Stereotyping Solutions


Prasiddh Chakraborty, Co-Managing Editor

High school is a jumbling mix of different kinds of people, all with different cultures and identities. Some cultures have completely different ways of social interaction and it often leads to different groups being developed. Although it may be difficult for people to blend when they are different, one thing we all must learn is to put apart differences and treat each other equally.

“My best friend and I didn’t have any classes together in school one year, but we did have lunch together. On the first day I saw her at lunch and went to go sit down with her. She had another friend at the table and I politely asked if it was alright for me to sit with them. In response, her friends disgustingly said no she is Indian, she can’t sit with us. I was shocked so I left,” junior Sinjini Bhattacharya said.

People often make assumptions based off one’s looks and culture. Too often people are rejected from groups only because of the stereotypes they believe are associated with a particular culture. Many fail to realize that stereotypes are basically rumors that have been spread around the world. Presuming a person’s behavior because of their culture without interacting with them is the root of discrimination among people.

“People thought I was super smart, but I wasn’t all that smart,” junior Jonathan Yap said. “ In general people didn’t regard me as an athlete when I joined tennis because I was Asian.”

While the issue of accepting one’s culture should be taken seriously, one also need learn to handle the receiving end of stereotypes appropriately. Identifying whether the comment is meant to be hurtful is crucial. Often friends joke around and if it is an especially close friend then just laugh along because it was not meant to hurt. If it is something that does seem to go far, then be honest and let the person know that their comment was inappropriate. On the other hand, if it is someone not close who makes a racially stereotypical comment, then ignore them for the time being and report the incident to the counselors.

“When people use racial stereotypes, it’s usually not used as a way to degrade or insult a person in any way. Even if it is, it’s often used by a close group of friends that are perfectly fine with that,” junior Charlemagne Wong said. “One of my closest friends uses the stereotypes to make fun of it playfully and I’m fine with that. In fact, I find it funny.”