Yes, I think the show did degrade black people with some stereotypes. Of course, everyone also kind of glosses over the fact that The Jeffersons degraded white people. There were three regular characters who were white and two of them are depicted as buffoons (Willis and Bentley) and the third (Ralph) is seen as a greedy little weasel. I'll state the obvious. It's not proper to degrade any group on TV or otherwise
The Jeffersons did not degrade white people any more than The Honeymooners, Laurel and Hardy or The Three Stooges did. Those characters were indeed comic buffoons, as was Mother Jefferson and George Jefferson himself. Louise and Mrs. Willis were the "straight" characters that the buffoons could play off of, just as Alice and Trixie were in The Honeymooners. And I'll grant you that Lionel and the daughter were played straight as well. However, everyone else, black and white, were comic stereotypes. It's all situation comedy 101 and race had nothing to do with it. Ditto Amos and Andy, which was set in a totally black world with buffoons and straight characters alike all played by African Americans.