This reminds me of a scene from the movie “Crash”, which was a body of work that illustrated how stereotypes can be damaging. The scene was very similar to the one Staples described – a white woman avoiding the direction of two black men approaching her because she was fearful that they might rob her. True to their “calling”, the men robbed her. . Society might have ingrained in these black people how to behave, and they automatically do so even if they think and feel deep down inside it is offensively unfair. However, they play the role society expects them to. It is pathetic to realize that one can be held helpless against societal expectations. These circumstances divide people and turn them against each other.
Gray (n.p.) discusses why racial stereotyping is destructive to American society in general. First, it means communicates to the majority of Americans that the negative actions of a few minorities is generalized to the collective values of the whole minority community. This is usually felt by Black American lower to middle class people who are often adjudged as muggers or criminals. Another effect of stereotyping is that the stereotyped group begins to internalize such negative labels and actually mimic or act out the prejudiced behavior. This behavior becomes generalized as typical. The black men in the movie whose self-fulfilling prophecies ingrained by society were adjudged to be so as a people, are pushed to fulfil those prophecies such as being muggers or criminals.