Movie Review on Real-Life Stand


Stereotyping is one thing that we are all guilty of, whether you judge a person by the way they look, act, or speak you are practicing the act of stereotyping. Stereotyping has become more and more of a factor of many different things here within the United States; especially to the people of the Hispanic/Latino Culture. At times, the people who are looked at as “lesser” feel as though they do not have the same potential or opportunity to do as well as other people. Like we see in the movie, Real – life Stand and Deliver the students, primarily the students of Hispanic/Latino descent are looked at as different. They are seen to have little to no desire to do well academically which shows through the teachers and the resources that they are given. When given the right teacher and the right resources the students then begin to succeed academically, but even then, they are stereotyped. 

While reading the novel Hispanic/Latino Identity: A philosophical Perspective written by J. Garcia, Garcia touches on the fact that the Hispanics/Latinos are stereotyped more than what people come to realize. Garcia explains that by even filling out a simple survey before the beginning of a test or job interview puts Hispanics/Latinos at a disadvantage. This categorization can often times lead to misconceptions about Hispanics/Latinos like we see in the movie Real-Life Stand and Deliver with the students that are taking the AP Calculus exam. We can assume that before the students took the exam, they were asked to fill out a short survey on their ethnicity in order to be categorized. After all 18 of the students passed the exam, they were all accused of cheating. Why were they all accused of cheating? We see in the movie that the students do not come from very wealthy families and have to work for everything that they have. They have teachers who doubt them in their ability to learn, very little resources, and other distractions that lead to lack of confidence. With the help from Mr. Escalante, we see a change in the students and some of their behaviors. He treats each student has a kid who can succeed later on in life and have the opportunity to achieve everything and anything they set their mind to. With the students being accused of cheating on the exam, we again see the act of stereotyping that happens here within the United States. The testing agency looks at this group of young Hispanic/Latino students who come from a poor area with little to no resources, as a lesser group of people. They are looked down upon just because they are not as fortunate to have an abundant number of resources and teachers who care about them. Like Garcia mentions in like novel, “Ethnic names, or ethnically used names, are very often believed to refer to common cultural traits, but this is incorrect.”  (Garcia, 40). Garcia gets the point across that, ethnic names do no good, but only cause harm. 

Stereotyping is a major problem that we have here in the United States. A prime example of that is the events that we see in the movie Real-Life Stand and Deliver. Had the students not been forced to fill out a survey and be categorized as Hispanics/Latinos, I believe that the testing agency would have not accused them of cheating. Due to the students having to check the box “Hispanic/Latino decent” already put them at a disadvantage and they realized that. After all of their hard work and dedication, they were still questioned on their dignity. There is no simple or easy solution to stereotyping here in the United States which is very unfortunate. Now that I have taken this class, read Garcia’s novel, and watched this movie, I now can say I have a different outlook on life and am more aware of the problems that some people face.

 

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