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Community Finds Black Janitors Hysterical...I do not

Community is one of the few shows on television that will actually put minorities in their main cast. There are two African American characters (Troy, Shirley), a Middle Eastern character (Abed), an Asian character (Senior Chang), and a Jewish character (Annie).

While I do appreciate the deviation from the standard white on top of more white formula, Community sometimes reinforces the stereotypes it usually tries to make fun of.

The most recent episode, titled Advanced Gay, featured a sub-plot about Troy being a janitorial prodigy.  You read that right; the one black male cast member has the potential to be the best janitor ever!

This offensive plot originated in an earlier season when Troy first discovered his “gift”. I understood that the writers wanted to do a spoof on Good Will Hunting for that episode but does the black guy always have to be a freaking Janitor?

Not only that, but the show tries to make it seem like being a janitor is something a black man should aspire to be. The janitor who tries to recruit Troy is a blatant Uncle Tom. He is happy to do his menial job and wants a black college student to drop out so he can be a janitor too.

Are you f*cking kidding me!webassets/black_janitor.jpg

Again, I realize Community likes to take risks outside the norm of your traditional network comedy show, but give me a break. Could they not think of anything more degrading? Was there no way to fit cotton picking into the story? Maybe Troy should have an undiscovered shoe shining talent as well.

(Donald Glover as Troy Barnes)

There is a large continuum of professions between rocket scientist and janitor and all I ask is that they pick something closer to the middle. Troy could have been a botanist (not gardener), really good at sewing, or anything other than that horrible stereotype.

Troy was never the sharpest knife and the drawer and I was willing to accept that as long as they flushed out the character. In the season 2 episode, Mixology Certification, the writers portrayed Troy as a caring person who is willing to put his friends before his own needs. In season 3 so far they only show him as a black, possibly gay, idiot who has janitor powers.

White America sure do love them some subservient black men.

I probably should have seen this coming. Strip away the jokes and paintball and what is Community really?

It’s a show about a white man in his prime (Jeff) who has to control this crazy gang of old people, women, and minorities. Jeff is in charge, he makes the decisions, and the others follow him because they admire his great white manhood so much.

At the end of the episode, Troy chooses not to be a janitor, which means I will still watch the show. But if Shirley starts wearing a red bandana when she cooks then I am done!


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