Stereotypes of any sort are harmful, as they assert generalizations over a population. Humans, being as widely variable as they are, routinely defy stereotypes, making them misleading. As for the double standard, I suppose that national stereotypes aren't as offensive because they are becoming less relevant. The internet and other media are quickly bringing the people of the world together and creating a common culture, so a person from another country is no longer as unsettling and alien as they once were. The different ethnicities, however, don't appear to be homogenizing at any appreciable rate, so two persons of different ethnicities will seem just as "other" to eachother as they would have centuries ago. I believe that racism (and also xenophobia) is an instinctive reaction; an evolutionary adaptation to ensure we would feel no remorse for wiping out competing tribes back in our hunter-gatherer days. Since the different races are still pretty much just as "different" as they've always been, racism is still a serious problem that must be carefully avoided and discouraged. Since there is a bit of global cultural homogenization going on, xenophobia, on the other hand, will likely continue to diminish over time.
Racial stereotypes belittle people on the basis of appearance. Satire is a mirror into the soul, i.e., it is deeper than any form of bias; bias is natural in human beings, it should be actively opposed.
There is a reason to every sterotype, some times they are unfair and/or unjustified, but there is a reason behind them all.
Ethnical(I will not use race when speaking of humanity) may be even more unfair than national because we each ethnic group has their own ones and we can't see the others reasoning for them. As a european the way other ethnicities are stereotyped is largely result of the colonnial age when europe was technologically more advanced than rest of the world, thus giving a feeling of superiority.
Then again I don't think skin color should count for jackshit, after all Italians are often labeled in "White" category... As Berlusconi said himself "He has a nice tan.", he spoke of Obama, but from a north mans POV, Berlusconi was the tanned one .
But stereotypes in general are fun to use, and there's allways a reason why that one exists.
i think the problem is how discriminated against black people were in the past, whereas the only person who has ever maybe discriminated famously against countries was John Lenon, who wanted to get rid of 'em all (i know, frontiers not countries, but you get my drift).
different countries have beaten each other up so much that there is no real discrimination against one country to another, except countries that really hate each other, and i think you'll find that if you made some jokes about some countries in some other countries, it would be considered unacceptable.
I think it depends on the scope. If we were to talk about someone sipping a 40 and sitting on their stoop blasting Fiddy Cent as they collect benefits, we'd be bitched at for saying "Black people" do this. If we said "hood rats" do this, the number of people getting upset practically vanishes. Why? Because we've differentiated the subset of people from the group as a whole. Try to describe white people in redneck/bogan/chav/ned terms sometime, and the same thing happens - they get butthurt and say only he hicks do that - if you highlight you're talking about rednecks/bogans/chavs/neds from the start, no one gets upset. Same with cholos vs. Latinos, ABCDs vs. Indians, ricers/AZNs vs. East Asians etc. As long as you indicate you are not talking about the group as a whole, no one gets upset.
Nationality stereotypes are more acceptable because they're on the whole less negative. They're usually playing on cultural quirks - English politeness, rigid German discipline, Russian/Ukranian stoicism, etc. However, there are plenty - PLENTY - of national stereotypes that are offensive. Talk about a stupid Pole, Irish drunkard, violent Scot, lazy Italian etc. and you're going to take heat just the same as you'd take heat for talking about the thieving Gypo.
It all depends on the intent and scope of the stereotype and whether it is intended to poke fun at its target or whether it's intended to denigrate its target.
Stereotypes are bad because they generalize an entire group of people based on one arbitrary thing or other. They are also self-perpetuating, because people tend to internalize stereotypes about themselves, even if they are negative ones, and start to behave in ways that are "expected" of them. Stereotypes aren't really true as such, they're mostly a product of prejudices and confirmation bias.
GGordonSFeatured By OwnerDec 11, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Stereotypes are always pretty screwed up. What goes on when you shove someone into a category is you make them into an object. People are living beings and are infinitely complex, ignore that and you make a stereotype.
Probably because people have no choice in what race they are born as. It's the same reason why it's wrong to generalize people who are handicapped in a negative way, or even homosexuality (even though people only started caring about that in recent decades, before then it was OK to treat gays like shit and preach that they chose that lifestyle ).
Race, disabilities and sexual orientation are probably the only features someone can have and not have any control over, that's why it sucks to be generalized for something you don't do just because most others in your group do. Other aspects of life can be changed if the person is dedicated enough. If a person is tired of everyone assuming they are dumb just because they live in the country then they could always move into a more urban area if it bothered them that much. If a person got tired of stereotypes about being fat, then they could put down the burger and start exercising if it bothered them that much etc. But you can't expect a black person to stop being black, a gay person to stop being gay, or a disabled person to stop being in a wheelchair
Some people just get all riled up over nothing. Most stereotypes exist because they're true to some extent. Ok, so what if it doesn't apply to you; get over it. This world would be a heck of alot better if people didn't pitch a hissy fit over every little stupid thing that could even come close to hurting their feelings. People are idiots
I think one of the other commenters hit the nail on the head. Racial stereotypes are based on a skin color or birth that can't be reversed. If you're born white, you will remain white, barring some obsessive tanning.
Granted, many people from the same cultural background have been brought up with certain values and behaviors. But, it's not good to attach that generalization to each individual you meet. In the realm of politics, it's not right to pass laws pertaining to a certain racial group based on the idea that everyone of that racial group has some characteristic.
Also, a European making fun of European stereotypes does not have the same historical ties that American racial conflict has.
Most stereotypes are accurate at some level, from some perspective. A sterotypical republican is a christian, because christans tend to vote for the republicans. Stereotypes are in most instances not made up to mock people, they're made up to understand and cope with the world better. I assume most Arabic people are muslims (that's a stereotype) and that's why you won't see me serving pork chops to them when they're invited for dinner at my place.
i don't really think of those as stereotypes. isn't a stereotype more of a personality caricature? like, the young black guy who loves rap, wears baggy pants, uses "gangsta" slang words, plays around with a bunch of women. or, the asian nerd who can't pronounce english properly, is skinny, wears glasses, is socially awkward, makes good grades, thinks studying is fun, never goes on dates. or just simple assumptions like if you're a girl, you like gossiping. if you're overweight, you're a lazy slob. if you're rich, you're greedy and snobbish.
but the things you said are more reasonable and rational than what i said above- they're more like demographic statistics than "stereotypes." so i would say that stereotypes are bad and should be avoided, but reasonable expectations based on solid demographic statistics are not as bad. (although even that can be problematic sometimes. i'm not trying to say that it's ever okay to automatically ASSUME things about a person before you get to know them)
What you're doing is making assumptions about someone based on the colour of their skin. there's a good chance you'll be wrong. And even if you're not, they're not going to appreciate your methodology.
I see this argument every so often, and I can understand why people are tired of the political correctness in regards to "race."
But everyone knows how those stereotypes were used to control minorities, especially in the US. That history has been ingrained in the social DNA of every minority group. It is hard to forget those injustices in just a few decades when entire populations have been subjected to them for centuries. And if you happen to be a minority, you've seen that those hurtful stereotypes are still alive and well, and are doing damage in much more subtle ways that can still be felt.
Stereotypes can be defeated with things that make light of it, like in comedy. But we cannot rush the process when we are still haunted by those memories of past racial injustices based on stereotyping.