All Mexicans are lazy and came into the US illegally. All Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. All Asian Americans are successful, good at math or super intelligent. All Blacks are ghetto or ratchet. All white people are racist. Chinese will eat anything. Christians are homophobes.
I am almost a hundred percent sure that you felt some type of way about those statements above, unless, of course, you are as ignorant as they are. Race has always been the basis for prejudice and discrimination and although those statements are obviously not true, people would always turn to them because these stereotypes make it a lot easier to establish identity.
Stereotypes are widely held but fixed and oversimplified images or ideas of a particular type of person or thing and every race, culture, country, religion and community has one. Stereotypes can be positive or negative, but either way can result in being highly offensive because according to Keith B. Maddox, they ignore diversity and individual differences within ethnic groups and reinforces manners that lead to discrimination. Stereotypes have become part of the American culture, in particular when talking about Asian Americans. America paints an overly positive image of Asian Success, and this is discussed in a New York Times article by Joseph Ting, “Asian-Americans and Stereotypes”.
Asian Americans have a history of being a great disciplined, hardworking, trustworthy and successful group of people. Even though this might be seen as a good thing, high expectations have turned out to be a nightmare for Asian Americans because of all the pressure they have to live up to in order to fulfill the idea of model minority, a group whose hard work, initiative, personal responsibility, and success offer proof that American meritocracy works as intended. There’s an extreme amount of stress that affects the students’ family relationships, self-esteem, and physical and mental health due to the need to succeed.
A fear of being wrong is born when you are expected to be great at everything you do, and it makes you feel like you can not ask for help when it is much needed. High expectations have their burden. According to Adia Harvey W. from The Atlantic, ¨….when Asian Americans are depicted as the minority group that doesn’t complain, attract negative attention, or cause problems, it can feel uncomfortable for them to point out stereotypes, insults, and assaults.¨
- How do stereotypes affect race relations in the U.S?
Stereotypes affect race relations in the US in a way that they lead people to live lives driven by hate. Since a stereotype is based on an assumption, it is considered judging and no one likes to be judged.
- EQ: How has society and culture influence and shaped identity and representation historically and in modern-day context?
People view things from many perspectives and each person identifies themselves as something different. Culture plays the role and it is what mainly shapes our identity. Culture is the combination of values, beliefs, and practices of a particular group. As stated in Dawn A.’s essay, Culture Influences Identity, “ Culture is the combination of values, beliefs, and practices of a particular group. The culture each person lives in shows them how to dress, talk, act, acceptable behavior, and gives a guideline of what is considered acceptable and normal “. These characteristics define and contribute to the development of people’s identity.