Racism existed for quite a long period of time, from slavery to this current era. Black males were historically perceived as slaves, criminals, and rebels by other races. Regardless of what other races perceive of black males, there are some that act opposite of those perceptions, and Brent Staples proves this in his essay "Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space" by listing the stereotypical perceptions of black males, actual behaviors of black males, and stating what he, a black male himself, feels and does in response to those perceptions. Past actions of black males had altered how some of the other races viewed them, causing misjudgment. Staples were a victim of this misjudgment in 1973-74 when he was 22.
It Never Stops Driving along the road, you hear a screeching siren and see blinding lights flashing in your rearview mirror. Instantly feeling your stomach drop as the officer waves you to pull over. The officer greets you with a firm “Hello, may I see your driver’s license and registration?”. While handing it to the officer, I notice that he brings his search dog to sniff the vehicle for drugs. The dog begins to scratch at the door alerting the officer that there is something inside.
In the piece, “Just Walk on By,” written by Brent Staples, the author writes about how he is discriminated against because of his race and his appearance. He was a graduate student and new to the University of Chicago. He explains how he has victims which are people who judge him and make him feel he is a dangerous criminal. He talks about his first victim who is a white woman she was terrified of him and made him feel dismayed, surprised, and embarrassed. After that encounter is when he realized and became familiar with the language of fear.
In his article, “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples writes about his encounters with people during his nighttime walks in and around the city streets of Chicago and New York. He argues that, as a result of crimes committed by criminals of African American descent, people tend to quickly avoid him because they assume that he will likely mug them because of the color of his skin. Nevertheless, on the subject as to whether this article is an appropriate and good example of the reaction of others, it is quite obvious that this is a good example of the reaction of others, given how Brent Staples spent much of his time working in the city as a journalist, and that crime rates are high in inner city areas. However, despite the fact that this
Brent Staples discusses how young black men are made into young thugs based on “the male romance with the power to intimidate” (Staples 240). He also mentioned that young black men use this power to intimidate in order to commit crimes and that “poor and powerless young men seem to take all of this nonsense literally” (Staples 240). Staples is simply stating that young, black men, that are raised on the streets, look for power through intimidation and that every male fights for dominance. They then grow up to use this intimidation and showing of dominance in order to commit crimes and rob other people. Staples explains that intimidation and dominance become daily life and
Joe Starks symbolizes this in instances where he speaks to Janie as a subordinate; because of the pressure put on black men to be hyper-masculine, they then force themselves into “maleness” thus mimicking the role of the colonizer, not manifesting it. Because black bodies cannot access a gendered lense, they have to pretend to be what they are not. As shown through Hurston, this does not make blackness or black maleness any closer to whiteness. It creates unwarranted and detrimental binaries that allow for the perpetuation of abuse in the black
On top of this, he argues that the white middle class are unrelenting with their methods of depriving black advancement in American society. Knowledge of this incites many blacks to occupy dead-end jobs, or to settle for mediocrity in the face of adversity. A large number of black males in America find themselves forced to take jobs that offer no security, or socioeconomic growth. He also contends that many blacks are not very literate and therefore left behind in cultural revolutions like the information age. For twelve months between 1962 and 1963, Liebow and a group of researchers studied the behavior of a group of young black men who lived near and frequently hung around a street corner in a poor black neighborhood in downtown Washington, D.C. Liebow’s participant observation revealed the numerous obstacles facing black men on a day-to-day basis, including the structural and individual levels of racial discrimination propagated by whites in society.
This racism we are seeing now in the media is a huge problem. Young men of color being shot down in the streets like animals; Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott and Laquan McDonald, to name a few. According to reports, they were aggressive or threating one 's life. It 's stated in an article by Orelus, that a great number of people believe people of color are aggressive, thugs or thieves.
Not racism in a bad way, but in a way as if it does not exist. Duke says, “When you speak of problems between blacks and whites in the U.S.A. you are referring to categories” (Martin 13). Duke wants nothing to do with racism. Anytime it is brought up he talks about how everyone should be seen as equal, not as different. A song of his, Take The A Train, speaks a lot about Harlem.
This unfortunate stereotype is still highly prevalent today. We all read about African-American men committing crimes, we see it in the news and on social media. That goes to say, not all crimes are committed solely by black men, and black men should not be treated like criminals based off of others wrongdoings. Staples recounts the events of a night he went for a walk. On this walk, he encountered a well-dressed white woman (as he so described) who instinctively mistook him for a criminal.
**.’ It all seemed like a regular part of life growing up in the Bronx. “It seemed like everyone from the barbers, mechanics… felt the same way: black and white people were different, and life would always be a harder struggle because you were black” (18). This quote shows that Jamal experienced systemic racism at a younger age. He knows about it
One piece of evidence shows that Black people, still, continued to withstand the catastrophic effects of Racism, particularly in the South. According to, History, it states “The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for Black Americans to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil War officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against Black people—they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the South. By the mid-20th century, Black Americans, along with many other Americans, mobilized and began an unprecedented fight for equality that spanned two decades.” Therefore, racism is another great example that was used back in the day against people of different races, especially to the black
In the poem "Black Boys Play the Classics" by Toi Derricotte, racism against black people is prevalent and obvious. The poem describes the contrast between how different races treat each other. As in the poem, the people who only pass by and do not take the time to listen to this boy's talent. They merely ignore the black boy playing his instrument. While the other black people stayed and listened to this boy play and a small white boy who hadn’t yet learned racism.
The message Staples wants to convey in his essay is that almost all people have to carry the burden of the stereotype they have, and he pushes this message through his use of ethos and pathos. Staples pushes his message through ethos by his use of expert testimony. One of the writers he quotes is Norman Podhoretz and his essay “My Negro Problem-And Ours”. Describing the fear he had while growing up, Podhoretz writes about how much
These social norms were taught to him by his society he was surrounded by, and they were developed to uphold a capitalist system this conditioning serves to keep the lowest class in Kindred, black people, “oppressed… effectively by ideology,” (Tyson
“Just Walk on By” Alex Haley, an American writer in the late 1900s, once said “racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics” Although he was famous for his literature, Haley still faced racism for being black. In his quote, he briefly explains why racism is still around, and why people discourage minorities. Similar to another black writer, Brent Staples, a journalist, wrote several essays trailing his life growing up black.