The Cardinal

Breaking Barriers On Assumptions Against Hispanic People

Julieta Medina

Julieta Medina, Staff Writer

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Stereotypes are often based on one or a few obvious characteristics. These often lead to generalized assumptions of people. There are many stereotypical representations associated with people of Hispanic origin that are not always true. We are often portrayed as low income and undocumented immigrants. These stereotypes bring extreme negativity to how people view hispanics.  And frankly not many people have evidence to support these negative generalizations. Yes, some hispanics in the United States are illegal immigrants and yes, some are poor or have low incomes, but that doesn’t mean that all Hispanics fit under this category that people have created.

We are often viewed in a negative way due to these stereotypes. We are rarely seen for our successes such as being doctors, firefighters, police officers, and businesspeople. There are “1 in 3 Americans who believe half of the populations of Hispanics are undocumented,” says Sandra Lilley at NBC Latino. The fact is that in 2014 the percentage of undocumented Hispanics was three and a half percent of the population and 21 percent were low income or in poverty.

Recent candidate for the Presidential elections, Donald Trump, adds to these negative stereotypes by saying “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” He is contributing to these stereotypes by stating that Mexico is only sending Mexicans that are criminals and rapists. Although statistics do show that the amount of Hispanic people who have been arrested for any crime is less than 30 percent of the Hispanic population. Despite what he says we did not “bring crime.” Believe it or not crime was an existing factor before Mexico sent it’s “problematic” people. As for the part where he says “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.” If “sending their best” isn’t sending people such as Helen Rodriguez, Mario Molina, Jaime Escalante, and Salma Hayek aren’t the best, then I don’t know what is. Helen Rodriguez was the first Latina president of the American Public Health Association. James Escalante was a famous educator known for his dedication in teaching students at Griffith High School when no one else believed in them. Mario Molina was the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in elucidating the threat to the Earth’s ozone layer of chlorofluorocarbon gases. And Salma Hayek known for her acting skills was also a producer for several movies including the famous Frida Kahlo.

Stereotypes create negative assumptions about the way a certain group is viewed. Stereotypes about Hispanic people often times create a generalized assumption that we are undocumented immigrants and low income. They say these things without out evidentiary support, but statistics prove their assumptions wrong. The reality is that it isn’t just Hispanic people who have these negative stereotypes against them. There are many other cultures, religions, and sexual orientations that have stereotypes portraying them in a negative way. I believe everyone has an opinion, but other people’s opinions shouldn’t affect how you view the world around you.

 

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