Assessment of the stereotype (“Show them as one thing over and over again, and that is what they become”)
The world today has been filled with stereotypes that define a certain group of people and according to Adichie, they are incomplete. The idea that people become what you show them over and over again is true. This is essentially because the human brain works with how it is programmed to work. Our brain is able to pick up information, and through constantly exercising the information, your mind changes to believing and functioning in a certain way.
Looking an example that was given by Adichie, how the African stereotype became the nom till date people refer it as a country and not a continent on its own. This is because they believed that African people were not able to fend for themselves and thus waited the White man to come and rescue them from their struggles of life. The countries within Africa were colonized by countries in Europe, and thus the idea that Africans cannot stand on their own was brought out. This spread out through years, from people believing that the “country” is poor, to believing that they were people in the wild that needed to be rescued and alienated to the revolving world. Through this, most people within Africa have struggled getting themselves to high positions because of the idea that they do not amount to anything greater than what is has been showed to them.
Today we struggle with the ideology that we have to wait for the White man to help us. Adichie explains how the stereotype of her roommate, who believed that Africa was a place of beautiful sceneries, and with people that were incomprehensible and died of poverty and AIDS. The writer also explains how this would have been something she would agree to if she did not grow up in Nigeria. The different literatures that were written was the beginning of the stereotype of the “single story” of Africa.
I believe that if people took up the opportunity to change the “single story” into the true definition of what a certain group of people are, the idea would be engraved in people’s minds as well. It is all about empowerment. Empowerment begins by training the young generation into believing that they amount to something greater than they are, the Africans that they are beyond the stereotypes that have been created around them. This would change the negative single story into a positive one. Where people are shown one thing, over and over again, and they become. The brain can be reprogrammed to accommodate a different “single story” from what was told before. With that, I believe that change comes from within. That stories are important, they matter, and this story can be used to repair people.
Canada’s stereotypes to the vulnerable people
Canada has become a victim of the “single story”. Most people have predefined Canada and the people in it such as the Inuit and Metis to be people that have a drinking problem. Such people have also been predefined as naturally poor and that their poverty is as a result of their bad personal choices. As much as this is true, most people in Canada are faced with poverty, and social exclusion. This isn’t essentially true because some of the causes that have resulted to the poverty rates in Canada include discrimination of gender, and those with disability as well as racialization.
From the quote given by Adichie, it shows how people become what you show them over and over again. The result of aligning alcoholism to the Metis and Inuit has resulted to most people suffering from alcohol misuse and that three- quarters of the people within the community suffer from this problem. This has remained to be the truth of the vulnerable people in Canadian culture. Groups of people other than the Metis and Inuit that have been affected include women.
Discrimination of gender has brought about a great effect especially because there is uneven work distribution that is based on gender in Canada. Most women are considered to be ideally defenseless. There is hope however, that the “single story” of Canada will be reverted to a story of paradise, where the country is more inclusive, and that solutions are being sought to bring about the change we hope to see in the world.