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Student Reporting Labs on misconceptions about race and culture

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs has been exploring how stereotypes are impacting young people as part of their “No Labels Attached” series. Our latest installment looks at what youth are saying about race, culture and the misconceptions they are facing.

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  • Alison Stewart:

    PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs explore stereotypes as part of their 'No Labels Attached' series. Today, we take a look at what young Americans are saying about race, culture and the misconceptions they face.

  • Yeshua, student:

    When I hear the word stereotype, I feel it's a word that like has, doesn't have a good aura around it. It makes me feel like upset when I hear it. I'm not going to judge you on what you look like or like, I'm going to judge you on like when I meet you. Like how you approach me.

  • Aloni, student:

    People assume that because of my race that I can't do things that white women do, like go to college, graduate from college, get a PhD, finish high school and have a career.

  • Brian, student:

    Whenever I go to the gym, people will be like, you run well for an Asian guy. And like this little tiny use of languages really affects how we view our world.

  • Raj, student:

    Being an Indian in a mostly American school, I've faced a couple of challenges. Many people assume things about me like I'm smart or I want to be a doctor, or I play things like chess, but I don't think my skin color is what defines me. I think it's important you get to know a person under their skin.

  • Cesar, student:

    (Translated from Spanish) There are people who simply look at you and think you're Hispanic and a gang member or you're involved in bad things. Drugs and stuff like that. But the truth is, it's nothing like that. Because you can't conclude who people are just based on where they come from unless you truly get to know them.

  • Sydney, student:

    I'm mixed and some people think that I'm supposed to be this exotic person. And really, I'm just American. I was born here. I like, live the same way as anybody else would.

  • Ariana, student:

    A lot of people assumed that because I'm African-American, I'm not smart. People will assume that I don't get A's on tests, I don't do my homework, I don't take hard classes, when in reality I'm pushing, pushing to my limits.

  • Shawn, student:

    When I first meet someone, I just talk about, like, where they're from and stuff instead of, like, assuming where they're from. Because it's usually better to get to know someone's background information than just assuming it.

  • Jennifer, student:

    I don't like putting labels on people because I, I get labels. I don't want to put that on someone else either. And they think, oh, she's hispanic, yeah, she has no future, right? she's not going to do anything. And I get put into that group. And I'm not like that at all. I care about my studies. I want my education and I want a future.

  • Tera, student:

    Whenever people look at me, they're like, oh, she's Asian. Like, she constantly studies, or all her extracurriculars are going to be education-based. I like skating. It's a big part of me mentally because I need some way to calm down and like, just de-stress.

  • Khia, student:

    I break the stereotypes that I've encountered by laughing at them, and walking off. A stereotype does not make you. You make you.

  • Angie, student:

    You should accept who you are and love who you are, because we're all human. We're all beautiful. We all deserve to have a voice. Your color or your race shouldn't identify your personality.

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