Stereotyping Essay, Research Paper
I stereotype. I think everyone does. Anyone who says that when they automatically think “hoodlum” when they see a teenager wearing baggy clothing and listening to rap music is lying. I do that myself. People do not do that on purpose, I think it has become human nature. Due to my nasal piercing and my style of dress, not a day goes by that I do not get some dirty look. I pretend not to notice their disapproving glances, but I know that they are there. I was at a party in Sacramento once. A rave party, one of those underground get togethers that people associate with loud electronic music and thousands of drug-induced teenagers. While at this party in, I was wearing the usual obscenely baggy jeans, baggy sweatshirt, and a baseball cap turned to the side. I needed to use the bathroom, but to get to it, I had to walk past a barricade of cops eyeing each one. Figuring I had nothing to worry about, I walked right through, looking everyone in the eye, thinking that eye contact would let him or her knows that I had nothing to hide. In the bathroom I found a friend who did not know her limit. She was dressed well, looked like your average college student. She had a Cal State sweatshirt on and jeans that fit, her blond hair stopping at her shoulders. She said she needed help walking out because she had done a little too much of something she shouldn t have and wanted to be sure that she could walk straight. The minute I walked out I spot her boyfriend who had this look on his face as if he had seen a ghost. What he had seen was a couple of police officers headed my way. He grabbed his girlfriend’s arm and pulled her to safety just when the cops grabbed mine. They didn’t grab my friend, the intoxicated one. They grabbed me, the sober one. They pulled me aside, accused me of being a drug dealer, they searched my bag, and called in a female cop to pat me down, and tried to tell me they saw me dealing drugs when I was standing in line. They did not find anything on me because there was nothing to be found, so they let me go and told me to go home. I was not the only one they had harassed. I found out later that they did it to eight other people. Five blacks, two Hispanics, and a white kid. The white kid was the only one that they found drugs on. He was let off.
I have come to accept the fact that stereotyping will never end. I can live with that. It is not something that keeps me from sleeping at night. It is one of those things that if you deal with everyday, you eventually become accustomed to it and it no longer bothers you. But you should realize that things are not always what they seem.