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The Affect Of Negative Stereotypes Of African Americans Ability To Be Regarded As Useful Contributors To Society

2427 words - 10 pages

Can we ever achieve perfect equality if there is never an even playing field from which we all get our start in life? If my appearance has any impact on my ability to be viewed as valued or trustworthy, is there any reason to even try to be more than what others have already determined of me? This documentation is intended to give an overview to a much deeper problem that plagues our societies; more importantly though, we will focus on the influence of stereotypes on the African-America. I will make the argument that stereotypes have had a dramatic impact on the ability for African-Americans to be viewed as valuable contributing resources/asset to all area such as the economy and society. God has called for an equal playing field for all His people, yet we still live as if one race is more important than the other. While Israel was chosen first, their selection was only to make us aware of who God was and why we needed a Savior. Not to make them better than us. Nevertheless, I will argue that racial stereotypes have had a powerful impact on the lives of African-Americans as it relates to how the world sees their worth in this modern day society.
So what is a stereotype and how is this concept applied to our lives? A stereotype can be described as something conforming to a fixed or general pattern. Especially a mental picture that is held in common by members of a group an that represents a oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment (Merriam-Webster, 2003). Stereotypes are often used as means for casting a negative shadow on a situation, but not all stereotypes are considered immoral or cruel. Our discussion centers on the study of Pathological Stereotypes, which are ideas about groups of people that exist to explain and justify inequalities (Williams, 2011). What a group thinks about another group has a lasting impact on the perceived lesser group.
Throughout the greater half of the twentieth century African-Americans have always been treated as the lesser race (Williams, 2011). During time of slavery, whites have been groomed to believe that blacks were responsible for disease and violence and that the color of their skin was a reflection of hopelessness. White children were instructed with the understanding that anyone that wasn’t white should be considered a lower form of life, almost to the level of animals. African-Americans on the other hand, have been prepared since slavery to accept these thoughts and in some cases even acknowledges them as gospel. But it goes even further than just appearance of the African-American. During slavery Blacks were only prepared to work in the undesirable job and in many cases they were encouraged to consider the low paying demoralizing work as a successful career. This all took place during a time when there was no freedom for the African-American, so some might expect these conditions to be customary.
However, we find that even today many African-Americans still are not...

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