Stereotypes of white people in the United States
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Stereotypes of white people in the United States are generalizations about the character and behavior of European Americans.
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In the United States, white people make up the majority of the nation's politicians, military leaders and corporate executives, while most minority groups have a smaller presence. Stereotypes of white people include the idea that they are "extremely self-involved, uneducated about people other than themselves, and are unable to understand the complicated ways in which people who are not white survive." Stemming from that is "white people problems," a concept similar to First World problems, where stereotypically self-involved white people obsess over trivialities.
Stereotypes of white people in general often reflect those of the "backward," "barely-educated" redneck sub-population. Stereotypes of rednecks include incest and inbreeding, abusing hard drugs like methamphetamine and watching NASCAR. Additionally, a common stereotype for white Americans is a love for the condiment mayonaisse.
Another stereotype is the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) stereotype of wealthy well-off whites. Even though there are only approximately , they hold a vast majority of spots on the billionaire list. Whites are, relative to other races in the United States and Europe, richer. However, only a small percentage of whites are truly wealthy in America, and many minorities and poorer whites believe a much larger percentage of white people, overall, are rich stereotypical WASPs. WASPs are stereotypically seen as condescending, arrogant, and unsavory rich people who show unaffected, silent disdain and disgust for lower classes and ethnic minorities as well as being exclusionary, close-minded and elitist. WASP stereotypes involve old money, Ivy League college educations, high income white collar office work in fields such as finance and law in ritzy downtown offices, large houses in exclusive neighborhoods or gated communities, country club memberships, and leisure activities like golf and yachting. The WASP stereotype also often collides with yuppie culture in a taste for the finer things in life and an unbridled love of shameless materialism in having the latest luxury cars, clothes, gadgets and living in pricey real estate from gentrified areas in world class American cities as well as spacious mansions in exclusive suburbs and exurbs.
Promoting his album White People Party Music, African American rapper Nick Cannon generated controversy by posting a series of hashtags on Twitter reflecting stereotypical white interests, such as farmer's markets, beer pong, cream cheese, kissing their pet dogs, and fist pumping.
Negative portrayals of specific groups of white people
As the social definition of "white people" has changed over the years, studies have shown that different races, ethnicities, and nationalities have different stereotypes of white people. Ethnic groups such as the Irish and Italians have been portrayed in popular media and culture in a negative fashion. White Hispanic and Latino Americans are often overlooked in the U.S. mass media and in general American social perceptions, where being "Hispanic or Latino" is often incorrectly given a racial value, usually mixed-race, such as Mestizo, while, in turn, are overrepresented and admired in the U.S. Hispanic mass media and social perceptions.
The dumb blonde is a popular-culture derogatory stereotype applied to blond-haired women, who are typically white. The archetypical "dumb blonde," while viewed as attractive and popular, has been portrayed as shallow, very promiscuous, as well as lacking in both common street-sense and academic intelligence, often to a comedic level. The dumb blonde stereotype is used in 'blonde jokes.'
Barbara Ellen Smith, a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech has written multiple books about Appalachia. She helped direct a documentary about the negative and repressive stereotypes about the people of this region. In an interview, she says: “Stereotypes are ugly. They do vicious cultural work and suggest that these people are not like us. We have nothing in common. And not only do we have nothing in common, but their behaviors and their traits are so deplorable that we don’t want to have anything in common with them. We need only make fun of them. We need only neglect them. We need only degrade them. That’s all they deserve. There’s a viciousness in that that is so inhumane and also justifies so much harm to the region and its people.”
- Acting white
- Angry white male
- List of terms for white people in non-Western cultures
- Stuff White People Like
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
- White trash
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