Racial stereotypes is a general representation of a given race/ethnic group, which comprises of exaggerated mental pictures that persist in a given racial group (Dominique p. 38). Different communities have different and unique characteristics, which gives a sense of ownership and identity towards their culture. Some of these stereotypes may be expressed as a sense of humor, which may be irritating to another race. Stereotypes have greatly affected different cultures in the aspect of attitude towards some races, marriages, political setup, and workplaces. Despite all the efforts aimed at reducing stereotypes, they are still very influential and racially dividing our society due to effect of culture and media.
Racial stereotypes in media tend to segregate different ethnicities by special characteristics, which define them (Powell p.89). Africans, Americans, Asians, Indians, and many other racial units are taken with a lot of misconception by the society which the media expounds greatly thus producing great effects of stereotypes. News, movies, newspapers, and magazines focus so much on the peculiar behaviors of different ethnicities to impress the audience. Accent, skin color, and cultural behaviors are the main aspects that define the origin and background of a given character. With the emphasis that the media exhibit on the same, it hinders the audience from detailed knowledge of that given ethnic group. This encourages them to overlook meaningful attributes to their characters and every individual in that race.
For instance, media have empowered the notion that blacks and Latinos are different from the rest of the American society, which the audience accepts. A few individuals in the media production induce most of the mistaken ideologies to people (Dominique p. 40). As a result, the cultural value decreases, and this makes the media continue focusing on the negative aspect of the minor cultures. The emphasis of the differences between the American culture and the minor cultures tends to initiate hatred and poor biculturalism. More so, media create false imagery, fantasy, and fiction which in to discrimination, oppression, and misunderstanding of different cultures.
In the American culture, the blacks have also been stereotypically viewed as lazy. Since the slave trade error, the notion was that blacks were unproductive unless whipped or being under the supervision. In combination with other stereotypes, it has resulted in the blacks being unjust and cruel in the American institutions. This stereotype persisted after the slave trade and spread through literature and ancient movies. Nevertheless, the notion of a lazy man with a soul, which came along in 1940s, later curbed it. The political culture in America was slowly and painfully transformed by ushering of new civil rights.
Racial stereotypes have also contributed to a great change in the economic culture of the civilized and uncivilized races. The civil rights movement’s simultaneous occurrence and the fight against poverty geared the poverty reduction for African-Americans and their fight for equality (Powell p.90). Nevertheless, discussions of policy work in the press and poverty arenas sometimes lead to false conclusions that poverty is a racial problem. The modern use of language such as black or Hispanic has also raised stereotypes and employed code words that let the audience recognize the group referred to without saying so.
In conclusion, many stereotypes have resulted into policy mainly without controversial remarks. This has led to racial stereotyping and race baiting in political discourse and allowing racial baggage to be tied to antipoverty programs. This may yield a positive or a negative effect on the political /economic culture of a given ethnic community. Racial stereotypes have a great negative impact on our society due to their inadequacy and bias. They hinder rational thinking and form a resistance to social diversity. They not only hinder the appreciation of cultural diversity in races but also stimulate racial and cultural conflicts, which is a great cause of racial discrimination.