I do'nt know if I made this up or if I heard this somewhere and forgot about it, but I remember saying to a friend, as a joke, "It's not a stereotype if it's true." He laughed and we had a chat about it, concluding that people really shouldn't act like negative stereotypes because that's how they get perpetuated. Whether it's black people acting like gangsters or white people acting like redneck hicks, people need to take personal responsibility about their behavior. I mean, what they do ends up hurting others because of what it makes other people believe...at least, to some extent.
I just had an amusing experience just a few minutes ago. Two older black gentlemen were using the computer next to me, and they said something about loving fried chicken. I smiled and turned to them and said, "Isn't that a stereotype?" They both laughed and then I said, "Well, name me one person who doesn't like fried chicken, right?" I mean, how is that a stereotype if everyone, no matter what ethnicity they are, do it? I mean, there are gang people of every race (well, actually...are there Native American gangs? Probably not...) so every race is capable of violence and such. Saying that one is more prone to it than another is ludicrous. People are juts people, and behavior is influenced by many things. And I think that just like violence, racism begets racism. So the more people are prejudiced, the more others will be prejudiced right back at them. But of course, no one ever learns...that's something every person has in common, whether it's about bigotry or other things.