Brent Staples: A Psychological Aspects Of Racial Stereotypes

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On of the essential human abilities is the ability to judge. People judge other people by many factors such as race, gender, sexuality, political stance etc. People enjoy judging and, especially, they enjoy creating stereotypes. A psychological perquisite for forming stereotypes lies in the necessity of generalization of information about the people around. Following the stereotypes, one can simplify the whole picture of the world and make it more comprehensible. But very often the stereotypes appear to be too generalized or wrong. One of the crucial social issues in the United States is constant racial stereotyping of ethnic minorities, which leads to the emergence of such phenomena as racism and discrimination. Brent Staples in his essay…show more content…
Both Staples and Cofer are representatives of ethnic minorities; Staples is Afro American and Cofer is Latin American. They both are successful scholars and earned their Ph.D. after the years at the universities. Another thing, which also unites these two, is racial stereotypes. Taking into account the existing prejudices in American society in 1960-1970s, that was quite an exploit to get not only higher education but to become a Ph.D. and a valuable employee. Unfortunately, no matter how hard one from ethic minority tries to assert oneself in this world, he/she will be always misjudged from the perspective of racial stereotypes. Undoubtedly, Staples and Cofer behaved very calmly and with dignity due to their good breeding and education. What can really surprise a reader of those two works is an adequate reaction of both authors in the situations of offensive attitude to them. A life of an Afro American or Latin American in the United States, definitely, was never easy; being treated as a classical mugger or classical domestic demands a lot of patience self-control but it also came with experience. Staples admitted that “The fearsomeness mistakenly attributed to me in public places often has a perilous flavor” (836, paragraph 8) when he described the episode in the magazine office he was working for. It was partly natural that a tall, strong black guy as Staples was treated by the office manager as a burglar but at the same time judging a person only by his appearance and race and presuming him being a criminal with the foundation of his outlook is awfully

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