Stereotypes In Human History

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Holocaust survivor Primo Levi once said, “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” Throughout history the many have followed the few, the powerful individuals have been able to manipulate our views and change our morals, no matter how flawed the ideals may be. Specifically, there have been instances of human history where an incompetent leader has been able to take advantage of human nature and direct misinformed populations to commit atrocities. For instance, during World War Two, Adolf Hitler convinced millions of Germans that the Jewish people were responsible for German hardships, this led to genocide…show more content…
Dr. Carl Hart wrote his memoir, High Price, to correct the false notion that African Americans were mainly criminals and drug dealers. Specifically, Hart describes his relationships with Caucasian people to show how mistaken they were over the subject. For instance, “They [the police] wanted me to participate in an impromptu one-man lineup, something that was notoriously unreliable … The whole thing was excruciatingly embarrassing, being conducted in the center of campus where any of my friends or colleagues could potentially have seen it … Like many blacks, I’d come to expect this sort of denial and minimization from white people”(Hart 246-247). In this situation, Dr. Hart describes his encounter with police and bystanders who assumed he was the perpetrator of a crime simply because he was African American. Further, this example displays how people can be convinced of certain stereotypes or generalizations without any actual evidence, as seen by the relation between Dr. Hart and the police. Thus, the in depth relationships within memoirs help convey the theme of humans being convinced or hypnotized or certain ideas, such as generalizations made about African American people in High Price, by Dr. Carl

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