People are individuals – Stereotypes are false

gps comic

It is easy to say that because some people behave in similar ways we can stereotype them, but fundamentally people are individuals.

Every stereotype that some well-meaning person has told me has turned out to be false in my life. One of the first stereotypes I heard is that Mexican Americans are not as smart as white people and that’s why they had worse jobs and lived in worse neighborhoods. Is the garbage that some adults in the community where I grew up believed. I never believed that. What I saw were hardworking adults who with limited skills and money legally immigrated to the US to have a better standard of life. I knew the children of those adults since they were my classmates, and I saw how they struggled in school and I did what I could to help them. This is not to glorify me but rather I knew that they only wanted the same chance as the rest of us. To live a life where they could contribute to the community.

Another stereotype was when I moved to a big city. I was told big city people are mean and not caring like small town folks. This wasn’t true. When I moved to my first big city they were more welcoming and kind to me than my small-town folks ever were to me. Then when I moved to NYC that NY people are rude, and yet I found NYC people to be the kindest yet. They are more courteous in every experience I have had than in any other city I have lived in.

When I was younger I made the mistake of black-and-white thinking. I used to think that things could only be one thing or another. The truth is that everything is a mixture of helpful and unhelpful, socially useful and socially harmful. Nothing is pure and simple. Simple-minded people like to try to make things simple but they just aren’t that way in reality.

See also  The most important things don't seem to be teachable

For example, some people say that people are either biologically a man or a woman. They forget people who are both. There are people who have both Male/Female DNA and they are not less human or need to fit into your worldview. People exist outside of the binary of biological man or woman. Biologically every man starts out as a woman and still has some woman left in him, and every woman has some man in her. How about this? Woman with male DNA all female. This is a nice article that explains this: Sex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly Simplistic

Simple answers are wrong. Full stop.