The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Strong stereotypes deepen culture shock in U.S.

Viewpoint by Kirsten Mahon/nw/multimedia editor

Skin color does not represent personality.

Most of us have shared sociological ideas since we were children, like the idea that girls are supposed to like pink and boys are supposed to like blue or all parents hate loud music with curse words.

These ideas seem harmless in the sense that they’ve never offended anyone. But when we get older, our ideas change because we learn more and the way we think and perceive each other should change and mature.

I’m a military brat with a European background. Most of my school days, I was the only black kid in class. My parents listened to Motown and oldies on the radio, and my older brother, my role model, loved metal and rock music. Naturally, I grew up liking these things too. In British school, while I was picked on, I was never picked on for my skin color. My attitude and behavior stems from this background — music and stylistic taste have nothing to do with skin color. If it does, it’s not running as strong in other parts of the world.

The culture shock I experience in America, even as an American, is the judgment I receive mostly from other black people.

Only twice in my life has someone called me a name based on being black, and so the idea of blatant racism goes over my head a little bit. I just assumed the kids who tried to pick a fight with me were uneducated — it was the effort to hurt me that angered me.

I wondered if I were too self-absorbed to realize that I was the odd one out for my skin color not matching my lifestyle when I lived in England — I wasn’t. 

I am more disgusted today by the idea that the things I do each day affect the perception people have of me because it doesn’t “match” my skin color.

“Why do you sound white?” or “You dance like a white girl” and “She trying to be white” are all comments I hear frequently.

Now I have become more self-conscious since returning to the States.

We mirror each other in a free country, but we could break this mold. If we really are all different, then we should all act different.

Otherwise, we’ll create more stereotypes.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian