Labels are the div/ide

Alyssa White, Staff Writer

Many people think of labels and/or stereotypes as the way others see a specific race, sexuality, religious group, or people with mental illnesses, but labels are the things that keep us from being a whole race. There are a wide variety of labels, from religion to race, sexuality to mental illness, and these labels are manipulative and can hurt a person’s feelings.

Labels are everywhere in society: in schools, on the internet, during job interviews, and even at home. There are perceivably bad labels like “fat,” but there are also labels with positive connotations, like being called “smart.” Labels like “jock,” “geek,” or “nerd” are school based, but the labels that follow you home are the ones that we find ourselves saying each day in the mirror. Labels like “religious freak,” “gay,” “black,” “skinny,” “ugly,” etc. When you are born, you have an ascribed status, and that status and extra labels follow you for the rest of your life, unless we stand up for ourselves.

Labels can be very crucial to the way people see themselves, such as being told on a daily basis “what you are” or “who you are” according to a label can be harmful to a person’s self-esteem. It can lead people to hurt themselves because they’re “not like everyone else.”

Race in general, has been a divide since as long as people have lived. We’ve enslaved people due to skin color, we’ve been to war over race, so when will the divide stop? Never. The world will never see that labels are the division. It’s how we were raised and how we were taught. You’ll always see that kid as a terrorist because he’s “Muslim,” you’ll always see that girl as “black” because of her skin, and you will always see a divide. We see people differently due to the way they are labeled.
There are so many ways to label sexuality, and some aren’t very polite. There have been bans over sexuality, and laws against it. Sexuality has been a huge debate for years, but I say, you can’t put a label on love.

The world is heterogeneous, and that’s what makes us unique. The real divide is in the labels, and until we rid ourselves of these labels we will never be at peace.