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Read the following readings:
Myths and Realities
Please read the readings and then answer the following questions in your Discussion Post. Read my entry below for a sample. You do not need to limit your writing to American Indians in this Forum. There are myths and stereotypes about everyone and everything.
What challenges can myths and stereotypes create for American Indians and/or non-Indians?
What are the benefits of dispelling myths and stereotypes of ALL people?
Have you experienced any stereotypes in your own life?
All forums/Discussions require 1 original post and at least 2 replies. Write one original post of at least 250 words and reply to at least 2 other students with 100 words each post. It is best to put your word count at the end of your post to make sure you have enough words.
My original writing (Fall 2015)
The challenges created by myths and stereotypes include fear and arrogance induced by ignorance. What I understand from Saidâ€™s book is that people are afraid of what they do not know or understand. If the masses have only heard the stereotypes about someone or a group of peoples, they are more likely to mobilize in fear of the unknown. The benefits of dispelling myths and stereotypes are numerous. After reading the portions of Orientalism and watching Saidâ€™s video, I believe that by dispelling myths, we as a society would better understand each otherâ€™s cultures and, therefore, be less likely to go to war for misunderstandings due to cultural differences. We are also more likely to understand the plight of other people if we know the realities as opposed to the myths that come from preconceived notions. I generally try not to form opinions about other people or cultures until I learn about them. In my own experience, I found that when I visited reservations in Nebraska with other college instructors, the Indians who we met had the idea that we were a group of white, Christian educators. There were about 25-30 people in the group and only a small handful of those were Christian. I then reflected on other times in my life that I have experienced other peopleâ€™s preconceived ideas about me just from my background. I was raised Jewish in Houston, Texas. I had not experienced prejudice against myself until I lived in Amarillo which is a much smaller and much less diverse city. I recall people who said, â€œYouâ€™re the first Jew Iâ€™ve ever metâ€, â€œJerry Seinfeld is so funny; are all Jews like that?â€, â€œYou must be richâ€ as well as â€œYou donâ€™t look Jewishâ€. Until that time, I had fought and demonstrated for other minorities to achieve equal rights and fair treatment as mandated by law, but I myself had never experienced it first hand. Prior to these experiences, I had earned my BA at University of Houston where I was active in the Jewish Student Organization. We would hold events with the Muslim Student Group and the Arab Student Group. We knew that in the world at large, Arabs and Jews were fighting daily, but we believed that if we tried to understand each other, we could dispel some of the myths each group had about the other. I continue to carry my bag of hope that with understanding and acceptance of other cultures, we can build a better, healthier world for all cultures and peoples.