Why Stereotypes Are True

I was talking to an old friend, and he said this…

“I’d use the word ‘data’ in sentences like ‘That’s a lot of ____’, or ‘Look at this ____’. But I’m hearing that that second sentence is wrong, and I should be saying ‘these data’; that just sounds foolish to me.”

The term “these data” is a little more awkward in the mouth (insert pun here). But I guess it makes sense if you’re talking about sets of data. Can data be pluralized? Or is it like sheep or deer or food. All the things I can eat are not pluralized…it’s a new diet.

There is a huge difference when you pluralize a race. For example, saying Chinese and China are two completely different things.  I hate Chinese food – acceptable.  I hate China food – mmm…not so much…

I stood out like a sore thumb because the room was filled with Chinese men.

I stood out like a sore thumb because the room was filled with China men and they were all looking at me because of my white skin, my round eyes and my natural, unspoken superiority.

Overkill?  Definitely.  But sometimes the things mis-said turn into things mis-heard.  And that makes everything mis-erable.

It’s crazy how people think they are so different because of their race.  Ignorance is kept alive by the unwillingness to accept that the other person may in fact be exactly like you.

Does it make OK when a single person generalizes a race even if they are that same race?  Like when one black guy makes a general statement about the black community.  Does the phrase, “We all know that black people are lazy” any different if a black guy says it than if a white guy says it?  I’m going with a definite yes.  Because one statement evokes laughter and the other one evokes anger.

Stereotypes are terrible, but they wouldn’t be around if there weren’t a lot of repeated incidents.  Obviously it doesn’t mean that they apply to everyone, because I’m not good at math and we all know that Asians are good at math.  But here are a few car stereotypes.  (Don’t hate me for these: they are merely observations.)

If you see a minivan with spinner hubcaps, it’s probably owned by a Mexican guy.

If you see a Celica, it probably belongs to an Asian.

If you see a lifted truck, then it’s probably owned by a White dude that is wearing an Affliction or Tapout shirt.

If you see a Jetta, it probably belongs to a hot girl.  And if you see a Jetta driving around really slow, it’s probably a hot girl texting.  The ultimate stereotype is a Jetta with it’s left blinker on in the fast lane fluctuating between 60-80 mph.  That’s probably a hot Asian girl texting who factored in her time to get from X to Y depending on traffic and weird driving habits.  Or there could just be an app for that…

That’s all for now.  I hope I didn’t offend any of you Chinamen.

Thanks for reading

-The Data Dietician


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