Breaking Free of Stereotypes

1152 WordsJul 17, 20185 Pages
If you say you’ve never heard a stereotype about someone else or yourself, you’re either a liar or very oblivious. Stereotypes are simplified conceptions of a group, and they are literally everywhere. People often tend to assume that all Asians are geniuses, black people like watermelon and listen to rap, white girls crave Starbucks 24/7 and are always wearing leggings or yoga pants, the elderly don’t understand technology, and homosexual men are flamboyant and love fashion. No matter what race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or age group someone belongs to, he or she most likely has a stereotype attached to who he or she is. Sometimes, these assumptions are in fact true, but other times they are completely inaccurate. Many are…show more content…
The author points out what the standard black image is by mentioning, “Brown men in work-soiled khakis / stand with their mouths open, / arms crossed on their bellies / as if they themselves have always / wanted to attempt those bars” (1.10-14). These older men follow the stereotype of a hard-working black male by being some kind of laborers, but Derricotte points out the fact that they too wish they could play classical music. The point is, if these young black boys can do it, what is stopping these older men from doing so? Everyone has the ability to do great things and improve themselves, and race should not be a factor in determining what great things one can attain. Similarly, the main character in Karen Gershon’s poem “Race” does not meet his or her ethnic groups’ conventional expectations. In World War II, Adolf Hitler and his followers simply hated anyone that was unlike their own race, which they called the “Aryan” race. They believed everyone else was impure and specifically targeted Jewish people, whom they slaughtered millions of. In the poem, the speaker/main character is a survivor of the Holocaust who is narrating upon her return home. Even though she knew of or possibly witnessed all of the horrifying things that the Nazis did to people of her own Jewish race, the last two lines of the poem state that, “I will not make their
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