February 15, 2023 | | Leave a Comment

As I have mentioned before, I am from a primarily white, conservative, and Protestant town. The accepted concept of “otherness” in my hometown was anyone who did not fit in this box. In my high school, there were fewer than 10 people of color.

In my hometown, race was the main factor in “otherness”- if you weren’t white, even if you weren’t Anglo-Saxon, you were not accepted into the “group”. People in the group are seen as individuals, they have character traits outside of their stereotypical assigned race traits. However, anyone else but white people was seen as plurals. They had no identity besides being not white. For every negative thing that a Hispanic person did, a black person would be blamed- ignorance grouped everyone.

Seeing someone as a plural instead of an individual sets a person in a toxic mindset, and dehumanizes the “other”. This contributes to negative stereotypes, isolation, mental health issues, and racial tensions, and can eventually lead to war. If it is socially acceptable to see someone as this, then people believe their perceptions are accurate and continue this cycle of oppression.



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