Study Guide

The French Connection Race

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POPEYE: You dumb Guinea. Never trust a n*****.

CLOUDY: He coulda been white.

POPEYE: Never trust anybody.

Here Popeye begins with a telling racial stereotype, and then expands it into an even more telling generalization. But does he trust his partner? Does he even need to?

POPEYE: (to man with a natural hairstyle) Hey you, Haircut, where you been?

That nickname sure is reductive—this guy has an Afro.

POPEYE: You dumb spics, get outta here! Lock 'em up and throw away the goddamn key!

For whatever reason, Popeye seems to like to pair value judgments with racist terms.

CLOUDY: It's Jewish Lucky. He don't look the same without numbers across his chest.

It's a little-known fact that Jews played a role in mid-century American mob crime.

POPEYE: Cloudy, lay odds he takes us to dago town.

To a certain extent, New York and other major cities that were once divided in terms of different immigrant communities are no longer bordered this way. What are some of the reasons for this?

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