Racism falls hand in hand with stereotyping. In “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space”, Brent Staples shares his own experiences of dealing with racism and stereotypes as a black man. Many years before he started writing, black men were being as a threat. His first incident involved a woman who saw him walking a distance behind her. She noticeably started to walk faster, and then ran off.
The novel “The Sweet Hereafter” by Russell Banks is about a bus accident where many children have died, and the suffering of their families. In this novel grief is portrayed as a destructive force. The author is saying that when individuals lack support and do not have a strong mind set, the way they grieve is destructive. In the novel, the author is portraying the Ottos, Nichole, and Billy as the ones who don't have much support in their life, which causes them not to have a strong mind set. The Ottos are devastated over the loss of their adopted son, Bear, who died from the impact during the bus accident.
The story opens up with the writers first encounter of someone fearing him in public. And although it is purely off of race, his vivid description of himself portrays why she sadly felt that way, as stated “To her, the youngish black man – a broad six feet wo inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket – seemed menacingly close.” (Staples 188). He then goes on to describe his manner which is nothing like the stereotypical young black male, “As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken – let alone hone to a person’s throat…” (Staples 189). Both these descriptions are vivid, yet they don’t seem to fit the main character and writer as a person. The author conveys what it is like to be an African American in public, specifically one that does no longer live in the ghetto.
Most people just strolled on by as if they didn’t notice. This all changed when the teens were black however. Ten 911 calls were made but barely anybody confronted the teens. When they were asked why people claimed they were afraid they would be overtaken, yet people had no issues confronting the white boys. What I got out of this is that the people thought the black teens are more intimidating and violent than white teens.
The young lives I have listed above and many other unarmed young man were killed by police mans. However, none of the police office was accused guilty. There is no change in law to protect those young African American lives. This kind of mistreat has been going for decease in America. The African American treated horribly since the slavery time.
He explains when he was thirteen years old he felt misunderstood, alone and afraid. As a child, he was taught that violence was not acceptable and “cooperation was always better than conflict”. In his article, Jones gives an example of feeling of rage, alone and afraid. He is effective in appealing to the audience’s pathos. Jones shares how he was deprived of violent media and caused him to become withdrawn into “passivity and loneliness”.
Staples comes to this conclusion from his own personal stories of people thinking he was a robber or mugger. Right from the start he sets the tone by speaking of his “first victim” and her reaction to him walking on the street. Staples explains that when people see black men like himself they quickly jump to conclusions about their character. He does not blame the people for these instances, however it makes him feel uncomfortable. Staples explains that due to the color of his skin he was once mistaken for a burglar when he went into work late one night.
The other Wes Moore turned out to be the bad egg of the bunch, in a general sense. However, he was demoralized through a series of events that took place around him. For example, “Wes failed the sixth grade at “Chicken Pen” and had to repeat it.”(pg.43) The other Moore eventually stopped attending school altogether, resulting in his growing affiliation with less than desirable individuals. Later into his life he has an illegitimate child and an addict for a wife, with two new heavy weights
Brief Summary Staples speaks of his experiences being a six foot tall, young, African American male in a city filled with poverty and crime. He had never truly been exposed to the stereotypes and discrimination in his younger days, of course he knew of it, but he never truly experienced it. When he was twenty-two years old, he was out walking at night due to a bad case of insomnia. Apparently, he was following a little too uncomfortably close to a white woman and she felt endangered. She began to run from him in a defense mechanism, opening his eyes to the discrimination he was born into.