Influences of All in the Family

I still watch reruns of TV’s All in the Family. The program captured the culture of the 70s. The Archie Bunker character was a hardworking family man, but was also a man with bigoted views. He was rather outspoken on his belief that the white people were the superior race. Just recently, I saw an episode where he thought he was going to get promoted and decided that when the promotion came through, he would put “black Elmo” in his dock foreman position.  He said, and “that is as far as them people go.” His son in-law Michael, who he always called Meat-head threw Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshal in his face.

I realized now how All in the Family helped to mold my political views as a young woman in my 20s and presented the paradox that I successfully ignored for so many years. Archie’s education level did not even make it to high school graduation level which was not all that uncommon from his  generation. Archie was a Republican and even though you did not hear conservative being used much back then, I say he was conservative. Archie was for personal responsibility and loved his country. He believed in God, but did not go to church and was ignorant of God’s Word. He could really mangled bible scripture. He also did a good job of mangling the English language. There was no other Republican or conservative character  to balance the lowly educated Archie with his white supremest views.

On the other hand his daughter, Gloria and especially her graduate school husband Michael who was an atheist championed equal rights. Michael was always shaming Archie’s pro segregation views and his very unsuccessful attempts to keep the neighborhood white. Michael always came down on anything having to do with the Lord. He ridiculed the bible.

I loved the liberal Michael, while shutting my ears to his atheist ridicule of Christians. I despised Republican racist Archie while respecting his love of family and believing in God. Now, I did not like how he ordered his wife Edith around, but it was clear he loved her. Some of my favorite episodes are of the few times she stood up to him. That TV show aided in strengthening the stereotypes and my belief of Democrats and liberals as educated and pro equality for everyone and the opposite for Republicans and conservatives.

In another note, I do not like that some on Facebook promote Archie Bunker. Some link a clip of him coming down on Democrats, which in itself is not wrong. I have no quarrel with the statement in the clip. But knowing all the bigoted comments that are far too many to be numbered that came from the Archie Bunker character, just perpetuates the uneducated and racist stereotype of the Republicans and conservatives.