The meaning of the stereotype of “ignorance” stigmatizing African Americans conveys the meaning of being uneducated and lacking knowledge that could even be considered common. It also encompasses the lack for desire display by black people to further improve effectiveness and efficiency of their performance. Ignorance when link to black people does not only mean lack of knowledge or education, more disturbingly the stereotype is used to describe how black people lack manners and ethics.
They are viewed as people with no future since the number of black people in jail exceeds the number of black people in universities and colleges. Blacks are considered unaware and uninformed because a glowing numbers of member of the group failed to enter schools. Another disturbing scene is that more black people, relatively young for their age, are seen in streets rather at their home. Instead of their parents and immediate family nurturing them and teaching them proper conducts and attitude, they, instead learn the “way of the streets”. This then lead to behaviors which the society deems as deviant.
On the other hand, the meaning of the word “ignorance” in the elderly sense conveys the meaning of elderly people being set in their ways, and being closed minded when it comes to oppositional opinions and so forth. It means lack of knowledge and awareness because the function of brain has slowed down as old age has cope up with this group of people. Unlike, black people where in the stereotype exist because of social factors, being ignorant in the old people group is due to biology and physiology. It is a process which is inevitable to human.
As the brain depreciates, elder people failed to recognize the right from wrong, their actions and thinking process are also slowed down. Thus old people became unaware of their actions and failed to adapt to criticisms and opinions by others. The second stereotype addressing African Americans is the word “dirty”. The context of this word is meant to convey that African American people are literally unsanitary due to the color of their skin, and their choice in residential areas to name a few respectively. It is a common notion that black people are poor people, thus areas where they lived are the suburbs and they don’t have descent houses.
This in return affects their appearances as toilets and bathrooms are not available for cleaning. Being dirty is also associated with the way black people dress. Most blacks are not well dressed and with the lack of proper attire and with their dark color which is viewed as “dirty” they are stereotyped as dirty people. The slavery which was common in early American History, also contributed why this stereotype exist. As a slave they are viewed to be dirty, because they do not practice personal hygiene due to time constraints.
Dirty in the elderly stereotypical sense portrays the elderly as unsanitary due to their fragility which causes the inability to take care of themselves therefore causing the inability to keep up with the hygienic regime. This stereotype is also an affect brought about by the slowing function of the human brain and the physical limitations the body had acquired. Unlike during their younger years the activities where in this group of people can participate have become limited. As a result of a weakening body and tiring muscles, activities that include personal hygiene are now taken for granted and by passed.
Cleaning process such as taking a bath is carefully done, since the actions could lead to colds and other forms of ailment. The third stereotype used for both groups is “unreliability”. In the African American sense, the word is used to connote the idea that unreliability stems from being lazy and unwilling to perform certain tasks. It is believed that black people are only interested in rap, hip hop, murders and theft. They are tied to all sorts of vices but when it comes to work and labor and sweating for a job, black people will not be available.
Unreliability also sticks because black people are not punctual with their time. They tend to be late and take the value of time for granted. Unreliability also arises from the notion that black people are ignorant. Since they lack formal schooling, they are viewed as incapable to accomplish things. They are viewed as unknowledgeable and thus only few trust them. Only a few have faith with them as whites viewed them as hopeless. In the elderly sense, the word is used to portray their physical inability to accomplish certain tasks because of their age.
Yes, unreliability to the group of old people is visible because of the limitation the body has set physically. Old people cannot be relied on to finish certain tasks especially those which require a great amount of physical strength. In fact, they need to be careful in doing things, because their life might be endangered and put at risk when accomplishing certain tasks. Unreliability in the elderly sense also mean unable to accomplish things that require mental activities. Sharpness of the human brain had fall way behind from what it was supposed to be.
There are lots of things that slipped past the memory of old people. They tend to forget things, reminders and important happenings and details due to the ageing of the brain. For this reason, elder people are taken for granted and viewed them as useless. Also the fourth stereotype used for both groups is “poor”. In both the elderly and African Americans, the content of this word has the same meaning of lacking a general and average income. First, let me discuss why black people do not possess a general income. The answer can be viewed from the above stereotypes that were discussed.
As stated from above, there are a glowing and in fact growing numbers of black people that failed to enter colleges. In order for someone to earn a descent job, one has first to graduate from school and earned a degree. How then can we expect black people to have a good paying job, if they failed even to enter high school? The tag that they are servants for the white people had also stick to them; as a result they are viewed as poor people which practice low life crimes. On the other hand, elder people do not have a consistent earning that comes from job salary because their prime has already gone.
They already lived their life and it’s appropriate for someone to take their place. Furthermore, they are now faced with the different problems encountered in ageing process such as weak body and tired mind that limits their skills and capabilities. They then relied to their family for their everyday needs as they are unable to engage in activities that would make them earn money. The connotation that they are poor does not only defines lack of money and resources but also it denotes how unfortunate they have become due to problems that come with old age.