Stereo Stereotyping

Learning | July 14, 2015

(I attend a post-high-school overseas program at a Jewish religious school in Israel. The student body is mostly American, with a small British contingent of six students. On this particular morning, I have attended morning prayers elsewhere two hours early, which allows me to sleep in while everyone else is praying. I wake up to discover a kerfuffle has broken out.)

Me: “What’s going on?”

British Student #1: “You mean you don’t know?”

Me: “I just woke up. Why’s everyone yelling at each other?”

British Student #1: “[British Student #2] led the prayers this morning and added a prayer for the Queen, and the Americans got all upset about it.”

Me: *confused* “Why’d he do that?”

British Student #1: “I don’t know! And everybody is yelling at us as if we were all in on it. None of the rest of us agreed with him; we thought it was stupid. We’re trying to tell the Americans that, but they don’t believe us.”

British Student #3: *jumps between us and yells in my face* “The trouble with you Americans is that you’re always stereotyping other people!”

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