kymer, we here at WWGHA like statements to be as accurate as possible and based on evidence instead of easy stereotypes based on narrow personal experiences. Positive stereotypes are still dehumanizing, because they keep you from seeing people as complete human beings with all the characteristics of humanity. If that is how you interact with black people, no matter what they are like or where they are from, you see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear.
You have a cardboard, two-dimensional idea of black people, or rather of "black people" that is more like a cartoon than reality. Nice but not real. It is a cool image, part booty-shaking Soul Train, part friendly Cosby show, part sensitive Oprah, part tasty fried chicken and greens, part emotional gospel church service with a lot of shouting and falling out, part classy Harlem fashion show. Of course you have black friends who say this is true. Many black people promote that image, because it is much better than the alternative
! The alternative can get you denied a job promotion, harrassed in nice stores-- or shot in the back.
Suppose you had mainly negative experiences of black people, say, you had been bullied, beaten up and taunted by a group of black kids growing up. You did not have black people as friends and black people were not invited over for dinner, etc. And suppose you had been told by your parents and others that black people were violent, drug addicts, lazy, dirty, noisy, etc. Their music was vulgar, low class and full of cursing and sexual references.
It would be very hard for you to get past the negative image of black people to see real human beings. You would look at the world and see some black cultural attributes, like certain types of music, styles of dancing, etc in negative way. You would wave away any positive stuff about black people as not representative. Blacks who aren't terrible people are just wannabes trying to act white.
You would have a cardboard image of black people-- as if they were all actors in a bad gangsta rap video: macho types abusive of women and dismissive of kids and old people, menacing, angry, cursing, committing crimes, covered with jailhouse tatoos, dealing drugs and having sex all the time. Or the loud, slutty welfare queen with kids by different men, a closet full of designer clothes and a fancy car.
I don't know anyone like that, but a lot of white people have those images. Or maybe it's a racist cartoon from the 1920's: childish, silly, ugly people with jet black skin, big white eyes, wild hair, exaggerated nose and lips, ragged clothes, chicken bones and watermelon rinds lying around. And they just looooove to sing and dance. And work as servants for white people. Not nice, and equally not real.
For most minority groups, given a choice of stereotypes, we pick the more positive one. The "noble long-haired Indian in touch with nature" is way better than the lazy, drunken, impoverished, uncivilized savage. The "pious, constantly praying, hardworking, long-suffering, family-oriented Mexican" is way better than the gangbanging lowriding cholo looking to rape white girls, or the fat latina screaming in Spanish at her hundred brats. And the "nerdy, brilliant, smiling quiet Asian" is way better than the sneaky, inscrutable, treacherous heathen chinaman who will rip you off, or the opium addicted bar girl who will give you an STD.
Would you rather be seen as "a good 'ol truck drivin' country boy bendin' them guitar strangs and lovin' his flag and the lord" and "the hell yeah coal miner's daughter with the Christmas lights up all year round", or dirty, stringy-haired, ignorant, toothless, redneck trailer trash living on disability checks? I know which I would pick.