At the community level, the impacts of racism are felt in how the lives of people of color are portrayed by mainstream media and other public narratives. The behaviors of individuals are used to paint broad-stroke pictures of whole communities. One story stands in for the whole. Negative generalizations speak louder than a community’s strengths and are a deterrent to the building of strong community networks. The positive, generative and transformative stories are either left for communities of color to tell themselves, quietly without a bullhorn or stage, or simply erased.
Weaponized stereotypes can look like:
Media creating a singular definition of a person/people
Negative perceptions and expectations distorting positive realities
Isolation and segregation
Obsession with retribution
“Stereotypes like 'superpredators' have been used to drive harmful policies for decades.” —Design team member