Posts Tagged ‘categorise’

Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging.
Please get out of the new one
If you cant lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin

– Dylan

Wow, even the word ‘Stereotype’ begins by sounding aged… In a world full of digital everything “stereo” sounds so … analog. It might well now belong in the world of rotary phones, b&w movies, and your grandma’s candy jar that you just knew still contained a few old butterscotches from 1974.

My point is you can’t stereotype anyone, anymore. Not because it’s un-PC, but because you’ll likely be wrong. This idea for a rant struck me as I was writing my “about me” wordpress page. For instance, if I told you I am a fourth gen Texan (on both sides) you could probably start listing attributes that you think i would fit into, white, Christian, redneck, Bush voter, that I wear a cowboy hat and boots and yell yee-haaaaaw,  like NASCAR, longneck beer and riding horses.

On most of those assumptions you’d be dead wrong (although you got me on yelling yee-haaaaaw every chance I get). My point is, pick any noun that you know someone is e.g;  muslim, farmer, lesbian, golfer… and if you’re like most people you can picture in your mind a dozen attributes/categories that you would preconceive about them. And I’ll give you a Nancy Grace guarantee (not worth anything, btw) that you’ll be at least half wrong.

Now this rant of mine probably means nothing to the under 30 crowd, they grew up in a multi-cultural world with everyone connected to the internet tubes. But for those of us who grew up without cell-phones, microwaves, X-boxes, and our TV’s only showed cartoons on saturday mornings, this is quite the realization of something new that we’ll have to get used to… and it makes us, the formerly “new generation”, the gen-Xers… feel old.

But the exciting thought that gives me so much hope for the future is that this mindset of the next generation is virtually free of judgementalism, fear of differences, and by extension the worst ‘ism’ of all, racism. One of my grandchildren might well be an Allah-believing, soccer playing, republican-voting,  gay vegetarian.


…and I just hope he or she forgives Grandpa for being sooooo “stereotypical”.




Some books that might be of interest:

The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama


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