Good stereotypes make good neighbors
Nice straightforward article on the value of stereotypes
by Ross Pomeroy. Nothing new or surprising. Most stereotypes are accurate. Forbidding all stereotypes prevents us from protecting ourselves, and prevents us from distinguishing the few inaccurate
generalizations from the many true ones.
Pomeroy's discussion of bad neighborhoods led me to a new thought via circuitous paths. Spokane's leftist establishment sees most of the city as a bad neighborhood,
which has always struck me as unjust. Look at any combox under any local news item, and you'll find scathing hatred for the 'North Side', comprising about 2/3 of the city's area and population. If you've never been here, you'd think everything north of the river was Compton. In fact the bad parts are small isolated islands,
and they're mainly on the East Side, both north and south. Trouble is, 'the East Side' isn't a named stereotype in Spokane. The southern part of the East Side counts as part of the supposedly nice 'South Hill', and the northern part of the East Side counts as part of the supposedly awful 'North Side'.
Recently I decided to stop fighting the anti-NorthSide bias. If it keeps rich assholes from moving into this part of town, then it's a protective fence. Rich assholes bring dishonesty, deviance, inequality and snobbery wherever they move.
Here's the new thought: I'm a social imbecile, with zero understanding of human strategies. If I can reach this conclusion about stereotypes after 63 years of slow dull thinking, it must be trivially and instantly obvious to people who know how to manipulate power. Thus it's highly likely that many inaccurate stereotypes are maintained because they protect someone who lives inside the stereotype.