were MORONS for basing their opinion of Poles on a dumb TV show with ACTORS! .
(PAR) Dan Kranerko:
The acting on "All in the Family" was so good, that when the Polish character acted like a buffoon which then prompted Archie to scream at him "You are one dumb Meathead Polack", the anti-Polish slurs "Dumb Polack" and "Meathead Polack" became ingrained in the brains of the millions of Americans who watched the show as this TV situation and similar anti-Polish situations were repeated on the show.
Many Americans who saw this anti-Polish imagery on TV would then imitate in real life and mock Polish Americans the way Archie would. This anti-Polish reaction from millions of Americans across the nation, was the reaction Norman Lear wanted. He wanted his anti-Polish bigotry to be pumped into the brains of Americans who watched the show.
Anyone who says Norman Lear is not prejudiced against Poles is misguided. The Polish guy on the show was an unemployed buffoon with a bad hair cut and was the excuse for Norman Lear to put many vicious anti-Polish slurs into Archie Bunker's mouth to be consumed by millions of American viewers. Norman Lear on his other show "Sanford and Son" had one of the characters say that "Poland is a backward nation". This was HARDLY a coincidence. It was a manifestation of Norman Lear's personal hatred of Polish people. It was a clear indication how Norman Lear wanted to use the power of National Television to maliciously attack the image of Polish people in the eyes of the American public.
(PAR) Michael Gankowski:
The acting on the show was so good that it did a good job of making millions of its viewers have the same anti-Polish prejudice that Archie had, since Polish people were the biggest target of ethnic bigotry on the show. After watching the show....millions of Americans would harass Polish Americans with the same anti-Polish slurs that Archie said, word for word.
(PAR) Tony Vicarelli:
Even though I am not of Polish heritage, even I could see that the producer of the show Norman Lear. had some sick vendetta or hatred against Polish people. Sure many ethnic groups were the subject of Archie Bunker's put down ethnic remarks. But by far it was the Polish people who were slandered the most on that show.
In the 70's growing up, I had the dubious experience of hearing other kids of non-Polish ethnic backgrounds saying that "They just couldn't wait to go home and watch "All in the Family" so that they could see Archie "put that Dumb Polack Meathead in his place!" I really felt sorry for the Polish people in the decade of Archie Bunker, the 1970's. They did nothing wrong to anyone, let alone to the producer of this show Norman Lear. I never understood this anti-Polish stereotype in the show of Polish people having low intelligence, since I had many Polish American friends who were did well in school.
I saw Polish Americans around me ridiculed and mocked mercilessly from other Americans who watched Archie Bunker bash Polish people. We hear about how great an actor Jean Stapleton was. Yes she was and so were the other actors on the show as other Polish Americans have noted. That's why many Americans after watching "All in the Family" felt compelled to unfairly mock and ridicule Polish Americans. They really believed the anti-Polish slurs of Archie Bunker and the flaws of the Polish character that provoked Archie Bunker's anti-Polish slurs. Norman Lear did a great job of using the TV imagery of "All in the Family" to put mostly anti-Polish stereotypes into the mind of the average American viewer. I always felt sorry for Polish people after watching this low-life show. As an Italian American, I also know what its like to have the American media portray us unfairly.
(PAR) Bob Hesrynz
I noticed that Americans of the ethnic backgrounds that were only mildly put down by Archie Bunker seemed to love the show, because they could then "bragg to Polish Americans" that their ethnic background was better than Polish people since "it was the Polish people who came out the worse" in "All in the Family". Anybody who says that "All in the Family" was meant to decrease ethnic bigotry are liars or fools. It greatly fueled ethnic bigotry, especially against Polish people. It also tried to divide Americans. Of course Norman Lear's ethnic background came out the best since half the times Archie Bunker made almost complimentary jokes about Jews and how "Jews are wise with money", etc.
The stereotype that Norman Lear put into the show about Polish people having "inferior intelligence" came from the Nazi German death Camps. I had a Polish Christian survivor relative from Auschwitz and she said the Nazi German guards loved to make subhuman intelligence jokes about Polish people as they tortured and murdered them. They also made jokes about Jews "looking and acting like rats". I find it highly peculiar that Norman Lear would import a Nazi German stereotype about Polish people into his show "All in the Family" yet he refused to import the Nazi stereotype of Jewish people into the show. It should be noted that the biggest "jokers" were the Nazi Germans. Just look at the entrance sign of Auschwitz "Arbeicht Macht Frei" which means in German "Work will make you free". That was obviously a Nazi joke about the Poles and Jews put into Auschwitz (Polish Christians were the first people put in Auschwitz). Since "All in the Family" was supposed to be about a bigot making degrading jokes about people, why did Norman Lear only use Nazi German jokes against Polish people and NOT Nazi German jokes against Jewish people?
One of the most ridiculous things I have heard these Pro-Norman Lear Liberal Do-Gooders say is that "All in the Family" was meant to deter ethnic bigotry by making the bigot of the show Archie bunker look bad and by extension his bigoted remarks. Well sure if Archie Bunker was portrayed as a nasty repulsive KKK type of person who made bigoted ethnic slurs, then yes that would also make the millions of viewers of this show be repulsed by his ethnic slurs, especially his anti-Polish slurs, since anti-Polish slurs were the most predominant on the show.
But Archie was not portrayed as a nasty repulsive man. In fact there were many episodes where he was portrayed as a nice guy and in one show he stood up to the KKK and Neo-Nazis making the audience love him even more. The producer of the show Norman Lear made sure to portray him as basically a decent hard working man who was just basically a "misunderstood" and "whacky" guy.
For many years the critics of the show said Archie despite his bigotry, was just a "harmless" man and was a "loveable bigot". Yes no kidding. No doubt millions of Americans started to become prejudiced against Polish people because Norman Lear designed the show where Americans would love his anti-Polish bigotry. Especially when Norman Lear contrived scenes where the Polish character would act like the "dumb Polack meathead" label that Archie loved calling him. There is absolutely NO doubt that the incessant obsessive repetitive anti-Polish slurs like "dumb Polack meathead" and the hateful anti-Polish jokes Archie said had an effect on the brains of the millions of people who watched the show. Especially when Archie's anti-Polish slurs and anti-Polish hate jokes were REPEATED and imitated by millions of Americans. I saw this first hand as a Polish American and so did many of my fellow Polish Americans.
Sure the producer Norman Lear had the bigoted character Archie Bunker make unflattering ethnic remarks about many ethnic groups. But by far it was the image of the Polish people who had the living hell knocked out of them the most on this idiot white trash show in front of millions of people in the US.
Hitler talked about the power of the Big Lie where if you repeat something over and over and over and over and over and over, no matter how crazy and absurd it is, most people will believe it, just because of the nature of its preponderance and that no sane person would keep repeating it if there wasn't merit to it (this is why multi-million dollar companies and politicians spend millions of dollars on advertising). Its basically a tactic to brainwash or condition people to believe a certain notion. Well with the dominant ethnic slurs and hate jokes being about Polish people in just about every other show, how could the American people NOT be prejudiced against Polish people when all they ever heard from this idiot show over and over and over were anti-Polish hate jokes and "Dumb Polack", "Dumb Polack", Dumb Polack", "Dumb Polack", "Dumb Polack", "Meathead Polack", "Meathead Polack", "Meathead Polack", "Meathead Polack" "Meathead Polack" and on and on and on.
Its absolutely no coincidence that anti-Polish hate jokes were at their peak in the 1970's in the US, since the 1970's encompassed the duration of this white trash idiot show "All in the Family" (1971-1979).
It must be kept in mind that there is good and bad in every group of people. Norman Lear as a Jewish American makes Jews look bad because of his stupid divisive ethnic bigotry in "All in the Family". But there have been Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish American Congress that have been critical of Norman Lear and his stupid show "All in the Family".
The 1987 book "Archie & Edith, Mike & Gloria" contains arguments both pro and con for "All in the Family". On the one hand you have do-gooders saying that "All in the Family" did not push any ethnic or racial slurs that people have not already heard before. You also have the Archie Bunker character Caroll O'Connor saying that people were Laughing AT Archie and NOT WITH him. Well many people especially Polish Americans take exception to this since they saw how many Americans were CONDITIONED to embrace Archie's anti-Polish hate joke slurs and used them against Polish Americans.
But here on page 186 of the book "Archie & Edith, Mike & Gloria" are some interesting views from Jewish American groups on "All in the Family".
Jewish American groups on Archie Bunker:
Stated Benjamin Epstein, national Director of the Bínai Bírith Anti-Defamation League:
We do not believe its possible to combat bigotry by laughing at a central bigoted figure who evokes the sympathy of the audience. We feel the show sanctions the use of derogatory epithets. When the program is over the listener has had a good time and he has enjoyed the bigotry of Archie Bunker rather then having a sense of revulsion.
Rabbi Arthur J Lelyveld, president of the Jewish American Congress wrote that it is teaching our children disrespect for Archie and Edith Bunker, disrespect for blacks and Jews and Italians and people of Polish and other ethnic origins, disrespect for minorities and essentially disrespect for all of us: disrespect for man.
I feel exactly the same way as Jim Rosinski. "All in the Family" was primarily a HATEFEST for people who enjoyed seeing Polish people and Black people being degraded since these were the two groups that were mocked and ridiculed the most in this stupid white trash show. As a Polish American growing up in the 1970's I always remembered hearing other kids saying to me "I can't believe you Polish people are such "Dumb Meathead Polacks". When I asked them...WHY do you say that? They would say "Its because of how stupid that "Dumb Meathead Polack" on All in the Family is.
When I told them.....for Gods sake its just a stupid show where the producer of the show Norman Lear created to make us Polish Americans look bad......they would say...."Nahhh that's the way you Polish people are". They would tell me "I keep seeing how dumb that Polish meathead guy is on All in the Family.......and I can't believe how he dumb he is! They then would say to me...."My God that meathead dumb Polack on the show is so dumb!!!......I am so glad Archie "Puts him in his place and tells him what a "Dumb Meathead Polack he is! I would then tell these idiots......For Gods sake.....Its just a stupid show against Polish people!! The Polish guy is NOT even Polish!!! All this ACTING and imagery in this stupid show comes from the stupid anti-Polish mind of the Polish-Hater producer Norman Lear!!
But these stupid American kids would not listen to me!! The anti-Polish acting and ridicule on this show was SO REAL to them that they actually believed and thought the anti-Polish imagery from this show was "REAL" . How disgusting!
November 20, 2014
Vin Ritoza (Italian American friend of Poles and supporter of PAR)
They say today that more than ever, people across the world are questioning the Holocaust data that 6 million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany. One reason is because Jewish groups and Auschwitz authorities themselves have said that instead of 4.1 million Jews being killed at Auschwitz, that number has been reduced to 1.1 million as of 1990 yet for some reason, despite this 3 million reduction, powerful Jewish groups keep saying that 6 million and not 6 million minus 3 million = 3 million Jews were killed. I personally believe 6 million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany. But for God's sakes......if you look at how Liberal Jews in the American media like Norman Lear has portrayed the Germans, in comparison to how he portrayed the Polish people in his show "All in the Family:...you would think even Jewish Norman Lear doesn't believe that the Germans killed 6 million Jews. The way Norman Lear has viciously attacked the image of Polish people in comparison to German people....you would think the Germans never did anything against his beloved Jewish people and that Norman Lear believes the Polish people are the most "horrible" people on Earth.
Which is quite strange since over half of the world's Jews chose to live in Poland for 1000 years. I also wonder why Poland-Haters like that Jewish guy Larry Wilde who has written vicious Pro-Nazi German subhuman intelligence hate jokes against Polish people...that he renamed as "Polish jokes"....also decided to bash us Italian people with similar hateful jokes. What did we Italians ever do to this twisted Liberal Jew Larry Wilde? And interestingly, this twisted Jewish Bigot Larry Wilde.....like his fellow White Liberal Supremacist Jewish American Norman Lear.....goes easy on the Germans in his hateful joke books. In fact he doesn't make any anti-German jokes. Larry Wilde is another twisted Liberal Jew who acts like the Germans never did anything against his Jewish people and that it was the Polish and Italians who are the enemies of Jews. Why in the world are these Jews acting like its the Polish people and Italian people who killed 6 million Jews and not the Germans???? What the hell is up with that???