Boletus, Monia's post was swept off to random so you too are off-topic here. This is about stereotypes.
Thanks. Then I must be stupid not to notice it. So now I am back on topic, am I not? :-)
I have not met any Canadian yet who would tell me to my face that Poles are stupid. Drunks? Yes. Stupid? No. It has nothing to do with a stereotypical Canadian politeness.
But I cannot count a number of Polish-Canadians using the term "stupid Kanadol". And I am tired listening to "other" Canadians calling Americans stupid. I always stand up for "other" Canadians and for Americans. The stereotypes here are twofold.
(1) If one is at the bottom of a social ladder one can easily find that many of one's co-workers are not that bright. But this particular person has no chance to meet really bright, intelligent "others".
(2) "Stupid Americans, they do not even know where Canada (Toronto, etc.) is. They teach them so little about geography, and only about the US one."
To this I usually reply, that many of my friends and co-workers are highly educated and intelligent Americans, that know more about the world than I do. Then I remind them about Internet, NASA and all those thingies invented by supposedly "stupid" Americans. It helps - for a while.
The stereotypes are being reinforced by TV programs, such as CBC comedy "This hour has 22 minutes", en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Hour_Has_22_Minutes, which had a section "Talking to Americans":
Rick Mercer tours the United States, talking to Americans as if from a Canadian news program, asking them about "Canadian issues." The object is to see how little some Americans know about their northern neighbours. The piece was so popular that the CBC had Mercer create a one-hour TV special based on the segment. It became the highest rated comedy special in Canadian television history when it aired on Canada Day, 2001. Some truly memorable bits include Rick Mercer getting Americans to say "Congratulations Canada on legalizing VCRs!" and getting a professor at Princeton University to sign a petition against the re-starting of the Annual Toronto Polar Bear Hunt. In an election 2000 segment, he convinced then-Governor of Texas George W. Bush that Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was named Jean Poutine and that he was supporting Bush's candidacy.
In conclusion, stereotypes are being created by people least qualified for judging other people. For example, I have met many Ontario residents, so proud of their supposed superiority over Americans in such matters as geography, etc. but who have never set their foot outside Greater Toronto Area. Never - in their 45 years of life, or so. But yet, they yap.