Sometimes when I walk down the street, I’ll hear a car lock, or see women grabbing their purses when I walk by. Sometimes it doesn’t really faze me, but other times it really affects me. I think, “Really? Why did that happen? I’m wearing preppy clothes, I don’t look threatening. Do I have a sign over my head or something?” Even if I wore really low cut pants and a long hoodie, it shouldn’t make a difference.


I live in one of the neighborhoods people claim is dangerous
Even though I live in one of the neighborhoods that people claim is really dangerous, to me it’s not that dangerous because everyone really knows everyone. If someone’s having a barbecue the whole block knows and everyone prepares food and helps one another out. It’s more of a friendly family environment than one of those places people claim.


Don’t judge a book by its cover
Some stereotypes about violence are that Blacks and Latinos are the most violent due to physical appearance, language and education level. These are wrong. I’m pretty sure everyone knows “don’t judge a book by its cover.” You never know how someone got to where they are today.


People stereotype neighborhoods just like they stereotype people
I think that people stereotype neighborhoods just like they stereotype people. They stereotype neighborhoods just because of what they heard from their friend or just one person. Rumors spread and then other people start adding onto it and exaggerating it. They think that it’s dangerous and you’ll get shot the moment you walk on the street. You miss out on knowing someone new or hearing their point of view because everyone’s always so quick to judge and quick to say something. You never really get a chance to hear what others have to say.


People all over the world get things confused. For example, there are the stereotypes that all black people are violent, or that all Hispanics are gang members. I grew up around violent neighborhoods but I’m not violent. Violence varies from place to place and person to person.


In reality, crime happens everywhere
Whenever the news shows depictions of violence they always show a young male, either African American or Hispanic. That’s usually the only time we see them on TV, and as a result some people might use that as pseudo-proof that only those ethnic groups commit crimes. In reality, crime happens everywhere. There are people in all ethnic groups who commit crimes. The news should talk about positive things that are happening in communities where they usually cover crime.


I get a lot of looks when I go into certain stores
I get a lot of looks when I go into certain stores, because people think, “He can’t afford this because he is African American.” That shouldn’t really matter. Violence in general, when you look on the TV, and you go to the news station, it’s mostly this Black man went to court, this Black man has been shot, and things like that. It’s really crazy – just because of what a few people did doesn’t mean the whole race is like that.


You’re just looking at someone and determining that they’re dangerous
Someone told me that if you see someone walking by themself, you shouldn’t go near that person because they’re most likely dangerous. I don’t understand that. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they’ll cross the street if someone seems dangerous. I feel like that’s a stereotype. You’re just looking at someone and determining that they’re dangerous.