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Bounce Wit Me - Stereotypes

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Lil Bow-Wow says "bounce wit me, bounce wit me." But hold on. An article reported that teachers might put you in special ed classes based on how you walk, talk or dress. And ya know what, that's not very special.

La Vonne Neal, an assistant professor of education at Southwestern University played tapes of White and Black teens both walking like geeks and getting their stroll on. She had teachers look at the tapes and rank them. The teachers rated the teens that swaggered as more aggressive and more stupid. When both teens walked with good posture and a straight head they were felt to be nicer. Go figure. You know and I know that you can't tell how smart someone is by how they walk.

But as your mothers have always told you, "first impressions are lasting ones". For most of us, the way we learn about other people - Black, White, Latino or Asian - is from how we think they are, based on stereotypes from movies, music or television.

How we think they are can make us react to them in a certain way. Think about it. Has it happened to you? You meet someone, size them up, make all kinds of assumptions about them, and then find out YOU WERE WRONG.

It's cool if you can still be friends, and ya know, you can live and learn from your mistakes. It is not cool, if they are denied a chance because of how they walk, talk, or look. Open your eyes at your school. Do you see people put down, or shut out because they are different? Are you smacked down because people really don't know you?

Here's what you do. Teach yourself to be open. It is bound to rub off on others. Don't stand by and let your friends or teachers or parents make stupid comments about something you know they have no idea about. Do the right thing and stop judging. Oh, and by the way - walk straight!

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