In my opinion, the three incidences on the bus, hotel, and the poetry reading all have one thing in common; a misguided misconception about Latino Women. The people who interact with Ortiz have the misconception that Latina women are uneducated, cheap, and only qualify to work in informal occupations such as waitressing cashiers. At the poetry reading event, one of the guests confuses Ortiz for the waiter and asks her to bring her drinks. This shows the influence of old myths and stereotypes on the lives of Latinos.
Cofer says that the different kinds of Latinas who are recognized by mainstream Anglo-American culture are Spanish people. Cofer makes observations about how people classify people like herself because she wants to clarify that people are too quick to judge other people based on their outward experiences and what they have heard about people who look in a certain way. Cofer tries to change the narrative with her writing because she hopes to eliminate stereotypes that continue to alienate people on lines of race and origin.
Contrary to expectation, Cofer reacts in a very calm and collected manner to the people who judge her based on her Latina roots. You would expect her to lash out in anger and confront their opponent, but on the contrary, she politely puts the other party in their place without disrespecting them. On the other hand, Mair reacts with a lot of emotions as she is hurt by the way people treat her because she is disabled. While Cofer is determined not to let their opponent but them down, Mair is hurt beyond measure. Both reactions are a manifestation of the extent to which gender stereotypes can affect how people treat their fellow human beings.
Without a doubt, in the past I have found myself in situations where I misjudged people based on something that I heard about them. However, this is not the case anymore. I realized that judging people based on the experiences of others is not right. Just as there are two sides to a coin, I prefer exploring and discovering these things by myself instead of relying on hearsay. I realize that fact that a person has a bad experience with a person does not necessarily mean that my experience will be bad. For instance, you can judge a person and conclude that a person is rich because they live in posh neighborhood or drive an expensive car, but the properties might not even belong to them in the real sense. It may seem hard, but I believe that we can live without making a perception about people.
By July 2016, white Americans comprised the majority of the racial population in the US. Latino and Hispanic comprise the biggest ethnic minority accounting for an estimated 18% of the total population. African Americans comprise the second biggest racial minority accounting for 13.4% of the total US population. It is estimated that by 2045, the white population will become minorities. I think this will affect how minorities are treated because the tables will have turned, and white people will be on the receiving end. They will experience the same racial discrimination Hispanics, Latinos, and African Americans do.
Staples describe himself as invisible in the presence of others. He also states that people see him in different lights. Staples talks at time people confuse him for a criminal when he is walking around the streets of New Work. He even mentions a scenario where we walked into a jewelry store, and the lady owner went to the back and came back with an enormous strainer. The lady judged him by his black appearance and thought he was a burglar. This has to do with the misconceptions that people have formed about people of color with regard to violence and insecurity.
Staples demonstrate that he has found himself in scenarios where his presence has put him in danger because he made other people uncomfortable. The last sentence talks about how hikers wear cowbells when they go land of bears. This is itself a paradox because, if his existence so threatens people, it beats the logic of walking around announcing your arrival if indeed you are a dangerous person who should be feared. It worth noting, Staples walks around humming because he is afraid for his safety, and humming eliminates the possibility of him being viewed as a burglar.
Staples reaction to the encounter he has had with racists by taking up measures such as walking the streets while humming to avoid being confused for a thief. Additionally, in some instances, she is forced to run away and hide with the multitudes to avoid confrontation. Baldin’s reaction to his encounter at the restaurant is clouded because he feels guilty that his friend had to lie to send the police in the wrong direction. He is also disturbed at the realization that he could have died and he was prepared to kill someone else. This shows that Staples was not as courageous as Baldin in standing up for himself that is why he hid, which shows that people during Baldin’s time were more woke and empowered to fight for their rights.
At the beginning of staples essay, I identified with the young woman described as walking down the street. She seems worried about a man who appears to be tracking her, and eventually she paces and disappears into the cross street as she is in fear. I identified with her because I can relate to the experience of other people, making me feel insecure. This scenario affects my reading of the rest of the texts as it helps me understand precisely what Staples was going through when he was accused of being a burglar.
Staples result in humming as we walk on the streets to minimize his chances of being labeled as a thief. Some people might argue that this action is not viable in reducing the fear that is eating him up inside because there is no assurance that by humming, he will not be seen as a thief. Despite his tactics chances are that people will still judge him based on his appearances, which is informed by stereotypes along racial lines.