“All blondes lack intelligence.”
“All southerners say y’all.”
These statements are easily seen as stereotypes, but are they always that easy to differentiate?
Saturday morning all of MCS attended a hate crime prevention workshop. Although there was initial skepticism amongst the students, people really began to think once it began. At one point, statements from previous MCS students were used as examples. It hit home for some. How a simple statement, one often considered jokingly, could be so hurtful was astounding.
This workshop was serious and involved a fair amount of introspection. The group really seemed to take something away from the workshop—it wasn’t a solely temporary effect. The last activity we did really showed this.
All the students, faculty, and staff sat in a circle together and passed around a ball of string so that we all were holding a section—we were connected. A bag of beads was then passed around, with each person taking one as they said what they were going to do differently as a result of our discussion. Many said that they would think more before speaking, and that they would take it upon themselves to call out other people if they were saying something that could be hurtful than they realize. At the end we all walked away with our part of the circle and the bead—our resolutions.
– Tenaya Wilson-Charles, Veneta, OR