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Racial Stereotyping

Racial Stereotyping, Rice Sandwich, Racial Identity


on 3 May 2012

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Transcript of Racial Stereotyping

By stereotyping, we believe that a person has characteristics and abilities that all members of that group possess. Stereotype:
a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people. This leads to placing people in a category and
having a prejudice attitude towards the group. For example:
White people do not have rhythm.
African-Americans are good at basketball.
All Asians know Kung-Fu.
Middle Easterners hate the United States.
Hispanics are illegal aliens. Racial stereotypes always seem to favor the race of the person saying the stereotype and belittles the other races. A Rice Sandwich” by Sandra Cisneros

The special kids, the ones who wear keys around their necks, get to eat in the canteen. The canteen! Even the name sounds important. And these kids at lunch time go there because their mothers aren’t home or home is too far to get to.

My home isn’t far but it’s not close either, and somehow I got it in my head one day to ask my mother to make me a sandwich and write a note to the principal so I could eat in the canteen too.

Oh no, she says, pointing the butter knife at me as if I’m starting trouble, no sir. Next thing you know everybody will be wanting a bag lunch – I’ll be up all night cutting bread into little triangles, this one with mayonnaise, this one with mustard, no pickles on mine, but mustard on one side please. You kids just like to invent more work for me. What were some of the stereotypes you saw in the video?

Do you believe these stereotypes to always be true? Why or Why not? In this video, name some examples of when a race is placing themselves above another and how they are belittling another race. Now we are going to read a story by Sandra Cisneros called 'A Rice Sandwich' outloud. Exit Slip:
When was the first time you realized people were of different races/ethnicities? http://youtu.be/fS3e-n8Mj7I My home isn’t far but it’s not close either, and somehow I got it in my head one day to ask my mother to make me a sandwich and write a note to the principal so I could eat in the canteen too. But Nenny says she doesn’t want to eat at school – ever – because she likes to go home with her best friend Gloria who lives across the schoolyard. Gloria’s mama has a big color T.V. and all they do is watch cartoons. Kiki and Carlos, on the other hand, are patrol boys. They don’t want to eat at school either. They like to stand out in the cold especially if it’s raining. They think suffering is good for you ever since they saw that movie 300 Spartans.

I’m no Spartan and hold up an anemic wrist to prove it. I can’t even blow up a balloon without getting dizzy. And besides, I know how to make my own lunch. If I ate at school there’d be less dishes to wash. You would see me less and less and like me better. Everyday at noon my chair would be empty. Where is my favorite daughter you would cry, and when I came home finally at three p.m. you would appreciate me. Okay, okay, my mother says after three days of this. And the following morning I get to go to school with my mother’s letter and a rice sandwich because we don’t have lunch meat.

Mondays or Fridays, it doesn’t matter, mornings always go by slow and this day especially. But lunchtime came finally and I got to get in line with the stay-at-school kids. Everything is fine until the nun who knows all the canteen kids by heart looks at me and says: You, who sent you here? And since I am shy, I don’t say anything, just hold out my hand with the letter. This is no good, she says, till Sister Superior gives the okay. Go upstairs and see her. So I went.
I had to wait for two kids in front of me to get hollered at, one because he did something in class, the other because he didn’t. My turn came and I stood in front of the big desk with holy pictures under the glass while the Sister Superior read my letter. It went like this:

Dear Sister Superior.

Please let Esperanza eat in the lunchroom because she lives

too far away and she gets tired. As you can see she is very skinny. I hope

to God she does not faint.

Thanking you,

Mrs. E. Cordero You don’t live far, she says. You live across the boulevard. That’s only four blocks. Not even. Three maybe. Three long blocks from here. I bet I can see your house from my window. Which one? Come here. Which one is your house?

And then she made me stand up on a box of books and point. That one? she said, pointing to a row of ugly three-flats, the ones raggedy men are ashamed to go into. Yes, I nodded even though I knew that wasn’t my house and I started to cry. I always cry when nuns yell at me, even if they’re not yelling.

Then she was sorry and said I could stay – just for today, not tomorrow or the day after – you go home. And I said yes and could I please have a Kleenex – I had to blow my nose.

In the canteen, which was nothing special, lots of boys and girls watched while I cried and ate my sandwich, the bread already greasy and the rice cold.
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