Wong, Carol, Jacquelynne, Eccles (1198) argue that, it takes a lot of courage to stand tall and defend ones belief and values. He cited examples using several people like Martin Luther king who stood to fight racism and ethnicity in America. They further argue that, helloes must have faced several adversities on their way to prominence. They mention of Jesus who died n the cross for all people without discriminating the gender, race, ethnicity or age. Jesus was stereotyped but yet he stood firm to accomplish his mission here on earth. The study shows that, the Black Americans face several challenges in America including discrimination, stereotyping and prejudice. This paper is a combination of several ideas from different writers who have the common goal of exposing discrimination, stereotyping and effects of peer pressure.
The story “Be different” is written by John Elder Robison describing how he grew up with a condition that was not received well by these community members. His Asperger’s condition made him isolated socially even though he was intelligent (Elder Robison 195).At the age of forty, John had several coping strategies. He won jobs through his talents of toy making and rock bands, but John could not win the heart of his friends as well as authorities because of his condition (p.214). He was discriminated by his friends and society at large, but his myriad strategies helped him so much to deal with his condition. John inspires patient of Espergers condition and several other patients who are objects of discrimination and stereotyping. To be different from the rest of the society members and so them that the can do something despite their conditions. He shares his stories of his childhood, adolescence and youthful years. He inspires youths and adolescence to shun remorseful conditions and be different. He offers living examples to the Aspergians, and any one who feels so different from others, and who can not exploit his/her talents because of shying off from the people. He inspires people to develop strong communication and social skills that will enhance them to realize the full utilization of their personal talents and gifts. He argues that, being different is the ability to read other people’s minds and follow their actions when in a given social condition. Every person has some unique skills to give the world, and every person has the right and capacity to create friendship and family bonds ( ElderRobison 214).Malcolm X’s life also emulates that of John Elder Robison by exposing the theme of discrimination and stereotyping. In his story “my First conk”, Malcom X conks his hair in a style that depicts he is a whites. He seems to run a way from his typical race because of racism that mattered in his society (Wong, Carol, Jacquelynne, Eccles1198), and Arnold Sameroff. He wanted to be like his friends who in turn wanted to be like white men. At the end of the story, Malcolm X realizes how he betrayed his race by wanting to become a white man. He talks of how stupid and shameful he was when he conked his hair fro the first time. He repents of his previous mistakes. Malcolm X preaches another gospel at the end of the story where he said that, “he does not know which conk is greater either those placed on the heads of the black “middle class” or the “upper class” who think they are knowledgeable or those placed on the heads of the poorest black men and most down casted”. He likes those black men who kept their hair short and natural and stood hard to fight racism ( Rubin, Kenneth,William Bukowski & Brett 2011).
Amy tan in her story “Mother Tongue”, point of out a theme of discrimination that is brought about by racism and prejudice of the non American immigrants. She narrates that, her mother was an immigrants who could not speak English fluently. She argues that, the fact that her mother was not an American, she could not carry on her duties well. She was discriminated because she did not speak proper English. Amy tries to educate those people who are taken advantage of by others simply because they cannot speak the language of the land properly and they struggle so much to cope with the situation through social interactions. The story also inspires people who have strong intimate with their family members like Tan and her mother. Amy narrates, how she could peak calls on behave of her mother and pretend to be her to cover up her mother’s condition. She was embarrassed by her mother’s fractured English especially when she talked to the prominent people. Amy argues that, due to this broken English, he mother and her self did not get the respect they deserved like other people who spoke proper English. She narrates that, her mother’s English was embarrassing she used words and improper sentences such as “so mad he lie to m, so losing me money” but her daughter took the words and explains them to her audience. Amy narrates how her mother was embarrassed in the hospital after she was diagnosed with mild brain tumor. She was told that the doctors had misplaced her scan test results, meaning that she could not be treated any longer. She noticed that her English could not help her get the results so she insisted that she was not going to leave from the hospital if her daughter had not been called. When she was called, she spoke fluent English and the discrimination was lifted, results were found and the doctors apologized to Amy and her mother. The story is a practical example of racism and discrimination among American people; the English speakers and non Speakers, as well as the immigrants and the natives. Amy says that those people who do not speak proper English like her mother are not treated well in the society because they are seen not to be elegant enough. The story is an eye opener to the social discriminators, and to those people who openly judge others on the bases of their ethnicity, race and language. Such people misjudge the abilities and capacities of other people in the society.
A theme of discrimination and stereotyping is also illustrated by Brent Staples in his story “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space. He said that, “to remain a shadow--timid, but a survivor (”P.341). Meaning that, the society was provoking him but he could not fight back. He chose to develop means of survivor. Brent argues that he had to be an overall guard of his life in order to survive. His wide use of metaphors clearly shows the situations he was in, and how he was supposed to guard himself. He says that, he had become familiar with the language of fear (p.363). The imagery depicts a comfortable environment full of intimidations and stereotypes that makes him fear. He blames himself for being a criminal but comforts himself that he is a human being like any other and given the same situation everybody may act the same way (page 363-364).the film from the co-directors Dayton and Valerie Faris illustrate American stereotype where the grandpa Alan Arkin’s is not “going gentle about the goodnight” yet his love for the grandsons and daughter is genuine. The society members ridicule him due to his behaviors. Also in the film “Little Miss Sunshine” discrimination illustrated where two girls working in the Brooklyn restaurant. Their boss Mr. Lee is short, sexless and workaholic. He is ridiculed for the fractured English and failing to capture the culture of the American. One character in the episode Dennings' says that, “you cannot tell an Asian that he made a mistake rest he will fall on a sword” (p.231).in the film, the king argues that, "I'm gay. I put in gay stereotypes every week! I don't find it offensive.” () this statement in it self illustrate how the king responds to stereotype of his gender orientation. Keli coff argues that, beauty is defined by the first impression. According to him, he chose Lolo Jones has his favorite. He says that,” To be clear I am not calling Lolo Jones more attractive than her teammates, but according to traditional American standards of beauty, which are still largely defined as Eurocentric (aka whiter) she is”(p.231). he argues that, any one with Lolos characteristics and skin color are considered to be more beautiful than those with dark color. This is despite of the president and the first lady having a fine skin color. Regarding the above statements, blacks are discriminated in the pageant shows because of their skin color and it seems hard for them to win the competition. The study shows that, the financial advantage goes to those people with fare skin color. However, the subjective barriers have been broken by black American like Bolt, Ballack Obama, and many other United State black helloes.
In conclusion, stereotyping, discrimination and peer pressure are topics that have drawn attention to several writes. in this paper have been cited showing different styles but with a common goal of exposing racism, prejudice and discrimination. Malcolm X narrates how peer pressure led him into conking his hair to look like the white man, but he came to regret later and stood firm to fight for his race. John Elder encourages people especially the youths that no matter what situation that befall a person, he/she should strive to be different. Brent on the other hand teaches his audiences the tactics of survivor in the harsh conditions that are full of intimidations. Meaning that people should give a cold shoulder to the stereotypes aired on them, discrimination that they face and the peer pressure that accompany them and focus forward to winning the race of life.
Wong, Carol A., Jacquelynne S. Eccles, and Arnold Sameroff. "The influence of ethnic discrimination and ethnic identification on African American adolescents' school and socioemotional adjustment." Journal of personality 71.6 (2003): 1197-1232.
Rubin, Kenneth H, William M. Bukowski, and Brett P. Laursen. Handbook of Peer Interactions, Relationships, and Groups. New York: Guilford, 2011. Print.
John, Robison Elder. "Be different." Discrimination, stereotyping. crown publishers, 7 April 2012.
Malcolm X“My First Conk”. Discrimination, stereotyping, peer pressure: Real Essays with readings by Susan Anker: p.741
Dave Barry “The Ugly Truth about Beauty” Stereotyping, peer pressure: from Real Essays with readings by Susan Anker: p.787
Amy Tan “Mother Tongue” Stereotyping, discrimination :from Real Essays with readings by Susan Anker. p.751
Brent Staples “Just Walk on By: Black Men in Public Space: Discrimination, stereotyping
Little Miss Sunshine film: Stereotyping
Christina Aguilera. Beautiful song and video: Discrimination, stereotyping, peer pressure
2 Broke Girls: stereotyping on Han Lee TV episode
Keli Goff “Does the Media Pick On Pretty Women and Do You?” Stereotyping, discrimination