3. (Exploring Black and White Accounts of 21st-Century Racial Profiling: Riding and Driving While Black. )
In his essay “Arrested Development: The Conservative Case Against Racial Profiling” published in the New Republic on September 10, 2001, professor James Forman Jr. illustrates his disagreement with racial profiling. Forman Jr. is a professor at Yale Law School. He teaches Constitutional Law and seminars on race and the criminal justice system. In his piece, Forman primary goal is to create understanding about the effectiveness of racial profiling and how this affects the black community especially youths. Forman achieves this by appealing to a liberal audience. Moreover, Forman’s essay was published in a newspaper which targeted audience are individuals open to new ideas and opinions, and individuals advocating for social reform. Also, another important aspect is that during his essay, Forman attacks the conservative party which also gives a clear idea of his intended audience. By establishing his credibility
Since the dawn of time, colored people have always been treated unfairly. In “Black Men and Public Spacing”, Staples discusses the ongoing problem of being considered a possible assailant due to his race and appearance. He gets into the horrendous facts that “black people” face and that, unfortunately, remains part of our world. As he starts his story he says, "My first victim was a woman—white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties.” What’s interesting is that he describes this woman as his first victim, giving the idea that this (a victim) is what people would expect to be, encountering a person like him. He says that the most frightening of these situations was in the late seventies and early eighties when he worked as a journalist in Chicago. One day, rushing into the office of a magazine he worked for to hand in a paper, he was mistaken for burglar. In another example he says, “Another time I was on assignment for a local paper and killing time before an interview. I entered a jewelry store on the city's affluent Near North Side. The proprietor excused herself and returned with an enormous red Doberman pinscher straining at the end of a leash. She stood; the dog extended toward me, silent to my questions, her eyes bulging nearly out of her head. I took a cursory look around, nodded, and bade her good night.”
The revolutionary Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr, once described discrimination as “a hellbound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.” His point being that African Americans face racial discrimination on a daily basis. Brent Staples, being an African American living in America, expresses his view on the subject in his essay “Just Walk on By”, where he conveys the message of how fear is influenced by society's stereotypical and discriminating views of certain groups of people; his point is made clear through his sympathetic persona, descriptive diction, depressing tone, and many analogies.
In his essay entitled Black Men and Public Space (1987), Brent Staples talks about how people will have a common misconception on the black community by thinking that they are all mugger ,rapist or thugs.Staples supports his claim by telling the reader events/ stories that occured to him and talks about how people will assume that he is a danger to society when in reality he isnt. The authors purpose is to inform the reader that his experiences of being stereotyped is to show the reader his point of view when it comes to these types of situations.Staples writes in a formal tone for an intelligent or free minded person.
Staples uses imagery, so the reader can picture it when reading his work, and to help create a sort of dark and lonely tone. The character uses several personal experiences which use a large amount of imagery. This is better shown when staples writes “ As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken- let alone hold it to a person’s throat……”(542), The character feels as though he is being judged for being a certain color when really he is afraid himself of getting hurt; he is also very humble and shy because he is afraid to even harm something that isn’t alive. When being treated as guilty and wrong, shame will follow; the character feels shameful that the lady is afraid of him when he has done nothing wrong. The
Brent Staples, in his literary essay “Just Walk On By”, uses a variety of rhetorical strategies. The devices he uses throughout his essay effectively engage the audience in a series of his own personal anecdotes and thoughts. He specifically shifts the reader 's perspective towards the unvoiced and the judged. Within the essay, Staples manipulates several rhetorical strategies, such as perspective and metaphor, in order to emphasize the damage stereotypes have caused against the mindsets and perceptions of society as a whole.
In the reading Just Walk on By by Brent Staples, the topic of racial stereotypes surfaces from the man who gets racially profiled quite often as he explains his personal experiences. The author bluntly tries to pass the message that racially judging people is wrong and explaining how it makes the other party ,african americans, feel. When analyzing Staples’ message his rhetorical strategies play a huge role into how his message is perceived. He uses influential diction allowing each word to give an impact unmatched by any white man who tried to convey a black man’s thought process. Staples also appeals to his credibility with the obvious observation that he is a black man talking about his real life experiences.
Staples uses anecdotes to bring in the personal side of the message to the audience. Staples creates a persona of innocence and almost alienation in his writing. Anecdotes such as his both instances in which he accidently scared women on walks and the time in which he and another reporter were mistaken for murder suspects or robbers are used to show real life proof of his message. That it is reality and not just a concept based off of racism. Within these anecdotes Staples uses hyperbole to create suspense and kind of overstate the real issue at hand in order to show how terrible his position truly is. Such as in the opening sentence, “My first victim was a woman - white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties…(542)”. The woman is not an actual “victim” to any physical harm. Nothing happened to her except she feared for possibly her life. This little piece of hyperbole increases the ironic take on how people will actually run away from him as if they are going to become real victims to harm. It highlights that piece of which everyone 's’ fear is based solely on superstition; where nothing will
In his essay “Black Men and Public Spaces,” Brent Staples explains that people often find him intimidating because he is tall and black. Staples shares his account of a number of personal encounters, arguing that in each situation, he was misinterpreted as being dangerous because of his daunting physical appearance. Staples asserts that as a result of this misinterpretation, he was continually mistreated.
The story begins with Staples describing his first experience frightening a white women due to the colour of his skin. The women’s racism caused her reaction of “running in earnest,” “worried glances” and her eventual getaway, exemplifying the prejudice of a black male. He further demonstrates his “ability to alter public space” when just crossing “in front of a car stopped at a traffic light.” He hears the “thunk” of the driver locking their car regardless of them being “black, white, male, or female.” Staples understands the world is dangerous and people have the right to fear those around them, however, he continues to endure discrimination. But I am the person making those judgements. Living in the East Vancouver, I have grown to be aware of people who seem dangerous. I live in a contrasting neighbourhood of wealth and poverty, just like in the essay where “Hyde
Brent Staples in “Black Men and Public Spaces,” illustrates the inescapable prejudices and stereotyping that African-American men face in America. He does this by relating to his audience through his personal experiences with stereotyping, and sharing his malcontent on how these events have made him alter his way of living. From “victimizing” woman, watching people lock themselves away, and having to whistle classical music to calm the nerves of people around him; Staples builds a picture to help people better sympathize and understand his frustration.
Brent Staples use of pathos creates an emotional connection and pulls the reader into his essay, through his anecdotes and diction. His intro paragraph tells an interesting story, in a way that readers often forget what type of passage they are reading. Staples uses of phrases such as “my first victim”, “seemed menacingly close” “picked up her pace” and notably “running in earnest” (1-2). By using such a unique story with eye-catching phrases as the introduction of his article, Staples evokes the emotion of fear and unsettledness that soon proceeds to a feeling of relief, yet in a way that 's melancholic.
Everyday growing up as a young black male we have a target on our back. Society was set out for black males not to succeed in life. I would always hear my dad talk about how police in his younger days would roam around the town looking for people to arrest or get into an altercation with. As a young boy growing up I couldn’t believe some of the things he said was happening. However as I got older I would frequently hear about someone getting killed by the police force. It still didn’t click but I knew what was happening. Growing up police brutality wasn’t broadcasted as much as it should’ve have been. This then made me think about how to improve police brutality not only dealing with African Americans but also with other colored skinned people.
One of the biggest things the human race has created is society. How humans live, how they interact, what customs they follow, all of it becomes a part of society. But many negatives have arisen from society as well such as: hate crimes, racism, discrimination, and much more have all taken root in society. The roots run so deep that most modern day citizens are not even aware of their own preferences. One of the worse roots being stereotypes. Stereotypes have the power to label someone and rob them of all their hard work or strike fear into others. One such stereotype is that of black men being more dangerous;yet, one black writer voices his opinion on such a stereotype. In the essay “Just Walk On By” by Brent Staples, Staples describes his experience of being a large black man and how it affects the people around him. From people locking their doors to pedestrians crossing the street to avoid a confrontation, people seem to be afraid of Staples just from a glance. Yet Staples does nothing to cause this fear, rather his stereotype is to blame. 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.