Viewpoint: Stereotyping Is Always the Easy Way to Avoid Thinking

The hills outside of Austin are lush and building is ongoing.

Receiving a bachelor’s degree in sociology is generally not conducive to receiving job offers upon graduation. But the courses that this editor took, including one on racism and stereotyping provided and continue to provide insight.

A family member, who used to live in Culver City wanted me to visit her at an Austin suburb over the July 4 holiday.

Texas Heat versus cooler weather in Pacific Palisades: I haven’t missed a Palisades July 4th in decades: but finally, family always wins over weather.

This editor shared with a few Palisadians that I would be in Texas, and the responses were straight out of textbook stereotyping: those Texans are all gun-toting, Trump-loving Neanderthals that walk with knuckles on the ground.

People stereotype because it is easier than actually investigating the truth—and by putting others down, it makes one feel superior, better about oneself.

The Texas town I visit has beautiful well-kept roads, unlike Temescal Canyon and Sunset Boulevard—and even Radcliffe, where a tree root has gotten so large, it serves as a de facto speed hump.

Near my daughter’s home, there are lots of walking paths, a community swimming pool ($5 a swim, versus twice that much in the Palisades), a Gold’s gym ($35 a month for membership), a variety of interesting restaurants, bookstores, Whole Foods and H.E.B. (an amazing grocery store), and a vibrant library with a volunteer-run bookstore that accepts Venmo.

I’m sorry I’m missing this library program on Thursday called Great Decisions Discussion Series: Economic Warfare: “Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures from implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, economic warfare has been the main means for the west to challenge Russia. How effective will these sanctions be at convincing Russia to cease its war?

“This Great Decisions discussion will be facilitated by Gabriel Noronha. Noronha is the Executive Director of Polaris National Security and is a fellow in the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. Previously, he served as Special Advisor for the Iran Action Group at the U.S. Department of State and worked as the Special Assistant for the Senate Armed Services Committee under Chairmen John McCain and Jim Inhofe. Noronha speaks and conducts research in Russian, Mandarin, and Spanish. All are invited to attend this in-person program. No registration is required.”

The libraries run an array of programs, including a book mobile.

Twice a month the community has a free “big-band” evening, when people can go to the park and hear music.

According to Department of Education, the National Assessment of Educational Progress and Ed Source, on the fourth-grade level, Texas was one of 29 states where mathematic was ranked significantly higher than California. Reading at Fourth Grade level was about the same in both states.

In a May 12 Opinion piece in the Daily News (“Ex-Californians Take Billions When They Leave”), top taxpayers in California, with an adjusted income of more than $500,000 accounted for 57.1 percent of the personal income tax collected by California. (This was about 1.9 percent of all returns filed. Even those here, who are making between $23,943 and $37,778, pay a four percent tax.)

Income tax returns filed in 2020 and 2021, show that more than 700,000 people left California and the top destination was Texas, “with 105,434 individuals relocating there.”

The article concluded “State policy makers should be deeply troubled by the fact that so many Californians who were willing to pay reasonable taxes for decent public services found that they have neither in California.”

People from California are also moving to Texas because housing is cheaper. My daughter was sharing a two-bedroom apartment in Culver City, complete with cockroaches, located about four blocks from that nasty encampment at the 405 Freeway underpass at Venice.

A homeless encampment is below the underpass at 405 and Venice Boulevard. Even though there has been funding generated for the homeless, nothing has changed over the past three years.

Every time she left the Palisades to go back to her apartment, I worried about her safety until she called to let me know she had arrived.

Her first apartment in the Austin area had a beautiful view of the hills and the trees, brand-new appliances and was in a gated community – and cheaper than what she paid here.

Texans, just like Palisadians worry about the plastic in the waterways—there was a well-organized clean up along the Gulf Coast.

Texas Monthly Magazine highlighted “The Best and Worse Legislators” and shock, there are actually Republican and Democrats listed on both sides.

Basically, it’s time to stop stereotyping. Think about trying compassion and being open-minded.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Viewpoint: Stereotyping Is Always the Easy Way to Avoid Thinking

  1. Robert Evans says:

    A former mayor of Austin once told me, “Austin is a blue dot in a red ocean.” It’s an extreme outlier in politics, culture, and education.

    Your article implies, incorrectly, that Austin is somehow representative of much of Texas.

    Please spend some time in a deep red part of Texas and report back on the culture you find there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *