Former New York Times columnist, African American Bob Herbert, wrote the following in 1993:
Jesse Jackson is traveling the country with a tough anti-crime message that he is delivering to inner-city youngsters. In Chicago he said, "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."
One of the most famous stereotyping rants of all time, I recalled, was in 1998 when the late pro football player, Reggie White, said the following:
When you look at the black race, black people are very gifted in what we call worship and celebration. A lot of us like to dance, and if you go to a black church, you see people jumping up and down because they really get into it. . . . White people were blessed with the gift of structure and organization. You guys do a good job with building businesses and things of that nature. And you know how to tap into money pretty much better than a lot of people around the world . . . . Hispanics were gifted in family structure. You see a Hispanic person, and they can put 20 or 30 people in one home . . . . When you look at the Asian, the Asian is very gifted in creativity and invention. If you go to Japan or any Asian country, they can turn a television set into a watch. They are very creative.
Perhaps you remember the uproar about said speech by White about which many laughed and laughed at these comments. Should someone do this? Or maybe better, can someone do this? Is it even possible to be right about this type of information? Is it helpful? In the first chapter of Titus, the Apostle Paul was instructing Titus, whom he left on the island of Crete, on how to deal with his audience there in that culture, and listen to what he wrote in verses 10 to 13 (bold print mine):
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.
Paul quotes a well known Cretian, Epimenides, who stereotypes the Cretians, his own people, and Paul, having been there, says in essence that he concurs -- "This witness is true." Epimenides was a poet and teacher in the sixth century B.C., ranked as one of the seven wise men of Greece, and originally this particular poem, a known one, characterized his people in hexameter. Paul says this respected man is dead on, exactly right.
Epimenides and the Apostle Paul engage in some pretty serious profiling that makes Reggie White look angelic: "alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." Ohhhkaay. It's obviously helpful to do this, because Paul does it. It's in the Bible, God's Word. It's inspired by God. And it is written to help the people. The world today would warn against what Paul does here, but proper profiling and stereotyping can aid in successful spiritual warfare. He buttresses his entire strategy for dealing with them upon pegging them in an accurate way.