The issue of using stereotypes to define a certain group has always served as a fall-back position for certain facets of society in order to establish a certain comfort zone. There’s no definitive reason why people choose to cling to stereotypes, regardless of whether the concepts were debunked long ago.
Yet issues such as racism are the byproduct of alleged protective measures that seek to protect the general public from a perceived threat. This can come in the form of laws that are specifically designed to exclude certain ethnic or racial groups, with Patrick Mahony pointing out that one of the most prevalent in the 21st Century being that all Muslims are terrorists.
When presented with such facts, those championing such stereotypes will state that within an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims, even a microscopic number of possible evildoers is reason to impose draconian laws that affect innocent individuals. At the same time, Patrick Mahony knows that the same people ignore a simple fact that a microscopic number of individuals within their own particular race also present the same such problem.
Such actions may be supported by those who aren’t necessarily racist, but who fall victim to fear-based appeals that evoke a worst-case scenario taking place, without efforts being made to enact such laws. For others, that aforementioned comfort zone allows for a sense of being able to return to simpler days, even if it promulgates a myth.
Less drastic stereotypes sometimes aren’t as dangerous, but still offer no clarity when it comes to the basic reasoning behind such thoughts. The dumb blonde or the drunken Irishman are two such ideas that have faded but not completely gone away. In such cases and in others, the problem of simple laziness to dig deeper can often be the cause.