When an unknown person steals something from you, your brain immediately runs through all the possible suspects such as people you might have wronged in the past or those less fortunate than you who couldn’t afford to buy the item stolen. My mind decided on the latter. Was this a fair assumption? It’s hard to say…
My whole life I’ve grown up in a middle to upper middle class small suburban town. In the next town over, there’s a place people refer to as the west side. Very few white people inhabit the west side. Until recently, it was home to a large African American community. It has been slowly weeded out by Mexican and central American immigrants and has reached the point to where the signs and the names of stores are all in Spanish.
The West side can be considered lower class. Gangs violence, teen pregnancy, and heavy drug use is common. Many of the men stereotypically stand at the train station in the morning waiting for a contractor or landscaper to hire them for the day and the women marry young and work part time jobs while trying to raise the children.
Knowing all of this, it would make sense to assume a Mexican stole a pair of jeans and an ipod from my gym locker one day while I was at soccer practice. They maybe couldn’t afford an ipod and wanted another pair of jeans. It is wrong for me to make this assumption? There were many less fortunate students at my high school who were not Mexican at all but because the Mexicans have their own separate culture and community that is so unknown to many citizens in the town, they have become the blame for any wrong doings that go on at the school. Stolen items, vandalism, broken windows…we are all so quick to point a finger at them.