Stereotypes


10/6/04


Stereotypes and prejudice are life. They are everywhere we go and everything we see. They are everything we eat sleep, and talk about. Jesus Colon, Joseph Suina, and Jeanne Park are all victims of stereotypes. These three show people that when others incorporate you into a stereotype, you start to become and believe that you are that stereotype.


Jesus Colon was an African American man. He was facing how African Americans were treated in the 1950’s. He wanted to help this woman who was on a train and had a lot to carry. He was afraid to help her because he wasn’t sure if the woman was prejudiced against African Americans or not. If she was and Jesus Colon had offered his help, she probably would have given him a scared look or would have called the cops. Because it was the 1950’s, there wee laws about African Americans and Caucasians interacting. If the woman was not prejudiced she probably would have accepted his help courteously. Although Jesus Colon did not help the woman, I think he made a great resolution that he will always give consideration when needed. It goes to show that he did not care what other people thought about him and that he does not need to conform to all the rules.


Joseph Suina was a victim of a stereotype as well. He was incorporated into the stereotype that all Native Americans are good “warriors.” Suina had never been labeled like that in his life. When he was in the Vietnam War, fellow soldiers kowtowed to him. He became the stereotype. He believed that he was better than everybody else. The only reason why he believed that was because fellow soldiers had influenced him to believe it. This example shows that if someone were to start believing they were a stereotype, then they get fixed on it and fell like they have to measure up with it. If the world were perfect, Suina would realize that he was not perfect and that all the other soldiers were good, too. The trouble is that the world is not perfect. Suina didn’t realize that he was at the same level as everyone else. He thought he had high status and that any other race could not be a good soldier. Suina believed what people said about his race and followed it because he did not want to fail


Jeanne Park was built-in into the stereotype that all Asians are smart. When she was in early elementary school and he did not do well on a test, her teachers told her that she should do better because she was Asian. The teachers kept on telling her that until it was stamped onto her head. Later in elementary school and all through junior high, Park was an academic overachiever. If she did not get an A on a test, she would go ballistic. She started thinking that her race was better overall than all the other races. She thought that so much that she would only make friends with Asians. Unlike Suina, Park started to realize that all races could be smart. She realized that she wasn’t the best at everything and nobody should think that. She wanted to become friends with other races, but she could not. The reason why she couldn’t was because that people in her school only hung out with their race. The reason why is because other races in her school are probably scared and have a generalization of everybody in their head. Asians are probably scared of Caucasians because they’re afraid they have less intelligence and will do something stupid to them. Caucasians and Asians are afraid of African Americans because stereotypically they’re dumb and have a high crime rate. African Americans are afraid of other races because they think of themselves as low and not as intelligent. It’s one big circle of fear and people are afraid to make a point in the circle because of all the stereotypes surrounding them.


When other people say that you are a certain stereotype, you start to feel obligated to live up to that stereotype and that if you don’t do it correctly, your life will be nothing. Jesus