By: Megan Rickenbach
Whether it is done through social media or in the halls of the high school, everyone is guilty of judging others; sometimes we just can’t help it. By definition, a stereotype is a widely known and fixed idea of a particular type of person or thing. Every human being carries their own, society-branded stereotype- from our ethnicities to our tastes in music.
We have no way of knowing who people are, what they feel, or how they act just by looking at them. People pass judgement and make automatic assumptions on others solely by the way they speak or where they came from, even though no one can make that assumption based off of such miniscule things. It is their right to dress, act, think, and feel in any manner they please.
For the Semi-Virtual Book Club, we were asked to read a book titled “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. The novel takes a deeper look into the idea that where we live and the color of our skin dictates the group of people that we belong to, regardless of its accuracy. The book’s main character is a black female teenager named Starr Carter who deals with police brutality in her impoverished neighborhood. It deals with themes such as struggle, anger, devastation, and hope. This book enlightened me on how differently people are treated based off of things that shouldn’t matter. Race, where we come from, how we dress, and who we are related to shouldn’t be an issue.
I even see people being judgmental or stereotypical of one another in the halls. Someone will say something that they perceive as a joke about the other person’s race and ethnicity, however, the person receiving the “joke” doesn’t find it funny; it’s racist and deeply hurtful. You don’t know them or what they’ve been through, and you don’t know why they are the way they are. So, how could you possibly joke around with them if you don’t know them?
People are very quick to say things without thinking of the repercussions of their words. They say things without thinking and expect to always have their words held in high regard when, in fact, their words could hurt and wound without knowing. Think before you speak.
I believe that you cannot judge a person by who they are on the outside. You cannot judge people by how they dress. You cannot judge someone by the color of their skin because skin doesn’t have anything to do with the person on the inside. You cannot judge someone based off of how much money they have; they could wind up being one of the most generous people and not have a lot of money for themselves.
We are all the same on the inside. Blood, organs, a heart, thoughts, feelings, dreams, yet most of all, human. You are your own person, not a stereotype, so don’t stereotype others.