Stereotyping Is The Past, But We Are The Future
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Stereotyping Is The Past, But We Are The Future

"We all use stereotypes, all the time, without knowing it. We have met the enemy of equality, and the enemy is us." - Paul 1998

Stereotyping Is The Past, But We Are The Future

Have you ever looked at someone you've never met before and immediately began to categorize them in your mind? Thinking that they're probably uneducated or weak, or maybe you just outright dismiss them as a person despite never even saying a word to them? Every day, we use stereotypes to make quick judgments about those around us, but these assumptions leave us with racist and bigoted remarks that we don't truly believe.

As human beings, we are constantly analyzing our surroundings and remembering these events without even realizing it. Research in cognitive neuroscience finds that as we grow up we are exposed to the stereotypes and prejudices of those around us, and we respond more frequently when we are constantly shown a certain group in a negative light. Over time this leads to the creation of our "unconscious bias."

Despite the fact that normally we would never refer to someone we don't know as dumb or weak, our minds are continuously inspecting those around us and labeling them due to our previous experiences. It's even been theorized that this negative information was essential to survival in ancient times, but the key here is that it's an ANCIENT thinking process.

While stereotypes are prevalent in today's society, it is important to remember what they are at their core. As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, a stereotype is a widely held but "fixed" and oversimplified image of a particular type of person or thing. However, many people take these stereotypes at face value while they're supposed to be "oversimplified" versions of reality.

Another study had found that people were quicker to press the "agree" button when given a generic "black" name and a negative adjective or when given a generic "white" name and a positive adjective. As these associations are shown so quickly on the screen, it allows for their inherent beliefs to shine through and provide accurate data for analysts. This study was done with people of various backgrounds and yet their reactions were similar across the board. These "oversimplifications" have left imprints in our mind, leading us to believe that black equals bad, and white equals good.

Over the years, the society around us has imposed these beliefs upon us that have made these stereotypes the norm, and it leaves these generalizations engrained within us despite them not being our conscious beliefs.

Although these stereotypes seem to be almost hardwired into our brains, it is still up to us as to how we utilize them.

It's up to us to be better than the society before us.

It's up to us to try to lessen these stereotypes and lessen these bigoted thoughts throughout our lives.

It's up to us to stop looking at others through this lens that's been clouded with generations of prejudice and stereotyping.

It's up to us, but don't forget that "us" starts with "U."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Hittin' the Road Playlist

With the end of August approaching more quickly than many of us would like, the preparation for school is happening in more ways than just one.


The car is all packed. The money you saved (and didn't spend online) from your summer internship is secured quietly in your bank account. The immediate reunion with your long-distance college friends is set. The real question on everyone's minds is: do you have the perfect melody to jam to as you journey back to school? 

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments