The dictionary defines stereotype as an oversimplified or conventional image of a certain person, group, issue, or the like, which is usually held in common by some segment of society. Some of these stereotypes may be positive toward a group, whereas others are put down on certain group of people. For instance, Irish people are drunks, Asians are smart in school, Blacks are athletics, Caucasians can t dance, Mexicans are gardeners, and Arabians works at 7-Elevan. All these stereotypes may start for some at one point upon a time ago, and now it becomes apart of society.
People cannot deny that they have never stereotype another group, because even at a time when they consciously do not know that they are saying it, in reality they are stating a stereotype. Some people use stereotype for the entertainment that it is funny and they can joke about it, while others use it to hurt someone else. Stereotype at many times is use to hurt people s feeling. I remember about five years ago, I was in the eight grade. I took a conflict management class to help other students in my middle school resolve their problems between other students when there is a conflict that occur.
If they agree to solve their conflict and promise that the conflict does not occur again, then they will not get in trouble. On one particular day at school, I was call up to the vice-principal s office. The vice-principal explains to me that two students were going to get into a fistfight. My job was to talk to the two students to see if they can resolve this problem. If so both of them will not be suspended from school. Before I talked to both of the boys I made them sign a contract stating that this was confidential and everything that is going to be said should not leave this room. I talk with Henry first.
He seem as if he did not want to participate, and everything that I was asking him, he answered me a yes, no, or I don t know. I had to reminded Henry that if he didn t want to solve this problem that he will be suspended for 2 days. After awhile he began to talk. He told me that he was the one who started the fight, only because John was saying that since Henry was a Mexican this must mean that he had to cross the border to get here. Also Henry said John was making fun of him by saying, What does Taco Bell say to Mexicans to get them to come to eat there? They say cross the border.
This cause Henry to be upset and angry with John which resort to Henry wanting to fight him. The fight broke up shortly when a teacher stops both of the boys and send Henry and John to the vice-principal s office. In the end, the other boy apologizes to Henry so both of them were not suspended. An apology however did not cure the hurt that was said to Henry. Our society uses stereotype at time because they are funny. In another scenario, I was at a basketball game watching my friend play. I sat with a group of my friends and through out the whole game the group was cheering for our home team while I was also cheering for my friend.
Then Mike, who was African American, ask the group if we knew why the Number 5 player on the other team was so good at playing basketball, and why he can jump so high. I was waiting for the reason of how he knew this guy on the other team. Maybe Mike and the Number 5 player used to be friends and Mike knew him well. But that was not the case. Mike told our group that number 5 was Black, and that Black people eat chicken. Chicken has some kind of protein in it that help only Black people jump higher then other races, so Black people play sports better then others.
Everyone in the group started laughing and thought that what Mike had said was funny. In my opinion, I thought Mike was ridiculous and how can he believe such a stupid thing like this. Later on, Mike finally tell us that he was kidding about what he had said and that he tells dumb jokes all the time. In some way, I knew he said that because he knew it was dumb and he just wanted everyone to laugh and have fun time during the game. In both of these cases stereotype was use in a joking way and the other hurting a person s feeling.
It doesn t matter how old, new, funny, or hurtful a stereotype maybe. It will affect people s view when that stereotype is toward them. People hate it when a stereotype is negative toward them, their race, or religion, but they too use stereotype about another person. So why is our society a hypocrite when it come to stereotype? Maybe it is because generations after generations people everywhere heard it and use it and now stereotype is passed down to our generations. This process will stay around until the next and the following generations to come.