Dating Magazine

What Happen at the Market – A Lesson on Stereotyping

By Shauntee @shaunteebattie

What Happen at the Market – A Lesson on Stereotypingstereotypes 2

I believe I’ve written before about stereotyping or maybe I haven’t. My memory doesn’t always re-call everything I’ve written about. I learned 2 weeks ago that being stereotyped is not a good feeling. It certainly didn’t add any joy to my already long day. It’s just plain wrong! But at some point, I’ve been guilty of it. In fact, I think most of the world has at some point stereotyped someone whether good or bad. However, it’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re stereotyped by your own race. But then again, I’m guilty of that too.

Let’s rewind the time back 2 weeks, a few days before my brother left to go back to school from winter break. After I got off from work, we decided to go to my neighborhood mini-mart to grab a few items. My brother goes in the market first because he’s 19 and about 130 lbs. so he’s quicker at walking in deep snow then I. I came in behind him, grabbed a cart, and started looking for the items I needed. He sticks his items in my cart and tells me he’ll be in the truck. I get to the register and the young African-American cashier then asks me “did you see that guy who came in before you” I say “yes, why?” She then says “oh he scared me” and I say “really, how? She says “he walked in and didn’t say anything” That’s when it hit me that she thought my brother was in there to rob her. What other reason would she have to be scared? When I told her he was with me she had that …I feel so damn silly look…

My first reaction was to damn her to hell and ask for her Manager. Mainly, because it was my little brother she was stereotyping and not some random black kid off the street. It was my little brother who I knew was a good kid with good grades who wouldn’t dare bother anyone. However, I didn’t say anything and as I thought about it, I realized that it didn’t feel too good to have my baby stereotyped. I couldn’t say anything because I was guilty of it myself. I am guilty of locking my car door when I see an African-American male walk by in not so nice neighborhoods. I’m guilty of holding my purse tight when walking down the street, and lastly, I’m guilty of crossing streets and going in different directions when shopping downtown and noticing a gang of African-American men close by. I can hear my sister saying to me “clutch yo pearls honey” in certain areas. That makes me no better than the girl behind the cash register!

Being from an urban neighborhood myself, I know that there’s a difference between stereotyping and being street smart.

There are some behaviors that are learned. While others are adapted over a certain period of time; and then there’s the behavior we adapt because of our surroundings and experiences.

Has there ever been a time when you were guilty of stereotyping your own race? Has there ever been a time that you felt stereotyped?

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