Countering Racist and Other Stereotyping

Anti-racism protest

We like to accent here resources for dealing with various forms of racism, sexism, and heterosexism (Creative Commons License photo credit: uwdigitalcollections). Leslie Aguilar has put together an important website and book that suggests various strategies for dealing with stereotyped and prejudiced commentaries and performances that you may encounter in your daily rounds.

The suggestions include responding to racist and other stereotyped comments from acquaintances or others with a simple reaction like, “ouch, that hurts” or “ouch, that stereotype hurts.” I have suggested similar modest counters such as, “what does that mean?” or “what did you mean by that?” Or “can you explain that joke to me?”

Such counters are important for several reasons, including the act of calling out the racist, sexist, or homophobic remark for what it is–that is noting the stereotyped image, notion, or emotion in such a remark and not letting it pass by unremarked upon. By calling it out, you often keep more such remarks from coming. Calling it out also may allow a further discussion about why that remark or joke hurt, and who was hurt. We need to build such actions into regular Stereotyping 101 and Racism 101 courses at all levels of U.S. schooling.

Try out his video preview here.


  1. Chelsea L.

    Stereotypes are constantly a part of peoples every day lives. They can be good and they can be bad, but what is the point of labeling someone before you know them or know what they think about things. If we all judged people based on what we heard about them or after we looked them up and down how would our society grow and be the best that it could be. Whether someone be homosexual or not, what does it matter? There is no reason that people have to treat someone different based on what their sexual preference may be, their sex, their gender, their religious views. Yet, people still will judge a book by its cover before really getting to the details or getting to know someone. How far would people get if they went up to someone and asked what their favorite color was and didn’t talk to them or made fun of them because it was different from their own. If people continue to judge and put stereotypes on people this world is going to go no where. Everyone is meant to do something or has something that they can contribute, but no one is going to want to help others or put themselves out there if they are always being judged. Over the years people have become more open to what people are interested in, but until everyone is aware of the problem and stops judging from the beginning the problem will always exist. No one is perfect and not one person is exactly like another. People need to see and recognize that and know that it’s okay.

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