I was recently stunned by the level of anxiety modern American students experience when it comes to the concept of stereotypes. How do twenty-first century twenty-somethings exist today without a guide book? I always considered a stereotype as an oversimplified, exaggerated, standardized image of a person or group of people. I did not realize that its meaning has morphed into an idea worthy of prison time, or even hell.
Thinking back to the days of Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger (the living creature pictured above on the right, next to his companion of equal value that he enslaved before PETA was formed), American society was really screwed up. For example, in his attempts to fight for justice, he frequently walked into banks and sheriff’s offices only to be met at gun point. He was constantly forced to explain himself, which undoubtedly triggered COPD in his later years. Everyone in the Stone Age (c. 1955) should have known the Lone Ranger was simply a non-violent eccentric individual who should have been seen as nothing more than a colorless, genderless, atheist who chose to wear a mask in his free society.
No American should suffer such indignity. For example, if you are in a bank and a human being, male, female, or other, with a mask and a gun, walks up to an under-paid teller, don’t give it a second thought. There is no danger. Don’t be a paranoid, arrogant fool. If a little touch of insecurity sets in despite your therapy lessons, just peek outside the bank. If you spot a faithful companion with the complexion of a Washington football team logo, you should be okay. Lumping together all masked men with weapons into a stereotype is ignorant.
Let’s take it a step further, just to make sure we are all on the same page, even though in life there is only one page for individuals. Suppose on a rare occasion, someone is lying on the bank floor recovering from a gunshot wound, and you learn he was struck by a non-silver bullet. Do not immediately assume the victim is a werewolf if he survives. Such assumptions are stereotypes, which makes you ignorant. For example, if your boyfriend howls at the moon, cannot see his reflection in a mirror, forgets to shave, and cuts his fingernails infrequently, you should immediately plan for a surprise trip to London. So what if you lose your car keys in his back hair. You must learn to see the good in everyone.
In 2014, we are all the same. There are no differences among us at all. We look the same, have the same skills, and want the same lifestyles. We are all identical, which is what makes us individuals. Stereotyping is simply wrong. There are no women, men, white people, or black people. All Lawyers are honest folks who want only to help you in your time of need. Doctors still make house calls, even if they make a little less annual income. Never group people into a category. We are all citizens of the world. There are no divisions among us. There are no geographical boundaries. For example, Hawaii is Kenya.
So remember never to stereotype. We are the world. You should also practice what you preach. The next time you go out socially, don’t bug your spouse or significant other to accompany you. Take along a mirror. By the way, did you know the Spanish word for fool is “Tonto”?
. . .