Having thought about it, I realize now that my last post on stereotypes was a politically correct cop-out. In actuality I feel that for better or worse, stereotypes are on average true. First, some common stereotypes:
Blacks: feel rhythms, musical, spiritual, sexual, athletic, easy going, intuitive
Whites: count rhythms, make bland food, punctual, organized, adventurous
Asians: mathematical, technologically innovative, quiet, precise, operate grocery stores and nail salons, high IQs
Hispanics: somewhat feel and somewhat count rhythms, festive, spiritual, sexual, affable, patriotic about Latin country of origin sporting country's flag, soccer fanatics, prefer blonds
Native Americans: look black, white, or Hispanic, proud, spiritual
Jews: entrepreneurial, scientific, assimilationist, upper-middle class
Arabs: good hygiene,
Notice how the black and Hispanic ones are similar? Being both spiritual and sexual is due to Afro-Diasporan religious tradition. The tradition still exists for black Americans through evangelism and Pentecostalism. Hispanics adapted to the beliefs unlike white Americans because of the larger number of African slaves in Latin America. Blacks and Hispanics are able to be both deeply spiritual and at the same time sexual because the religious path doesn't separate spirituality from sexuality, and while black American Protestantism does, the impulse still comes through in music and dance. Hispanic dances have both European and African qualities. The European aspect includes dancing in pairs, a male lead, repetitive steps, and complex turns. The African aspect includes colorful attire, energetic and sensual shaking, hand-held drums, the names of the dances, and a lively smile. Meanwhile notice how Whites and Asians share similar "stereotypes". Is it sheer coincidence then that blacks and Hispanics tend share a bond while whites and Asians tend to associate more closely with one another?
It appears then that cultures place a premium on time and calculation. Asians made and continue to produce the latest gagdets, but Europe has more economic prosperity because the stereotype of adventure and true. Chinese and Japanese civilizations never ventured out to other shores, because they knew they were the most technologically savvy and because they believed themselves to be the center of the world. Europeans with their proclivity for risky adventure, seized on the opportunity to adapt these technologies from the Asians.
People shy away from acknowledging the truth behind stereotypes because quite frankly, they hurt. No one wants to associate with the labels of lazy or unmotivated, much less unintelligent. But Dinesh D'Souza contends in The End of Racism that all we have to do is phrase the negative stereotypes positively and people will embrace them as truth. If instead of lazy we say laid-back, blacks will often agree. But besides that, what culture is perfect? If they are lazy individuals who presumably have good attributes and strengths, like for instance integrity, then why not groups? All cultures have their strengths and weaknesses and the world would be bankrupt in one way or another without each cultures' contributions. Organization and inventiveness are not worth a life bereft of music or spirit, and the best samba solo won't pay the bills. Both liberal need for colorblindness and conservative goal of individualistic perceptions reflect a psychological bias that makes white and Asian cultures inherently superior a deeply rooted inferiority complex on the part of blacks and Hispanics. If blacks have to see themselves as just as punctual then they're really saying that white is right. This same psychological bias creates the sad irony of Afrocentrists touting ancient Egypt as representative of "black greatness". Even though slaves were traded from the Western side of the continent, and Egyptians are hardly black, Afrocentrists and their ilk cleave ancient Egypt because it represents all they have been conditioned to believe is good and right with the world: money, inventions, and figures. They don't even have knowledge of Egyptian music. You would think that coming from a culture that puts such a heavy emphasis on music, they would pick an African country with a rich musical tradition like Nigeria or Ethiopia.