Blacks love chicken
White men can’t jump
Asians are good at math
All Latinos can cook
These are a few of the modern stereotypes that I hear being used daily. The most mind-blowing to me, is that these terms are used in school. When you are born Black, you are well-equipped with a target on your back. This means that stereotypes are shot at you from 3-point-range, all net. We end up living up to the expectations of the stereotypes. We are told early what we are supposed to do (which is always something negative) and what we can’t do (which is always something positive). Race does not determine intelligence or the lack thereof. However, being Black is related to being incompetent, lazy, and violent while being white is related to intelligence, wealth, and power.
In Baltimore, the stereotypes get even more personal. “You’re going to be just like your father”. This makes the individual believe that he or she isn’t capable to achieve anything significant. We need to realize that anyone of us can be whatever we like, if we apply ourselves.
We grow up being told that we can’t do what we want to do as adults because of the choices that we made as children. That also cut a lot of dreams short.
“How do I want the next person to view me?” is a question we have to ask ourselves. “How do I want to be seen and judged?” I believe that’s a mindset that can erase stereotypes.
We all use stereotypes without knowing it because of the long history of the production and consumption of stereotypes. It feels natural, however, it needs to stop because all it does is repeat, and hurt people more than help.