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What positive African American stereotypes exist that AREN'T sexual?

 
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2021 10:03 am
Hi. I am just a bit curious about this. Are there any positive African American stereotypes that AREN'T sexual?

People think an African American male being well-endowed is a positive one and an African American female having a big butt is a positive one, but these are racist sexual stereotypes. I'm a Christian and I find these stereotypes offensive.

I went here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_African_Americans
I couldn't really find any positive ones that aren't sexual.

Please help. Thank you.
 
hightor
 
  5  
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2021 10:43 am
@JGoldman10,
Stereotypes are negative by nature, being simplistic, over-generalized, and dehumanizing.

Stereotypes are offensive to all thinking people.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 08:04 am
Stereotyping is a quick way of identifying group behaviour and it’s flawed. However, there is some truth in stereotypes or they would not exist. Not all stereotypes are negative, when teaching media one stereotype that is examined is that of the Indian chemist/pharmacist. The stereotype exists because there are a lot of Indian pharmacists about, and it is quite a positive one.

The problem lies with treating all people of a particular group as if they all behave in a particular way.

There’s some unconscious xenophobia in Mr Goldman’s question, why limit it to African Americans, what about other black people?

If he did he might be aware of another positive stereotype, that of the long distance runner. Kenyan runners often win the London marathon which is why the stereotype exists, but they’re not the only people who have won it.

Other black stereotypes are jazz musicians, either impoverished, addicted or both, but always talented.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 10:07 am
@JGoldman10,
I will answer your question straight with the caveats that stereotypes are just social constructs and that even "positive" stereotypes can have negative connotations...

I think there are several positive stereotypes of African Americans. I would include musical ability (rhythm and soul), ability to dance, food (soul food), and athletic ability.
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maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 10:43 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

Stereotypes are negative by nature, being simplistic, over-generalized, and dehumanizing.

Stereotypes are offensive to all thinking people.


This is incorrect. The use of stereotypes is a part of human nature and is an important trait for our functioning in society. Stereotype provide set templates for us to act in a way that is expected to other people in our environment. This is the way that social interactions act smoothly... without needing to dive deeply into the thoughts and needs of every person we encounter.

Stereotypes are a part of being human and is an important part of the way we relate to people around us. You couldn't function socially without them.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 10:53 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

If he did he might be aware of another positive stereotype, that of the long distance runner. Kenyan runners often win the London marathon which is why the stereotype exists, but they’re not the only people who have won it.


Yeah Ethiopians too.

Prior to 1986 the Boston Marathon did not award money for the winner - prior to 1986 the winners were from all over the world - it does not appear that one country dominated (other than a few runs here and there).

Since 1986 - there were only 6 winners that were not from either Kenya or Ethiopia so I would say that is a positive attribute of someone from one of these countries in particular. Their body make up and I would also surmise their climate, cultural and environment make them to be elite long distance runners. The prize money brought the Boston Marathon higher level of competition.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:14 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I think there are several positive stereotypes of African Americans. I would include musical ability (rhythm and soul), ability to dance, food (soul food), and athletic ability.

The trouble with these sorts of stereotypes is that they set up unrealistic expectations. There are many African Americans who aren't musical, don't have a sense of rhythm, eschew "soul food", and have limited athletic ability.
Quote:
The use of stereotypes is a part of human nature and is an important trait for our functioning in society.

That doesn't mean it's good. Suspicion of 'people who don't look like us' is part of human nature as well.
Quote:
Stereotype provide set templates for us to act in a way that is expected to other people in our environment.

You're inventing your own definition; let's look at a dictionary: "noun: a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image."
Quote:
This is the way that social interactions act smoothly... without needing to dive deeply into the thoughts and needs of every person we encounter.

Why not just accept people as individuals and grant them respect rather than automatically fit them into some societal box which might not be comfortable for them? For instance, izzy's example:
izzythepush wrote:
Other black stereotypes are jazz musicians, either impoverished, addicted or both, but always talented.

Black musicians in the classical field encounter this stereotype all the time, "What, you play a violin?" It gets old.
Quote:
You couldn't function socially without them.

You're referring to manners, social graces, and etiquette, not stereotypes.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:26 pm
@hightor,
I went on some online dates before I met my current girlfriend. I noticed that women were afraid of me. They didn't know me, other than what I said in my profile and that I was a man. And yet, they treated me as if I was a threat to their safety.

Many people see men they don't know as a threat to their safety (knowing nothing about them other than their gender, approximate age and general appearance).

Is this the example of a stereotype?
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:32 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Is this the example of a stereotype?

Not a good one. I would class it more as cautious behavior based on real stories about online dating. They wouldn't see you as a threat to their safety if you were working behind a counter at a hardware store or walking your dog in a park.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:33 pm
@hightor,
Ok... let's continue.

Many people see African Americans they don't know as a threat to their safety (knowing nothing about them other than their race, approximate age and general appearance).

Is this the example of a stereotype?
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:45 pm
@maxdancona,
Here you're stereotyping people who aren't African American as being "likely to fear black people they don't know"!

Negative stereotypes are definitely at work when it comes to racial prejudice but the two are really so intertwined that it's difficult (for me) to say which is the cause and which is the effect.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:52 pm
@hightor,
Yes I am stereotyping people... and I am arguing that it is impossible to live in society without stereotypes.

There are people who aren't African Americans who fear Black people they don't know. There are also people who aren't men who have the same fear for men they don't know.

Your use of the term "negative" is interesting. Can you explain what is the difference between a "negative" stereotype and a non-negative one? (I have some ideas of my own on this distinction).

I do believe that having stereotypes is important if you want to live in society.

izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:52 pm
@hightor,
I was trying to give examples of positive non sexual stereotypes, and the ones I gave certainly beat others that preceded them, like the frightened childlike simpleton in the Charlie Chan films or Mammy in Gone With The Wind or any number of criminals.

I wasn’t saying stereotyping was good but it does happen a lot and people need to be aware of it which is why it’s taught in schools.

When I was in America I was asked on more than one occasion if I knew someone from some place or other in the UK. What stereotype is that, the one where Britain is so tiny we all know each other or the one where Americans know nothing about Geography?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 12:57 pm
Trust your Gut!

Women are told to "trust their gut". I suspect that many men do as well, but it isn't as emphasized. This means that if someone you don't know about makes you nervous, you should treat them as a threat.

In any social circumstance with someone we don't know well we need to decide how much to trust them. If we don't provide some trust to some people, growing relationships becomes nearly impossible.

This is what a positive stereotype is... you seem like a decent person, I am going to let my guard down and be open to a friendship with you.
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Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 01:48 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

They didn't know me, other than what I said in my profile and that I was a man.


My question - what the h*ll did you say in your profile?!
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 01:59 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:


When I was in America I was asked on more than one occasion if I knew someone from some place or other in the UK. What stereotype is that, the one where Britain is so tiny we all know each other or the one where Americans know nothing about Geography?


Naw - people just ask stuff like that to try to see if you have something in common - like when someone heard I was from the Boston and they ask if you know Larry Bird - right - someone asked me that when I was in the Bahamas.
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hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 03:21 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
I was trying to give examples of positive non sexual stereotypes...

Yes, and they were good. I was just adding that, in the USA, "jazz musician" often has a slight onus to it, you know, like "Yeah, he plays ten incredible choruses over Cherokee changes at 300 bpm, leaves the bandstand to get a drink, says something gauche to a visiting Duchess and ends up spilling his drink down her blouse!"
Quote:
I wasn’t saying stereotyping was good...

I know that.
Quote:
...and people need to be aware of it which is why it’s taught in schools.

That's a really good idea. Along with the techniques of advertising.
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hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 03:41 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Can you explain what is the difference between a "negative" stereotype and a non-negative one?

Well it's obvious, isn't it? If I characterize people from a particular ethnic group as having unattractive traits that's a negative stereotype. Likewise, depicting all members of another ethnic group as remarkably talented is not negative. But relying on stereotypes and basing social behavior on stereotypes — negative or not — short circuits important rational functions and leads to social ills.
Quote:

I do believe that having stereotypes is important if you want to live in society.

I believe that recognizing them is important for the same reason.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 03:49 pm
@hightor,
Quote:
But relying on stereotypes and basing social behavior on stereotypes — negative or not — short circuits important rational functions and leads to social ills.


If you are a normal human being, you rely on stereotypes all of the time. Every time you have an intuition, or get a first impression of someone, or trust someone you don't know in a social interaction ... you are relying on stereotypes.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 04:25 pm
@maxdancona,
I think what hightor is trying to point out it - to recognize these stereotypes because although you may be going by intuition because of a stereotype you could be wrong...so one should recognize a stereotype and consider that intuition as a result carefully.

I was guilty (as I am sure everyone would be) of a stereotype. Taking the subway while being pregnant, I walk onto it - it is very crowded - I go to stand and there are all these business guys "hiding" behind their newspapers - by my experience (and stereotype) women are the rare ones that willingly go out of their way to offer up a seat.

Well the least expected person did so - a young black man dressed (without a better way to describe) as you would expect a young thug to dress, bangy jeans, messy looking and so forth ... and wouldn't you know he not only offered his seat but he was very kind and polite. Being a young man, dressed in what you consider thuglike, not to mention the color of his skin - all different negative stereotypes - show that if I believed these stereotypes I would have screamed bloody murder that he was about to steal something from me rather than just being a kind polite person.

And yes I seen plenty of persons that had a similar appearance as this young man - fulfill the stereotype plenty of times on the subway - doesn't mean that all that look and dress like him would act that way.

At least I believe this is what hightor is trying to get at.
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