Monday, 17 August 2020

Professor Rogelio Lasso describes his experience as a part-black college student in Texas in 1969

I lived with a family friend from Panama. Roberto was blond, blue-eyed and had lived in the United States for years, so he spoke English without an accent. Soon after I arrived, Roberto asked me to join him and two of his white friends for dinner. At the restaurant, the waiter asked me where I was from. I answered, "Panama." He politely told me that although the restaurant was not integrated, he could serve me because I was not an American. He explained that the restaurant did not serve "Negroes or Mexicans," but since I was neither, I was "OK." I pointed out that I was part Black and Native American. "But you are a Panamanian," he patiently explained. "You are welcome to eat and drink here..
(cited in Green, 2008:409)

It has long been understood that when people encounter a person who differs from a previously held stereotype, they tend not to change the stereotype, but to create a new subtype to accommodate the exception. 
(Green, 2008:407) 
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- Green, T. (2008). Discomfort at work: Workplace assimilation demands and the Contact Hypothesis. North Carolina Law Review, 86(2), 379-440.
- photograph via