By Jody M. Huckaby

Cartoon-like characters who accentuate the traits of various ethnic, gender or regional groups have long been a staple of television sitcoms. Think Cam, Mitch and Gloria in “Modern Family.” Think Raj in “The Big Bang Theory.” Think Fred Sanford in “Sanford and Son” and Archie Bunker in “All in the Family.”

But can stereotypes, especially those used in good humor in popular culture, be used to promote tolerance? Can those stereotypes be used in the service of equality?

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