People have heard it all: black people love fried chicken and watermelon with a glass of red Kool-Aid, white people can’t dance, Asians are good at math but can’t drive, Italians have mafia ties and all gays can sew and do make-up.
All of these over-the-top, stereotypical descriptions have been portrayed in the media and was the subject of Eastern Michigan University’s Black People and Fried Chicken program held in the Village Wednesday by resident advisor Raven Gardiner.
The purpose of the talk, created by Village Graduate Hall Director Mya Richardson, was to openly tackle preconceived notions about various cultures and how it negatively affects those targeted.
All participants wrote out stereotypes that were then pulled from a bowl and read allowed; they were to respond by saying “ouch” if the statement was offensive.
The discussion brought on disagreements regarding racism, cultural privileges and discrimination, including the topic of illegal immigrants which irritated one female student of Mexican heritage.
“One thing that I find funny about this stereotype is that if you go back and look at the history, half of America was part of Mexico,” one student said. “So this whole argument, especially with Arizona, saying ‘these Mexicans should go back to Mexico,’ technically they’re in Mexico.”
Another topic discussed was people’s first impressions of the program’s posters, which portrayed an African-American male with sagging pants while holding a piece a chicken, displayed around the Village. This didn’t sit well with many people, particularly African-American students.
The event turned out to be the opposite of what they expected. For some it was good to discuss these stereotypes candidly with one another, for others it wasn’t proactive in eliminating discrimination on campus.
Attendee Brandon Britt was aware of the anger many people had about the event and the use of African-Americans as the main focus of stereotypes, but thought the event gave an opportunity for students to dissect and understand the meaning.
“I heard from a lot of people that were definitely upset,” Britt said. “Had it been put on by an RA that was not of African-American race, it definitely would’ve been more people that would take action towards it. I think that people actually knowing that it was put on by a black person, it eased a little bit of tension but not completely. The topic was great. I think there are a lot of stereotypes and biases that people have internally that need to be discussed and this was a good way to get those out in the open and see what people really thought about those issues.”
When Richardson created the event at her previous college, her purpose was to openly confront racial issues and although it upset many people as expected, she thrived to promote being vocal on serious matters.
“We opened up that outlet in many different venues, not only was it in each building on a strip of paper but it was online multiple times,” Richardson said. “And from that there was a Twitter threat towards Raven [Gardiner] of someone that was so upset about it but there was nobody that came to me or emailed me. They just came here and spread it all out. I’ve been called the n-word at a job before in Georgia; there were people with Confederate flags all around me all the time. So for me, I’ve always learned don’t make yourself the victim. Don’t do that.”
I'm 5'10 and 130 lbs yet all nearly all of their clothes ...
Monsanto calls the shots and makes record profits, ...
This is really interesting. The author has a very ...