I experienced stereotyping with my husband recently. He is Mexican and appears as such while I am American and have pretty white skin. We were headed to a surprise birthday party for a friend at a local gathering spot that neither of us had ever been to before.
We arrived and entered the building unaware of where we were headed. A tall, large man with a Mohawk saw us looking around and told us the quinceañera was to the right. Wait, what?! I quickly retorted and said while I'm sure we look like we're going to a quinceañera, we are most certainly not. He stammered and waved his hands in front of himself clearly realizing he had categorized us incorrectly. I explained we were there for the birthday party and he kindly directed us to the right room.
To be perfectly honest, I was in shock for a bit after this incident. I felt like a foreigner for the first time which is probably the way my husband has felt for countless years of his life in this country. I'm not oblivious to the fact that there is still a social divide (among other divisions) here. I just was very naive to how it impacts my husband and was only seeing it from my point of view until that night.
I'm sure the gentleman at the club had the best intentions since there was a large Hispanic party going on. It's just that we could all use a reminder to not judge a book by it's cover.