Hidden Past

December 2, 2009
America is known as the land of diversity. Many different cultures come here for different reasons. Some come for business, some for family, and some just to start over. What better country than the United States. This land of opportunity is abundant with offer to anyone and everyone. No matter who you are, you will be treated equally. Not the case.
I started working as soon as possible. I started so early, in fact, that I had to get a permit signed by my parents approving that I could work. This was to ensure I was responsible enough. One can learn a lot out in the work force. A first job is the first interaction with the real world; the unknown world. People I would never talk to were in front of me asking for my service. Whether it’s filling a glass, or recommending a new thrilling novel, I was being called upon. After a couple years, there are experiences I would never forget.
I started as a buss boy but that got boring so I switched to retail. I applied at a retail electronics store in the local area. After two weeks, I got the call. I was hired and the training began. The key point of anything retail is the sale. Any store across the country doesn’t care how they get it, as long as they get it. Many different techniques are used, and every store is a little different. The store I was just hired at used profiling. No one is longer treated equal. Stereotypes are introduced. To make a sale you have to relate to the customer. How do they feel about the product? Assumptions have to be made and the only way to assume is through stereotypes. Old people know nothing. Young people have to have the latest technology. Middle aged people have too much money to play around with. Men like to be in control. Women want things easy to use. Foreign people want the most for their money. All of these are forced into our heads. We’re brainwashed to sell, sell, and sell some more.
Profiling isn’t only used on the sales floor. We have a position named “loss prevention”. This person makes sure things aren’t stolen and that no merchandise leaves the store unpaid for. They stand next to the front entrance and view every single person that walks through the front door. At the moment customers walk in they are assessed. The loss prevention officer decides whether or not they will watch any suspicious looking characters. Inevitably the most commonly watched are blacks, Hispanics, or Indians. Racial profiling is their job. It doesn’t sound right, but when you boil it down, that’s what it is.
America is not equal, but neither is anywhere else. Stereotypes will never die. This world is paranoid of its inhabitants and the surroundings that appear around them. Everyone points the finger of blame before they have valid reasons. But all of this is for a reason. Things became this way from the past. Stealing, poverty, and vandalism have been increasing in our history. Everyone is on their toes, their eyes open wide with ears tuned in. Feelings of paranoia fill minds as they see the individuals cross their path. Our own government has to watch for terrorist and stay alert by one thing, looking at someone’s race and skin. Suicide bombings and other drastic events almost make this act acceptable.
Stereotypes are formed for reasons. They form because enough of a group or minority shows that characteristic. They can be good or bad or irrelevant at the time. Stereotypes do effect everyday situations whether it’s trying to shop and being watched, or being assisted better because stereotypically you have more money. Stereotypes can hurt or help; it’s the luck of the draw. They are controversial, but will never stop. The world has learned from the past and everyone is now judged before they say a word.





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