As a middle class Caucasian girl that grew up in a primarily Caucasian community, it took me until now to realize how absent-minded and ignorant I have been. Until college, I was never exposed to true diversity. It took my being exposed to that extent of diversity to realize not only how racist and stereotypical others comments have been but also my own. It is absolutely not something I am proud of but it is a sign of how easily one can be absent-minded when surrounded by an absence of diversity.
Here are the stereotypes I am talking about;
If I say illegal immigrant, you think Mexicans.
If I say terrorist, you think Muslim.
If I say shootings or crime, you think African American.
If I say privileged, you think white.
There are ZERO statistics that can prove any of the above statements because they are all assumptions and stereotypes.
An illegal immigrant is ANYONE that comes illegally into our country. Between all the countries in this world, besides the United States and Mexico, the other races that illegally enter this country add up to a number significantly greater than the illegal immigrants that enter from Mexico.
Terrorism is defined as the use of violence in pursuit of political aims. Over the years, we have had MANY incidents that have involved MANY races and MANY religions not just Islamic and not just Muslims. I am aware these stereotypes originate from ISIS and because of 9/11 but holding it against everyone of that race of religion is hurtful and ignorant. Especially when you are judging it off the way they look or the way they dress.
Anyone can shoot a gun, anyone can murder. Crime is not limited to the African American population, there have been millions of shootings involving only Caucasians. I strongly believe this has a lot to do with media lately. The African American killing the Caucasian will be a lot more publicized than the Caucasian killing the African American and that fact alone is sad. A life is a life no matter the color of your skin or who is behind the gun.
Looking back on how oblivious I was, it is sad. To those of you not exposed to diversity please take a second to think about everything that was just said before making another racist comment or stereotyping a race or religion. When not exposed to other races and cultures it is very easy to be small minded and make comments regarding others when they are not around, but it is not fair to them. It is not fair to judge someone off the color of their skin. It is not fair to try to judge someone because of the religion they associate with.
While getting used to the diversity around me I also had to get used to the stereotypes against me. I was told numerous times during class discussions about racism that I didn’t understand because I am “A privileged white girl”. When my stance is that everyone is equal why is it okay to stereotype against me? That is one thing that needs to seriously change, if you witness an act of racism DO NOT start stereotyping that race, we DO NOT all have the same point of views. Everyone has their own mind, own point of view, and own ideas that DOES NOT depend of the color of their skin.
All lives matter and all lives deserve your respect.