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Racism, Stereotyping, or Racial Profiling?

Laura has an academic and personal interest in politics/ social issues. Her hubs are well researched and informative. Always entertaining.

Shadow for a Day


What you See Isn't Always What you Get-

Wouldn't it be amazing and a much more civilized world if we could only see one another in shadow? Growing up in a diverse community during the disco generation will always remain one of my greatest assets. Long before such phrases as Racial Profiling reared their heads after the incident of September 11,2011 stereotypes existed.

Stereotyping as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is: 1. A conventional over simplistic opinion or image. Is this not also a definition for Racial Profiling? Racial in the American heritage dictionary is defined as: 1. Determined by race 2.Between or among distinct human racial groups i.e. racial discrimination. American Heritage defines Profile or Profiling as: A brief biographical essay. If you marry the two words what do you get? A politically correct updated version of stereotyping? American Heritage defines Racism as 1.The belief that a particular race is superior to others. Where is the dividing-line for you?

Fear is the Common Denominator


Fear or rather fear of the unknown is a tool used by not only terrorists but by our own government. Fear and lack of true information about a specific person, place or thing is a slippery slope. Many Americans have and still do navigate through a ton of conflicting information on a daily basis. Having had a diverse community made up specifically of African American/Hispanic and Arabic descent was empowering to me growing up. As a young child,teenager then as an adult. I had the opportunity to read,Breathing-Books with a multitude of various covers. For this I owe a deep gratitude not only to my immediate family but to my former community as a whole.


Racism? Sterotyping? Racial profiling?

Listen to the children

The values, morals and impressions made on me while growing up were my seeds of change. Non-judgmental acceptance allowed those seeds to take root. A Caucasian female a minority in a diverse community for me equaled an opportunity to enrich my life. All of us co-existed in my old neighbor. Shared poverty made us color and culture blind. if one suffered injustice we all suffered injustice. We shared food, clothing, ideals and dreams. Our children played together regardless of skin color burka or braids. In bonding with each other discoveries were made. With discovery came the realization that there were no differences. Regardless of backgrounds,dress, religions at the core of each of us we shared the same fears,desires and ability to love.

As I've grown older I have come to believe that the enlightenment I had while living in my old neighborhood was a mirage. Now living in a area where closeted racism is the norm on both sides of the racial fence has me deeply troubled and concerned. What future are we leaving for our grandchildren. Are we going backwards into crosses burning on lawns and people of darker skin hanging from trees. It starts with burning and ends with burning as well. Closed borders and closed minds may not be the answers but may be the true death of change or hope for us all.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Leland Johnson from Midland MI on January 02, 2015:

Interesting hub. Where did you find that video? Surprising in this day and age.

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on February 22, 2013:

The best thing about my childhood was the diversity of my neighborhood-your kids are lucky-good parent (s?)-good neighborhood.

Lisa Stover from Pittsburgh PA on February 20, 2013:

Great hub! I am in tune with you, I live in a diverse area and I'm proud that my children will be surrounded by all types of people.

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on August 22, 2012:

Zera thank-you so much for giving my hub "a read," I like how you define the differences between the broader view of stereotyping versus profiling. For me literally (no pun intended) they are just words and what needs to change is an individual's reactions to anything they don't see staring back at them from their own distorted mirrors. In regards to our similarity in having grown-up in diverse communities as "the minority" I agree with you completely it allows for a much better way to view the world.

SotD and Zera on August 22, 2012:

I kind of disagree that stereotyping and racial profiling are the same. Like, stereotyping is a broader term that encompasses biased beliefs and expectations on more than just race. And racial profiling has the ominous overtones of being something official- something the law can do to put people in unearned boxes, not just your cranky neighbor who thinks all Asians are good at math or something.

I guess racial profiling is a type of stereotyping with official implications? But I do agree that they spring from the same root you identified- fear of the unknown and others manipulating that fear to their own ends.

Unrelated, but I smiled when I got to the description of your community growing up. I'm the same- white, female-seeming (actually agender but that's not really relevant here) and spent half my childhood in a very diverse community where that was the minority. It definitely creates a different (and for me as well, better) way to think about the world.


Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on April 04, 2012:

again I thank-you it means a great deal that a middle-ground solution needs to be enacted soon before it really gets out of hand in our society---maybe it is just being older or having seen this type of hype before (especially during election years.) Social media being what it is today really feeds the negative fire ---getting a more solution based ideology out there to counteract is extremely important to me.

jeanine on April 04, 2012:

Nice read... thx...

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 28, 2012:

Now that I will be definitely looking at. Unusual hubs allow me to better process the more socially depressing and political hubs I read here. When I hub-hop I always try to include several artists or photographers it helps keep my hope alive. Write on Michelle-I'll look forward to reading it.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 23, 2012:

Thanks, my next one will be weird. I am looking up the history of the illuminati, or something like that. Not sure yet.

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 23, 2012:

Michele-I was always taught "A writer has no choice but to write." put down the bat (aka quit beating up that inner-writer) I haven't read one of your Hubs yet that bored me or that didn't find at least something that made me go hmm.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 23, 2012:

I think I need to go back and write my usual hubs. That one has been up for days, no comments and only a few people even looked at it. Ok, scary things about religion and life after death...heavy sigh..

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 22, 2012:

Hey that is a must read for me any and all tips will be appreciated. many interviews no offers as of yet for me! Go for it.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 22, 2012:

I am trying to change some of my topics. Don't want to keep writing the same thing over, and over again. My newest one is " Way to get a job" Not sure if it will get any comments. But, at least I tried.

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 21, 2012:

Not a stay at home mother (which is the hardest job ever) but a stay at home writer-mother who just happens to get bored with house-work. Just keep those hubs coming Michelle I have learnt so much just by reading them.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 20, 2012:

lol, or bored stay at home mom.....who would rather do this then clean the house over and over and over

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 20, 2012:

To answer your question Michelle-No not at all and thank-you my Cyber Motivator-Mentor-Editor.

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 20, 2012:

Thank-you Rev Atkins. It really bothers me that diversity morphs itself into racism for some even now in 2012...sigh.

Rev. Akins from Tucson, AZ on March 19, 2012:

I grew up in a military town, so it was not unusual to see people from all over the world. It was culture shock to be in a place that is mostly white. I see those who tend to not travel, not be exposed to other cultures and people to be the most likely to have these kind of issues. Interesting hub, it is a good thought for some people to think on.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 19, 2012:

Oh, by the way I shared your hub. Hope you don't mind.

Laura Tykarski (author) from Pittsburgh PA on March 19, 2012:

ty Michelle will take a peek at your latest. Thanks for the motivation.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 16, 2012:

Great hub! I hope more read it because it makes a lot of sense. we are more racial then we have been in a long time, but we act as if we are not. But, we need to understand each other, because like the author of this hub told us, we live on one fragile planet. Just one, single fragile planet. Fantastic hub!

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