Thanks To Those Who Serve Despite Stereotyping

November 25th, 2011 | Categories: Role

Upon reflection about my Thanksgiving day yesterday, I decided there was still some thanking to do. In particular, I want to thank those who serve in the military or law enforcement in some capacity despite stereotyping. Of course all military and law enforcement deserve my thanks, but particularly I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge those who, rather than being thanked, may be overlooked or worse because of stereotyping. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was an example of this. Below I have provided another example. As you read it think of how hard it must be and how much commitment it must take to regularly risk your life despite hearing these kinds of stereotypes communicated. To those who suffer these communicated stereotypes, I thank you for your service.

From Anonymous:

“I had asked my supervisor MSgt if there was a possibility that we may be deployed to North Korea and another supervisor of mine SSgt interjected with the comment “You’ll be at home and we might confuse you with the enemy.” It was said in a humorous manner but I was quite offended with the comment and responded “Look at the slant of my eyes.” The initial reaction was of laughter to the whole room but they quickly changed the tone when I retaliated with my comment. . . . SSgt responded by keeping quiet and another supervisor interjected to stop the incident from further escalating. If we were not interrupted we might have engaged in a verbal argument which could result in disciplinary action. . . . [The stereotype] quickly ended our conversation and we did not interact after the incident. I was offended because I was miscategorized. . . . I was offended because he did not correctly identify my cultural background. Because I was associated as a North Korean, it can affect other people’s thoughts about my loyalty to my country or that they might trust me less because [they think] I am from that area.

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  1. Frances A. Shea
    November 25th, 2011 at 23:33

    All those “orientals” look alike to me!!!! Talk about stereotyping!!!! Will it ever change? It’s paying attention to what you are saying and thinking. An African-American friend of mine had always complained that she didn’t have any “booty” of which I commented that there was probably at lot of “white” in her and therefore no booty? Needless to say she was not happy with my comment because she identified with her black heritage and not her “whole” heritage.

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