You really can’t stereotype people
or put them in boxes, it’s unfair.
Childs with Are Yall Kidding Me
“It’s not a stereotype if its’s always true.”
– Daniel Tosh
STEREOTYPING OR JOKING? BOTH
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
The above quote by comedian Daniel Tosh It’s not a stereotype if it’s always true, is jarring upon the first read, if viewed through restrained goggles of defensiveness or political correctness. If read when we are in our comfort zones and have a willingness to poke fun at ourselves, than we understand the joke. But it also offers an extraordinary insight, into what turns everyday or historical truth, into one of the most explosive words in the American vocabulary.
Ponder if you will for a moment of the stereotypes you find hurtful: as a woman or a young Black man or a member of the LGBTQ community or a Muslim American or a Trump fan. Take off the armor of indignation. Dive passed the expressed bias or actual discrimination and divide the truths from former truths and myths. Then take your lists of truths and conduct your own research. Talk to your elders and scholars about why a particular group of people, most of whom have never met, share the same basic taste on food or are of the same religious denomination or political party. The discovery will not be just another fact of information, but it becomes empowering, while lowering the blood pressure during a hostile exchange.
I wish I had an exact number, but I am not sure it would matter, nor change the way I internally view the attitudes or opinions of the general population of the United States. I believe that most of us are not racist or mean or have ill intentions (although greed is another issue). Many biases are not based on what we know to be true from our own life experiences, but through information acquired via our immediate surroundings or passed down from family relations or from a medium or leader we trust; and it is their intent – not necessarily their truth – that we must comprehend, for their belies the cycle of stereotyping.
So why should we question the people we believe or create doubt in our own minds, when we are just fine?
Even though we are eternal students in the game of life, at some point we also become teachers with a responsibility to challenge and discover, not simply accept information, that shapes our views and defines our attitudes toward other demographics. Passing down truths to the next generation, chips away at our nation’s archaic mistrusts and perhaps one day, all stereotypes will be a joke.
Tell us about Your Neighborhood.