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COLUMN: Stereotypes exist

Crystal Obiukwa

Issue date: 2/16/10 Section: Perspectives
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In our society there is a large assortment of negative stereotypes of not only the African American race but all races. They can be found in the most unusual and innocent places.

From the smiling Uncle Bens face on the rice box at your local grocery store to the curvy shape an physical features of the Aunt Jemima syrup bottle stereotypes are everywhere. Aunt Jemima is depicted as a plump, smiling, bright-eyed, African-American woman, originally wearing a kerchief over her hair. She represented a slave and was the most commonplace representation of the stereotypical mammy character.

The word "Aunt Jemima" is also sometimes used as a female version of the phrase "Uncle Tom" to refer to a black woman who is protective of the interests of whites. Surely the most obvious words that reflect racism are those like "nigger", "chink", "spic",etc but it is the more subtle words than signify the greatest depiction of hate.

Today racism is so structured into our lives it is sometimes overlooked or passed off as just pure ignorance of one ather than a shared outlook of an entire people. Language does not only include words, they reflect our societies attitudes and thinking towards one another.

Language is an integral part of our culture. when it is tainted with hidden meanings that symbolize hate it not only disgraces our culture but also the historians and educators from past generations that helped teach and spread the message of equality,peace,and love.

Although Jim Crow laws have been eliminated and pubic display of hate has been frowned upon there is still a silent, unspoken, and undying racism that is at times reflected in the most innocent ways through our language and lifestyles. It is important to look at patterns of racism rather than isolating each incident as if they are not related.When we study patterns of hate we can better understand where the feelings of hate stem from.

We can also better understand how to go about trying to change the views of those who feel that way.
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