Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. I once became a target of prejudice based on my race. This happened shortly after my arrival in the U.S.U.S. from Asia to pursue my bachelor’s degree. I was walking on a street in Washington, DC, with a friend, a U.S.U.S. citizen by birth. What baffled me was the way two young ladies were staring at me. At first, I thought they knew me or that they were confusing me for someone else. However, I later realized that this was not the case as one of them murmured, “look at that dwarf man.” This was about my height as I was p, probably much shorter than the average American man. It is then that one of them came and asked me “are you a Chines” Yes, I replied. She then began to measure how tall I was using a tape measure that she was carrying. Before she could finish her business, she burst into loud laughter and stated emphatically that I am an authentic Chinese.
The ladies’ comments came not because I am too short, but due to the notion and prejudice they have against the Chinese. They believe that all Chinese are short. They thus stereotype any Chinese they come across. This was not the end of the experience. After going back to the residential quarters where we lived, a young man came along and called me ‘a photocopy.’ It was so shocking because, at first, I thought he wanted to photocopy some of the papers he held in his hands. However, it was later that I realized that I was stereotyped. This is after a particular friend of mine who is an American told me that U.S.U.S. people consider anybody from China as a ‘photocopy’ since they perceive products from China not to be authentic.
Indeed, I felt terrible about all the incidences. This is so because the comments were all negative. For instance, how can someone be called a dwarf based solely on the belief that all Chinese nationals are short? Being short is natural, and no one, I believe, determined how black, white, fast, or tall they would be. However, all these are biological
“accidents” that no one chooses. Furthermore, being stereotyped as a ‘photocopy’ is not something good at all. This is because not all Chinese products are fake as the stereotype, I experienced in the U.S.U.S. suggests.