Humans are pattern seeking animals. Stereotypes are common patterns found in a group of people, a sort of group reputation. It is irrelevant whether it is justifiable to superimpose a groups identity/reputation onto an individual as this will happen anyway, what can be done however is to gerrymander a group’s reputation through propaganda, by making caricatures of groups in the media, for example portraying the Jews as evil manipulators, and women with achievements in five different scientific fields and able to beat up five men twice her size in the media, but such a thing will come off as nothing more than a caricature when the real thing is placed next to the false one, or in other words a lasting group reputation needs to have some basis in reality (i.e. Asians in America tend to have higher test scores). Stereotypes could become self-perpetuating and self-fulfilling prophesies to an extent but they cannot defy reality and ultimately individuals are responsible for their own reputation. It should be the individual who is being stereotyped to bear the burden to prove that he is the exception to the rule, and when there are enough exceptions to the rule it ceases to be a rule or a stereotype. Asking society to lift the stereotype is asking society to pretend as if the stereotype has no basis in reality and when someone does fall into the stereotype this further strengthens the stereotyped as society feels that it is being asked to pretend not to see what’s right in front of their nose.
For example, if the African American ‘community’ would commit less crime then that would alter their stereotype in the media and in the police. The root of the problem is the crime in the real world not the stereotypes in people’s minds. Convicting people for thought crime is ultimately useless. The title of this post is a bit of a tautology but I hope I got my point across.