By Chris Lee
Stereotypes … now where do I begin? Stereotypes are extremely common in our culture. Whether you are judged by your race or by how you act, stereotypes will be difficult to stop. Our culture has been adapted to judge someone based on their appearance.
What we can control is making sure the stereotypes don’t get the best of us.
Judging people is like picking your favorite types of Skittles. You look at the outside of your favorite Skittles and favor them the most. Just like people, you judge someone based on their color, but in reality, they all are similar, if not the same. Whether Black, Mexican, Asian, or white, we’re all the same. All races enjoy the same things and should be treated the same.
There are countless numbers of stereotypes that are said. For example, it is commonly said that African Americans constantly eat fried chicken and perform sports unbelievably well. For Asian Americans, they’re considered intelligent and their parents control their lives.
For Latinos, people think their race is poor, and they are troublemakers.
But these stereotypes don’t define who they are.
To help learn about the different concepts of stereotypes, I joined the Summer Youth Leadership Program. SYLP has helped me improve and discover my leadership skills.
Andrew Cho spoke to us about the history of stereotypes and racism and how they’re related to the world. Rich Cho, his brother, was the first Asian American to be the general manager of a professional sports team.
The second speaker was Connie So. She was inspiring especially to me because her lesson taught me how a majority of the stereotypes started. I remember seeing Asian Americans and how they’re treated in the media. In the movies, instead of being the big buff bad boys, Asians are the scientists or the martial arts teachers.
The next speaker was officer Jonathan Chin. Officer Chin told us how he was discriminated against for being an Asian American policeman. People would say, “Go back to your science lab.” From all these talks, they all share one thing. They are being discriminated against for being different by breaking the stereotypes of society.
My perspective on stereotypes is that we should learn to control the usage of stereotypes. I understand that we are practically born knowing these stereotypes. Everywhere we go, they’re constantly portrayed in the media.
But all of society should learn how stereotypes do not play a role in how people act. There may be unintelligent Asians and inactive Africans; that’s how life is. All races enjoy similar things and have the same talents. We can learn to put a halt to these accusations before it turns to a lifestyle. We should put this fire out, before it spreads and burns up society. ♦
Editor’s note: The ideas here do not necessarily represent Northwest Asian Weekly’s stance.