Offensive Generalizations is a semi-recurring series wherein we here at Consider Your Ass Kicked! examine Offensive Generalizations, with a focus on what makes them so offensive.
"People in Boston like the Patriots."
This would be offensive to anyone, but arguably, it could be most hurtful of all for those in the greater Boston metropolitan area. Historically, economically, people in that region have (again: arguably) the best excuse for being Patriots fans. But it is nonetheless absolutely untrue that this negative and degrading stereotype applies to everyone in Boston. How do you think it feels to those who can't stand the Patriots, and who are constantly being lumped in with that kind of stigma-loaded association?
Imagine being the Catholic priest who's not into young boys. Imagine being the African-American who does not like the F.C.-food or the W-food. Now imagine hearing that stereotype your whole life, cringing and seething each time at the unfairness, sick of speaking up just to clear your name from an accusation that has never been true of you? Forced to choose between a lifetime of being looked at as the "touchy person" (or in the African-American example, the "person of surprising and inexplicable food preferences") or a lifetime of remaining silent, burning with the shame of being assumed to be a monster.
This is why stereotypes are considered hurtful and offensive. Yes, one of those assumptions is more injurious than the others. But that's not the point. The point isn't how horrible the thing is you assume about a person. The point is that by assuming it in the first place, you void that person in front of you. You void their individuality, their likes, their loves, their preferences and tendencies and passions and beliefs, and you say "You can be safely assumed to be just like anyone else like you." That person in front of you isn't a person at all, to you, when you do that. They are a specimen. Like a BUG. They are an example of their kind, which you seem so fit to class them as. They are an example of the kind of person who would rather root for the Patriots and fondle children than enjoy delicious foods.
Whether it's true or not, it's still an offensive assumption to make. Of anyone. Even if they are from Boston.
Educate yourself. Inform others. Be better than that.