Monday, June 8, 2015

Stereotyping... BOO!!

So, a page I follow posted this article on Facebook.

I thought this was such an intriguing idea. I am currently reading The Skin That We Speak and it's mostly about how people stereotype based on how others talk - language, accents...etc. This article is about an artist who was trying to show how it feel to be an African American amongst European Americans. The photos are made to look like mug shots, but they're in a graduation cap and gown? What? That's right! They're being charged for being smart and going against the stereotype others put on them.
It made me think of other stereotypes -- that little boy in the classroom, that African American boy, who says ax instead of ask. Or the little African American girl who says "ovuh dyuh" instead of "over there". What about the little European American boy who uses the word ain't and adds and extra syllable to every word? What do we do about them? Mentally, do we just automatically put them over into the "not as smart" pile? Do you think the students can feel that? Do you think they know you feel they aren't as smart as them? What does that do to them? Do they live up to your expectations? Of course they do? Why would they shoot for the stars when you just expect them to fall? No one likes to get hurt.
When I came across the Facebook post I mentioned above, I made the stupid mistake of reading the comments. Sometimes, I wonder how people became so ignorant. I wonder how the human race has survived for so long with so much hate fueling us. I hope and pray that we can stop this cycle. I hope we can look at any child, no matter language barriers or skin colors, and say, "You will achieve greatness because you are amazing!"

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