Stereotypes are a part of human history and will never truly go away. Every race has a stereotype that follows them through the ages, and new ones crop up with every passing year. Some of the more typical stereotypes are those that surround race, gender, culture, groups of individuals and their posses, and sexuality. It is very ignorant, naive and rude of those who mention stereotypes to people’s faces, as just because it is true of a select few does not mean it is true for all. The more common stereotypes that surface surround race, gender and sexuality with jokes against black people and the LGBTQ+ community. You would think that with the passing years, and as people grow older they would stop believing stereotypes about people and making assumptions about people without knowing them, but no dice.
Some would hope that the world would become more accepting of everyone in the future, especially when the unthinkable happens, say a possible apocalypse where you could die at any moment. Everyone across the globe would band together and try to beat their adversary without bothering with making jabs at someones orientation, skin color or demographic. But in Zone One, we are proven wrong about our assumptions of humanity in the future.
In Zone One the main character, Mark Spitz, was not born with that name, no. He was given that name as a running joke, for he is a black man that would rather shoot his way out of a horde of zombies bent on killing him, rather than swim in water. Mark Spitz in turn is a very famous Olympic swimmer that has been replaced by Michael Phelps in commonality. It is a well known stereotype that Black people can’t swim, and its true that many cannot. But there are plenty that can swim very well, (me included since I was on a swim team for 9 years), and two summers ago African american swimmer, Simone Manuel set an Olympic record at the 2016 Olympics for the 100 freestyle. Even though Mark Spitz knows they are making a racist joke, he allows them to continue with this running racist joke. He is an easy going guy, and a good Skel-killer, so if he can have a good moment with his team that brings some light into these dark days, why ruin it by not being passive about it.