In Pike’s article “Wild People in Wild Lands,” he illustrates the negative stereotypes most Americans hold towards Latin Americans in the 19th century. In order to support his argument, Pike includes quotes from diverse parties from political leaders to travelers. He points out that Latin Americans are often categorized as poor and weak barbarians who are addicted to alcohol and sex. Apart from the lack of understanding of Latin Americans’ culture and traditions, he suggests that the stereotypes Americans created are tools to justify the stripping of Lain Americans’ political powers and properties.
In his article “The Anglo-Saxon and the World’s Future,” Strong shows his belief of the Anglo-Saxons in the United States being the best “race” in the world. He draws from works by famous scholars like Darwin and Adam Smith to support his arguments. He argues that civil liberty and pure spiritual Christianity are the qualities behind the superiority of the Anglo-Saxons. He predicts that the Anglo-Saxons will outnumber other races and finally taking over the world in the future.
In my view, both articles reveal the main reason behind stereotyping—ethnocentrism. While Pike points out that it is ignorance and misunderstanding of other races that allow the creation of negative stereotypes of Latin Americans, Strong clearly stands from an ethnocentric point of view in that he only sees the qualities that Anglo-Saxons have as superior. I think these articles raise our awareness of ethnocentricism and its harmful consequences to both ourselves and other races. It is important for us to get rid of our prejudices and be open to other cultures. In this way, we can truly respect one another.