By Segun Esan
Is there a stereotype of the African-American male? This question was put to international students at McDaniel College Budapest, as it was to college students in the US. The results make for an interesting comparison with statistical data and the personal experience of this reporter, a Nigerian studying in Budapest.
Fast, tall, loud, athletic, hair in cornrows, speaking in a different dialect were all stereotypes pronounced by students at a US college and recorded by Youtube contributor Inst322. Savage, violent, amazingly strong and not caring about right and wrong, are all attributes of the “black brute stereotype” recorded by Abagond, a New Yorker who blogs about African-American issues.
Is there some truth to any of these? Reports show that more than 44 percent of the total population of US prision inmates are African American and 1 in 20 are currently incarcerated, according to US Bureau of Justice Statistics. Research was conducted to determine the IQ among European-Americans, African-American and Asian-Americans. African-American came last having the lowest IQ average, according to the American Civil Rights Review.
A report by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard showed that only 43% percent of about 3 black male high school students graduated in 2005, with the rate for college graduates are even lower. With the Hiphop music industry growing daily, and having rappers like Nas, Notorious B.I.G, and 50 Cent (all former drug dealers) as the face of it, no wonder education seems unattractive to African American males says Lily Kun a Hungarian American. A look at some American sports such as basketball, and football, finds the majority of the players black. Young black males watching this all want to grow up to be like Lebron James and Terrell Owens says Richard Ross an African American student in McDaniel college.
Being black in Europe, meanwhile, has its own stereotype. This reporter has experienced a core of three. Black in Europe, you are assumed to play basketball and be good at it. When a black man steps on to a basketball court, every stops to see what the black guy will do. Black friends who know not a thing about basketball get the same attention. Being black in Europe means you must love hip-hop or - better still – be are a rapper yourself. This reporter loves hip hop but can`t rap. Some black friends dislike rap, but love soft rock, and, drum and bass. Lastly, being black in Europe means you smoke weed. Black males report people often approaching them to see if they had weed to sell, or to find out where it could be found. “I`ve never smoked weed before in my life,” is a response that is greeted by expressions of disbelief.