When we were all born into this world, none of us had the luxury of choosing our race, nationality, gender, religion, skin color or even culture, although we had the chance to decide the kind of people we would want to turn out to be as we grew older. All of those were factors that were either determined by our parents or fate. So it is somewhat hurtful when people begin to judge you by the no attached to the identities you didn’t choose, or when they expect you to act a certain way because you’re from a certain place, (rather than who you are as a person, and who you have decided to become), even though being born in a particular place with a particular skin color does not automatically mean you’ll act in a certain way.
The thing about stereotypes is that it is not always right, because it doesn’t apply to everyone, and like Chimamanda Adiche said ‘the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.’ And Alex Tizon said ‘the thing about stereotypes as we all know , there is often truth in them, but it’s almost always a partial truth’. If stereotypes are not always true, then it is not right to discriminate against people based on a hasty unfair generalization.
Stereotype only promotes ignorance of the differences between people despite their similar cultural backgrounds. It makes us ignore the fact that people are not the same, therefore we think every muslim is a terrorist, and every Nigerian is a fraudster, which is totally wrong, because we know that not all Muslims are terrorists. Although we see stories about some Muslims bombing up some places, we still have nice Muslim neighbors that bring us food during the festive season without poisoning the food. How then is it fair to categorize such kind people as terrorist simply because we saw a single story of a Muslim killing people on T.V?
It is true that stereotype can help in categorizing people socially, but we still need to understand that it is a ‘single story’ and there are other stories. Whereupon, it is totally disgusting when people get discriminated against because of things like nationality or religion, for example, Donald Trump saying America should have less immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries, probably because of the stereotypes that have been identified with Africans or simply because he’s just racist. Whether or not these countries Donald Trump doesn’t want to be associated with are ‘shit holes’ due to their bad government, what is certain is that the people from those countries are being discriminated against by President Trump, because of their nationality, despite the fact that there are lots of immigrants from ‘shit hole’ countries that are doing great in America. Trump decided that even though there are stats showing that ‘43% of immigrants from African countries have a bachelors degree compared to 33% of the overall American population’, there should still be less immigrants from African countries simply because their countries are shit holes.
This simply shows how terrible stereotypes can be, and how harmful they are especially when they are negative. It therefore should be checked. People didn’t choose their race or skin color, and should be judged based on it. Neither should people be judged by the actions of their forefathers or their government, because that is a horrible way of undermining the efforts of innocent people.
The thing about stereotype is that it is not always right.