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Berumen 1

Ivan Berumen
Professor Jackie
English 114 B
16 March 2015
ABWB Essay
For ages, the black race and people of color have been racially
stereotyped, just because of the color of their skin. A racial stereotype is
defined as a system of beliefs about typical characteristics of members of a
given group or nationality, their status, and cultural norms. It is sad to say
that even now in the present, there is still racial prejudice in society. If
someone commits a crime, or is involved in a violent act, society will suspect
the crime to be done by a person of color. Society has become accustomed
to jumping to conclusions and stereotyping each race with the actions they
might commit. Angry Black White Boy, by Adam Mansbach does a great job
in discussing the racial stereotypes and profiling that goes on in society.
Macon, the main character of this book is surrounded by many racial
stereotypes that are toward the black race. As a white man, Macon is sort of
the defender and spokesman for the inferior. Due to the fact that the
supreme race has never really stood up for the race that had been
stereotyped for so long, he becomes sort of a celebrity. This is what helps
spread the word that society is still surrounded by racism. Throughout the
book, Macon puts himself in many situations that give him clarification that

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the black race is racially profiled from the start. Involving himself with crimes
was the perfect example to show that society racially profiles the black race.
An example that provides evidence of societies racial profiling is when
Macon robs white men in taxicabs. This sets off a widespread of jumping to
conclusions as society suspects these crimes to be done by a black man.
Continuing to rob white men, Macon becomes upset because society as a
whole believes a white man would never commit a crime like this. Another
reason of why Macon was suspected to be a black male committing these
crimes was because of the attire he was wearing. The clothing Macon wears
while robbing these white men is a Malcolm X T-shirt, and Timberlands.
Although Timberlands are popular in the black community, it is obscured to
assume that someone wearing these shoes has to be someone of black
ethnicity. Confused and misunderstood, Macon goes to his victims and asks
them the color of his skin. Take a good look. What fucking color am I?
(Mansbach 112) is what Macon says to the white males out of anger. This is
one example that shows how society racially profiles the black community
with stereotypes. Even now, stereotypes are still around in society.
Macon, a white man who praised the black culture was not seen as
socially acceptable. Being a white man, there is certain stereotypes on the
way they should act. This is why when Macon got arrested, a reason that the
white culture did not want to accept this man as one of them. When his
friends bail him out Macon sort of becomes a celebrity. His friends use this as
an advantage for them and begin to publicize Macon and his beliefs. This is a

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way that helps society realize whats happening around them. Although this
is an advantage for Nique and Andre with all the revenue coming in, Macon
helps the black community by speaking highly of them. He also sets up a day
of apology for the whites to apologize to the black culture. However, this is
sort of a racist and judgeful act to for Macon to do by him judging white
people as a whole. Overall, this shows that anyone can participate in a racial
act.
These stereotypes also serve as a representation of identity. For
someone to categorize someone under a particular race just because of the
attire they have, the way they act or speak, and what foods they consume is
completely racial. This is shown in the example above with what Macon is
wearing Timberlands, a Malcolm X T-shirt, and baggy pants. Society has set
an assumption that someone wearing these types of clothes person is
usually a person of black ethnicity. I see this all the time with minority races.
People of black, Mexican, Asian, and Muslim ethnicity have all been giving
stereotypes. If someone is wearing a sombrero hat we automatically refer
that to the Mexican culture. If someone is eating fried chicken or drinking
grape soda we automatically think of a person of black culture. The
stereotypes given to each race is what society has grown up with and has
become accustomed to. Another example of stereotypes representing an
identity is the way someone acts and dresses. The way Macon acted was
thought to be of someone with black skin. Why is that people of society have
certain actions that a race is set to follow? This is what society did to Macon.

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His harsh actions and behavior were perceived to be those of a person with
black skin. Stereotypes serve as a representation of identity with the way
people act, think, and portray themselves.
There is also a point in this novel where Macon also stereotypes
someone. At first, Macon is mislead into thinking only shmucks dress up for
televisions productions from his friends Nique and Andre that. He agrees with
his friends and stereotypes people who work for television productions. After
attending he realizes there is no reason why he couldnt dress nice and hang
up his baggy pants for one day. His attire shouldnt act as a label and who
Macon portrays himself to be. This is a great example that shows even
someone who is a strong believer of fighting for equality and justice could
judge and stereotype someone as well. This shows that society is one filled
with stereotypes and presumptions.
The racial stereotypes and prejudice towards the black community
provide commentary. Macon provides his own input on the society views the
black community. He says, They dont get the best jobs, get shot by cops,
turned down by banks, etc. (Mansbach 203) which is probably very relatable
to those of color. A white male applying for a job will probably get the job
over a person of black ethnicity. I cannot relate to this situation, but is seen
throughout society. People of non--color have a better advantage in the
things decide they do. Its sad, but is very true in todays society. There is no
need to sugar coat how are society racially profiles and segregates those
who are non-white. Also, in protests and events, people of color have been

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mistreated and abused by police authority. Is this because of the color of
their skin? In Chicago, there has recently been black men being shot by
police officers three weeks in a row. Is this a coincidence or does it have
something to do with a racial issue? These issues should not be ignored as it
is still seen in todays society.
The examples shown throughout this book are very relatable to the
present and are not exaggerated at all. Its examples can be compared to
those of society today in a very accurate way. Macon robbing the white men
in the taxicabs was thought to be an action of a black man. I can relate this
situation in the novel to something that has just happened. Recently, there
was a shooting in Cal State University of Northridge. Immediately, this man
was perceived to be of a person of black skin. Was this an assumption? I
wouldnt be surprised if it was.
In the article, The Fight Against Racism Today by Scott Marshall,
there are present examples of racism still being shown. Through examples
within the novel, he talks about economic and class segregation. He gets
more in depth than the normal stereotypes being shown in the novel by
Adam Mansbach. Neighborhoods and cities that dont look appealing have
been neglected, a place where no one wants to live now. These ghettos
and barrios begin to lessen in population and begin to be stereotyped.
These neighborhoods are stereotyped with drug use, diseases, and so much
negativity. I can actually relate to this. I dont live in such a nice
neighborhood, and can see the negativity around. People move out

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periodically, and there are police cars every now and then. I feel that the city
I live in has been stereotyped from the start.
Angry Black White Boy, by Adam Mansbach, is a novel that shows how
people of black ethnicity are racially profiled and stereotyped. These
stereotypes can be shown to represent identities, and show commentary. In
addition, the examples shown in the book can be related to those in the
present. Racial stereotypes are still in todays society, which is sad because
racism had been ended many years ago. The way someone acts, thinks, or
portray themselves should not be used as a stereotype for different races.

Works Cited
Mansbach, Adam. Angry Black White Boy. New York: Three Rivers, 2004.
Print.
Marshall, Scott. The Fight Against Racism Today