The Effects of Stereotypes on African Americans.

Cameron Miles    

Stereotypes exist within every culture. People are also so quick to judge a book by its cover without knowing the facts. As media has continued to grow and expand, its power to manipulate the public eye has also grown as well. Fear is also a huge factor in why stereotypes still exist. Sometimes people are afraid to step out of their own comfort zones. Even the police use stereotypes as well. Everyone uses stereotypes, sometimes it’s just done unconsciously.

          An example of stereotype being used would be exemplified in the Trayvon Martin case years back. George Zimmerman (A white man) saw an African American male walking with his hood up in a neighborhood where he felt they didn’t belong; and out of fear and ignorance, he shot Trayvon. Unfortunately, all the young African American male had on him was an ice tea and some skittles. Zimmerman assumed Trayvon was some type of gang member by the way he was dressed and the color of his skin. If Zimmerman wouldn’t have stereotyped Trayvon and just left him alone, he might still be alive today.  

Trayvon Martin

 Another situation where stereotype were used was in the recent Bow Wow story, where he and his ex-girlfriend were arrested allegedly for getting into a physical altercation. Little did the police know, Bow was not the aggressor, his ex was. Even though he had more physical bruises and scratches, because he was the man in the situation, a black man at that, he was looked at as the automatic aggressor due to pre- conceived notions by the police. It wasn’t till later on that the police found out from witnesses that the ex-girlfriend was in-fact the aggressor. Bow wow was released and his charges were dropped.

Bow Wow


Stereotypes are used in places of business as well. There was an incident in Missouri, where a local business accused three black males of theft. “The president of Nordstrom Rack has apologized in person to three African-American teenagers after they were falsely accused of stealing from a store in Missouri.”

In my opinion, if the employ’s stereotyped the boys as soon as they walked in the store. They saw them and saw three black kids up to no good. I think that people are ignorant to the fact that stereotypes don’t apply to everyone and those workers in the store were wrong, but at the same time,  they were ignorant as well, so in a way you cannot be mad at someone who acts off of something that they are ignorant about.

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