This document was written when I was in high school. I have little or no authority on this topic. Make of this what you will.
The recent terrorist attack on the United States has brought about an onslaught of Muslimism and Middle Eastern stereotyping. I have read about the increase of hate crimes targeted to people who are Muslim or look like they are from the Middle East. Americans are hurting other Americans because of this very large stereotype. Muslim people are frightened to go out in their own country because they think that people who are encountered on their trips to the grocery store, to places of religious worship, to school, to airports, to basically everyday places, will make rude remarks and gestures. Sometimes even physically abusing them. There was one local man who was assaulted by people while he was walking from a bus stop and then just left in a ditch. This kind of stereotype was also encountered during World War 2 where Japanese-Americans were put in concentration camps and were publicly assaulted verbally or physically. I think that this time around we will learn from our mistakes to not label these human beings as a threat to all society.
Another stereotype that has been around for much longer than the preceding one stated is that White people are better than Black people. This has been around since the first encounter between these two different cultures. It developed in to slavery and the mistreating of these people. Slavery was then abolished. The stereotype wasn’t gone. African-Americans and Africans were then denied their rights to vote for education and many more things. People started to loose this negative attribute, but not everyone. In the 20th century African-Americans were as strongly oppressed as they were in earlier generations. They had separate bathrooms, schools, jobs, housing developments, parts of town; the list goes on and on. Usually they got the worse of the two things. In the later part of the 20th century segregation was put away with. But not with out many hurt emotions and people. Humans were killed over this generalization. Even today there is a standing stereotype that African-Americans can’t learn, are stupid, are violent, are vulgar, are like animals and should be treated like one. I think that most young people have rejected this stereotype. We know that it is wrong and have no benefit from making a belief.
People with tattoos and body piercing are more threatening than other “normal” people. This is a stereotype that was birthed from TV shows, movies, books, magazines, newspapers and other forms of media and gossip. “These people might be affiliated with a bad group of people.” This is something that people think when they encounter members of this wrongly labeled group. They must be trying to express their individuality, think it’s cool, or just want to do it because it’s fun! If a cop was chasing a subject that was 6" 2" with brown hair and went in to a near by park and there was a person with tattoos and piercing and a person with out anything that resembled a tattoo or piercing that both fit the description, then the cop would probably choose the tattooed and pierced individual. The thing about this is that the arrested person might be innocent and the guilty party got away to commit more crimes all because of an assumption based on sight and nothing else. I’m sure people die every year directly or indirectly because of this. Sight has brought many other stereotypes like love at first sight and how rich a person is because of clothing.
One symbolic event of Blues Ain’t no Mockin Bird is when the people from the county just come trespassing on to Granny’s property with their camera whirring and feeling like they could do anything. This symbolizes the stereotype that all African-Americans can be pushed around and are inferior. This is not true because the men from the county utterly failed what they went to the farm to do.
A man from the county asks granny if she know about food stamps. I think that the man was expecting her to say yes because she is African-American and he thinks she has probably used food stamps because of a lack of money to buy food. She said nothing to the question. I think this says if one is asked a question that they think is racist or stereotypical in any way they should not answer it because it just brings you down to their level. If somebody took offense to the question the answer would probably be just as insulting and that would suck you to their level.
Also the parts when the photo shooters were standing in the garden of Granny Cain and didn’t care, but they cared about their camera when it was destroyed was symbolic. The message here was that all people in general only care about their own things and think nothing of others. Granny cared about the garden and only cared about the camera because it had recorded her and her surroundings with out consent. The county men cared about the camera but not about the garden. Also when the representatives from the county saw their camera broken they only cared about the film being preserved. And when Granddaddy says “This is our own place.” he is saying get off our property you trespassers and that the film better be unfixable because of your trespassing.