Picture Source: Wikipedia
Racism and Othering: And why it's a problem by Jax Adler
In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, there is a boy with autism named Christopher who goes to hug a dog after the dog died. After the dog’s owner calls the police, Christopher has to go to the police station to be questioned because the woman thinks he killed the dog. Already people think he is aggressive because they think he killed the dog, but then the police officer grabs Christopher to put him in the police car, and Christopher hits the officer because he is scared. After that, everyone thinks he is even more aggressive than most autistic people.
See how I said more than most? That’s because already people think a person with autism are more aggressive than someone without it. And although obviously, some autistic people are aggressive, not all are. It’s like when people say that all Muslims are terrorists because a small minority of Muslim people are terrorists. Not all autistic people are aggressive. According to Ariane Zurcher from The Huffington Post, “So when those first news reports came out linking Asperger’s with the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as though this explained everything, it only took an unethical few to do tremendous damage to an entire population of people. Despite the fact that there is no link between a diagnosis of Asperger’s and violence. (Zurcher)” Even though there is no link between the two, people still want to think that the minority of those who have autism and are aggressive is the majority.
The same exact thing happens to so many different minorities. All black people are violent. Muslims are terrorists. Lesbians are too masculine. Gay people are too feminine. The list goes on and on. Stereotyping is a type of racism shown by saying that all of a certain race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other group of people are a certain thing. The one I hate the most is when people say that all black people are violent and criminals.