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September 19, 2007


Filed under: Bill Bickel, Boondocks, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor, racial stereotypes, winter — Cidu Bill @ 12:02 am


Is there a racial stereotype I somehow missed, claiming that white kids are warmer than black kids?


  1. It’s more of a “fish outta water” thing. The boys are living in a very cold place (unlike their former home) and they haven’t adapted. Meanwhile, Mr. Wisconsin/Minnesota, having grown up there, doesn’t even notice the cold.

    Comment by James — September 19, 2007 @ 1:05 am

  2. I could be wrong — wasn’t their former home Chicago ??? Not exactly balmy in the winter there.

    How about this — I live in upstate NY — also not exactly balmy in the winter – yet I often see young men walking around in shorts in very cold weather. They do this, I assume, to to prove their manliness. Which is a stupid reason to be wearing shorts in the winter.

    Could the white kid be part of this crowd and Huey and his brother are actually being shown as the smart ones ?

    Comment by Nicole — September 19, 2007 @ 8:01 am

  3. In one of my Sociology classes we were talking about common stereotypes and my professor who was black and from New York, I believe, started talking about common stereotypes black people have of white people. One thing he mentioned was “white people wear shorts in Winter.” Now, none of us, not even the black students, had every heard of this.

    We reasoned this was because most of us were from Texas where, in most places, it’s perfectly reasonable to wear shorts most of the Winter and, not being accustomed to cold weather, it doesn’t take too much cold to cause us to bundle up.

    He assured us, however, that this was a pervasive stereotype where he was from.

    Comment by Kevin — September 19, 2007 @ 9:20 am

  4. Texans can’t trust New Yorkers; they pronounce PECANS funny. Although I would like to see Jerry Jones and George Steinbrenner fight on a bridge…

    Comment by Rasheed — September 19, 2007 @ 9:24 am

  5. In Kansas, where it can get plenty cold let me tell you, plenty of white kids wear shorts when there’s snow on the ground. There’s not really enough black kids on campus to draw a reliable sample from, though.

    Comment by Dave Van Domelen — September 19, 2007 @ 9:24 am

  6. I’m from Saskatchewan, where people are proud of the weather extremes. See (I’ve seen a very similar joke with other places, some American, substituted for Saskatchewan, but you get the idea.)

    Comment by Janice — September 19, 2007 @ 9:49 am

  7. Yes, this is a stereotype, one that I’ve heard more from blacks than from whites. The stereotype essentially is that blacks do not like cold weather, while at least some whites do not mind it. I remember asking a college janitor why all the janitors were black, while all the outdoor maintenance people were white. He said that the jobs paid the same, but blacks did not like the cold weather, while whites preferred to be outside.

    Comment by John — September 19, 2007 @ 9:57 am

  8. Yes, they are from Chicago. It’s not an outside or inside thing. Yes the stereotype is that white people love colder temperatures. You see it in things such as this comic strip. It can be very cold outside, but for some reason you still see some people(99.9% white) with shorts and t-shirts on. It would have even been more accurate if he had sandals on also.

    However, nowhere is it more evident than in an office building setting. Usually we’ll have on sweaters and jackets while most white people will say the temperature is perfect. Just a biological difference I guess.

    Comment by Cedric — September 19, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  9. I’m transplanted to Buffalo, NY, “The Snowiest Place On Earth (TM)” if you would believe the reputation.

    My neighbor shovels snow in shorts, and it’s a not-infrequent sight around the city in the “shoulder” seasons of very early spring and very late fall.

    I don’t think it’s a manliness thing, they’re just missing a brain cell or two.

    Comment by Charles — September 19, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

  10. Since this is “Boondocks”, it might be that Huey is proudly an African (regardless of where he and his last few generations of ancestors lived), so can’t handle cold weather.

    Either that, or black kids are so much cooler than white kids that they’re cold.

    Comment by Madalch — September 19, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

  11. Is it a stereotype if it is true more often than not? In my office the blacks all wear sweaters and jackets while the non-blacks often wear shortsleeves; the blacks are always the first to ask me to tweak the temperature up on the thermostat.

    Comment by John DiFool — September 19, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  12. I have definitely heard the stereotype that blacks are more adverse to cold weather than whites. Whether there is sufficient empirical evidence to support that notion, I don’t know. Even assuming there is some truth to the stereotype, instead of just leaving it as a neutral observation on difference between the races, Aaron McGruder felt obligated to add the notation that the temperature is 5 degrees, clearly pointing the finger at whites being the ones messed up. (I guess that’s what makes it funny)

    As it seems with everything regarding race, it can never be just an innocuous difference. One race has to be labeled as inferior: Either “whites are nuts, they wear shorts at times any sane person should know better” or “blacks can’t handle cold weather”.

    Comment by Judge Mental — September 19, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  13. So, when next summer rolls around, will there be a strip with the white boy(s) sweltering and the kids asking “You HOT?!”

    Comment by Altair IV — September 19, 2007 @ 3:42 pm

  14. When did this run? I’m asking because as far as I know it doesn’t get down to five degrees Fahrenheit in any populated area of the lower 49 states in September.

    Comment by Charlene — September 19, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

  15. Charlene, Boondocks has been in repeats the past couple of years. A Christmas storyline ended about a month ago, so this one must have been originally from late January or early February.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — September 19, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

  16. Well, OK, we’ve established that it’s an illustration of a set of stereotypes.

    Soooo…stereotypes are funny? I loved Boondocks, but I just flat out miss the joke here, I guess.

    Comment by Molly — September 19, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  17. Interesting question Molly — the general consensus was that the “Outrageously Sexist Comic of the Week” was a sexist stereotype and was not particularly funny. So would a stereotype based on race be any funnier — I don’t think so

    Comment by Nicole — September 19, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

  18. I would point out, though, that the “outrageously sexist” comic was demeaning, while the Boondocks strip wasn’t. It might be based on a stereotype, but it doesn’t seem to insult either blacks or whites.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — September 19, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

  19. They’re rerunning old comics, and they can’t even be bothered to run them so that the Christmas storyline runs at Christmas? How lazy is that?

    Stereotypes are funny! Well, at least twice as funny as jokes about poop.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — September 19, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

  20. Outside the US the stereotype can be a bit different. At least once a year one of the local newspapers runs an editorial cartoon showing a Toronto transplant standing on a street corner wearing a heavy parka, ski pants, three sweaters, Sorel boots, ski mittens, two toques, leg warmers, and earmuffs *and shivering* while everyone around him is in T-shirts and shorts and going about their business without even noticing the temperature. Usually he’s also whining that his low-foam venti soy macchiato has frozen, causing the cold to crack his hand-sewn Italian wildebeest leather gloves.

    Comment by Charlene — September 20, 2007 @ 4:15 am

  21. >> Cidu Bill wrote: would point out, though, that the “outrageously sexist” comic was demeaning, while the Boondocks strip wasn’t. It might be based on a stereotype, but it doesn’t seem to insult either blacks or whites.

    I disagree. Wearing shorts in 40, or even 30 degree weather may be a question of preference. Wearing shorts in 5 degree weather is undeniably stupid.

    Comment by Judge Mental — September 20, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  22. Not if you’re comfortable that way, Judge. I’m not QUITE that extreme, but I’ll often go outside wearing a t-shirt in below-freezing weather, and occasionally I’ve shoveled snow wearing a tank-top.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — September 20, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

  23. I’ll admit I wear short sleeves and sandals long after most people in texas (hello 30/40s!), but five degrees is just nuts. Sorry Canada.

    Comment by Shah — September 21, 2007 @ 12:02 am

  24. While a wind chill of -11 is not going to cause immediate frostbite, it is pushing it. If the wind picks up at all, the young man in this strip is going to be risking frostbite.

    Comment by Powers — September 21, 2007 @ 7:06 am

  25. Now if it had been a menopausal woman, it would have been funny. (Spoken as one, under the “It’s OK to knock your own team” rule.)

    Comment by Jill — September 23, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  26. I think the source of this stereotype came from ethnic migration patterns.


    You see, when somebody arrives in the frozen wastelands up north from the down-south, they are often pretty shocked at how cold it gets. I mean, yeah, you can freeze to death up here. It’s a concern.

    We relish explaining to them how the night so cold it can drain the blood from you is normal to us. How we walk around in shorts because it doesn’t seem so cold.

    It’s more regional than race, methinks.

    Now, I only have two friends from down south, and one’s black, and one’s white. Both of them seem unsuited to cold weather, though. They wear thick clothes even in balmy temperatures of 0 F.

    Well. My brother does wear shorts year-round, now that I think of it…

    Comment by Steve — October 9, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  27. i still believe that men do it to display their manliness or macho..i never see females wearing shorts in the winter! The only people i see wearing shorts in the winter are men and ,let me say that it looks totally absurd /. there’s a reason that doctors are opposed to people wearing shorts in freezing weather! cold is cold and people’s bodies don’t differ that tremendously from one another/.
    the human body reacts a particular way when exposed to heat or cold either one/. while a person’s body does go into a transition effect when moving from a colder climate to a warmer one and vice versa ,the body still reacts to cold and heat whether that person feels it right away or not/. wearing shorts in freezing weather is NOT a good idea.and it looks stupid besides!

    Comment by djteel — November 28, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

  28. From my observations I gander that whites do have a preference for lower temperatures. When we visit their homes I notice that they generally have the temperature set considerably lower than I or other people like me would. In my city we don’t have extreme winters. Nevertheless you’ll never see me or any other Black person jogging the neighborhood in biker shorts at 7am. I’m not making fun of them but there is a difference that the comic highlights so well. They also have this tradition where a bunch of them go swimming in the river during the dead of winter for charity. Mmmmn, I’ll just write a check.

    Comment by O. Pin On — December 2, 2007 @ 3:37 am

  29. all hes saying is that white people like to act like its 80 degres out side when its cold

    Comment by guy — December 6, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

  30. It is common among blacks to think this and has always for some reason proven to be true… White people dont care what time of the year it is.. they are going to wear shorts (khakis) flip flops, and a t-shirt without sleeves! lol! Its their thing, and thats were Aaron got the idea.

    Comment by MASE3000 — December 8, 2007 @ 10:21 am

  31. It’s not just the men either. Ond day I saw a white woman in bitter cold and sleet, wearing a mini skirt, no tights and a pair of flip flops. So I think it’s just something that they enjoy.

    Comment by ATC — December 21, 2007 @ 3:48 am

  32. ATC – Ummm, she might have been “working” 🙂

    Comment by Lola — December 21, 2007 @ 8:55 am

  33. Fishing guides Charters

    Cool | Comics I Don’t Understand – This site is now being updated daily at Please change your bookmark if necessary, and notify any web site with a link to the old address.

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