Not Helping A Stereotype


Before I talk about my incident that happened twelve years ago, I want to give a short background of where I live. I live outside Philadelphia in Villanova. My neighborhood consists of six houses with a cul-de-sac in the center and I know every person that lives there. Ironically, every household consists of families with kids around me and my siblings’ ages. Each family is Caucasian. It’s very rare to hear of a crime that happens in my neighborhood.

One day when I was ten years old I was playing basketball with one of my friends in my driveway. While we were playing, a very tall African American man came walking down the street towards the cul-de-sac. He was wearing a yellow jump suit. He looked very suspicious. As my friend and I were playing, we started hearing police sirens getting louder and louder. The man started running towards my neighbor’s house that was the last one at the end of the street. All of a sudden six cop cars came racing down to my cul-de-sac. The man stopped running for some reason and turned around and looked at the cops. Each cop got out of their cars with their guns drawn and told the man to lie face down on the street. Two cops went over to him and cuffed him. He was then put into the back of a police car. All of them drove off after they captured him.

This incident was like a scene right out of a movie. An African American man gets arrested in an all white neighborhood. It was very stereotypical. Why was he arrested? I have no idea. But this man must have been very dangerous.

It’s a fact that cops arrest more African Americans than Caucasians and I believe its because they stereotype. Just because someone is black, doesn’t mean they are doing something wrong. “White Man’s Burden” starring John Travolta is a movie about racism where blacks and whites reverse their culture roles. It points out all the stereotypes received by each race. What happened on my street could have been a scene in that movie. It fed into the stereotype that just because someone is black, there is more of a chance that they will commit a crime. Although this still happens, I believe that society has become better in not stereotyping as much. But the incident that happened on my street did not help in getting rid of the stereotype.


3 responses to “Not Helping A Stereotype

  1. I completely agree that policemen still stereotype. People in general still assume that black people are more dangerous in general because of their history of crime. I feel as though this stereotype isn’t going away for a while, until some sort of major event of change comes along. Racism is still a sensitive topic in America and I hope that the generations to come will respond to this in a more positive way.

  2. Bob the experience in your neighborhood sounds exactly like a scene out of a police movie. Law enforcement stereotyping is a huge elephant in the room and one that politicians have struggled to solve. You have to imagine how wild this scene would have been if the man were innocent…

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