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I am a mixed-race person. My mother is German-Caucasian and my Dad is African American a.k.a “Black.” Like Frank Wu, I have a “foot in each culture” as well. I pretty much look Hispanic and have been asked if I was Mexican quite often so the stereotype I have experienced “You look like you can cook great Mexican dishes.” I’ll never forget that comment. I often like to ask people to guess where they think I’m from and almost nobody will say mixed or mulatto. I joke around with it and sometimes say I’m “Zebrish” which means black and white like a Zebra.
Stereotypes can have a negative effect. This is evident in the two doll experiments. Kenneth Clark from the past and the teen film maker Kiri Davis’ video “A Girl Like Me” in recent time. The black children were asked which doll is the “good” doll and which doll is the “nice” doll and most (15 out of 20 children) would point to the black doll as being the “negative” race. This must also have something to do with low self-esteem and identity from either their parents, media, or society.
I believe to improve understanding and positive communication among cultures, we should start in the home in how we teach and talk to our children and monitor what they see on television and other media entertainment. We need to let our children know and reassure them that they are valued members of society and that they can accomplish anything that they set their mind too. We should surround ourselves with positive people and associate with people who can also serve as positive role models. There is a saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” I also like Frank Wu’s quote in Audrey Fischer’s article “I believe that diversity, like democracy, is a process, not an outcome. It’s something that people should participate in, as they participate in a democratic society. Only together will we make good on the promise of a diverse democracy.” Everybody should do their share in trying to make the world a more diverse, peaceful and harmonious one.
Fischer, A. (2004, May/June). “A foot in each culture: Howard University law professor fights racial stereotypes.” Retrieved from http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0405-6/asian.html
Jandt, F. E. (02/2012). An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community, 7th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/97814522427…