Classified

21 Apr

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Chinese people are rich, Muslims are terrorists, blonde girls are not very smart, being good in math makes you a nerd, wearing showy outfits automatically makes you a slut—the list goes on. What list am I talking about? The list of things that people brand others with; what we label people as when we see them. I am pretty sure that all of us—and I mean ALL of us—have made biased opinions on others before even getting the chance to get to them properly. Maybe due to past experiences, or perhaps because of our parents’ warnings that we make said judgments, but no matter how you think about it, how you look at it, it really is sad. Not knowing the story of another person, and yet formulating opinions about him or her that might not even be true. It is horrible to think that the world has been deduced to something to shallow, so superficial, that we end up assuming things without even knowing the whole truth.

I am not excluding myself from all this. In fact, I am pretty much as guilty as the next person. As sad as it sounds, I do not think people can help stereotyping others though. The reason why people do such things is because of their past experiences with the different kinds of people. Take for example: the people in the Philippines believe that Chinese people are rich. Obviously not all Chinese people are rich, but people cannot help thinking this because a lot of businesses here in the Philippines are ran by Chinese people (ex. Gokongwei, Henry Sy, etc.). I myself am Chinese. I have a number of friends who are Chinese. People every now and then, when they see us, say out loud “oh look, Chinese people. Bet you they are spoiled little rich kids.” Sometimes I feel a tinge of spite—of bitterness—in those words, and really, it hurts.

We hate what we do not understand. We do not know the truth behind certain things—behind certain people. The more we understand, the less likely we are to make irrational conclusions about others. You see someone, you do not like s/he looks or acts, you are turned off by the person. Once you get the chance to actually sit down and talk to said person, learning more about him/her, s/he suddenly does not seem so bad anymore. With that said, I would like to end this piece with a quote from my brother shared with me one night while we were eating supper, “to assume is to make and ASS out of U and ME.”

– Mishi Lim

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