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 the eyes of Martin Luther King Jr., Justice within a society is achieved through the implementation of just laws. Furthermore, “just laws are regulations that have been created by man that follow the laws of God for man” (“Clergymen’s Letter”). Any law that does not correspond with the ideals of God and morality are considered to be unjust or a form of injustice. King identifies that injustice is clearly evident within the justice system. This injustice can truly be seen through the misconduct imposed toward the African American community. Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S.
In the short story “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples, he talks about how because of his race he is feared and discriminated upon. While in New York, Staples walks during the night and is mistaken for a mugger or a rapist because of his race and his large figure. People are very hesitant in the world today because there has been such a great amount of crime. Staples sharing his stories of people’s reactions shows how many assumptions can be made about a person simply based on the color of their skin.
However, research demonstrates that often times men of color are treated harshly which leads to negative perceptions of police officers. Police brutality is a crime that is has been surfacing in the news recently. Some people are just starting to realize that these injustices against the black community really occur, while others are well aware. The recent shootings, different run-ins with officers being filmed while doing such harmful actions against African American men is an example of police brutality and, that reminds us that as a society work needs to be done to improve police and community relations. A black male cannot even walk down the street on a cold night because he might be a suspect from something or he may be of danger to the people around. One example was a young man by the name of Trayvon Benjamin Martin was an African American from Miami Gardens Florida, who, at 17 years old was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch
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.
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.
It has often been said that “that this is a greatest period for people of all races to live in.” Yet with change in society over time , there has a been a divide over the truth about that statement. In dialogue about race issues within the United States, one controversial issue has been about systemic racism towards people of colour, in particular, black americans. On one hand, Ralph Ellison, a recent predecessor to our present time argues that no matter what the future holds, people will judge others based on their association, their image, which will. In relation, a modern black activist group, Black Lives Matter, argues that even though change has come to America race relations, black people are still endangered by the system. Although both
Assurance in equal justice remains as an overwhelming political principle of American culture. Yet withstanding unbelief exists among numerous racial and ethnic minorities. Their doubt comes as no surprise, given a past filled with differential treatment in the arrangement of criminal equity, an issue particularly clear in police misconduct. Researchers have investigated police responses to racial and ethnic minorities for quite some time, offering sufficient confirmation of minority burden on account of police. These examinations raise doubt about different police techniques of coercive control, maybe none more so than police brutality. Its use exemplifies the pressures between police and minorities that exist in America today.
In February 2012, a 28-year-old man followed a 17-year-old youth and killed him on a residential street. The youth hadn’t done anything; he did not commit a crime, and he hadn’t provoked the older man. He was shot simply because he seemed “suspicious.” This was the story of Trayvon Martin’s death in Sanford, Florida at the hands of George Zimmerman (Cooper). Zimmerman, the killer, is a white man while Trayvon was an innocent black youth. While Trayvon’s death was a tragedy, it was also an example of violent racism in the United States. Racial discrimination affects the way Americans think about race violence and relations, and should be eradicated as soon as possible.
Will society ever view African-Americans as people and not as less than? In “Chokehold” Paul Butler will discuss this very idea depth. Butler provides history on why and how society sees African-American men as violent thugs. Butler goes on to explain in detail how the chokehold plays a part in oppressing African-American men and how to avoid the ramifications of the Chokehold, if possible. In the last chapter, Butler provides various ideals in effort to rid the Chokehold in its entirety.
In the essay “Just Walk on By” written by Brent Staples, the author uses a mixture of exaggeration, quoting, and word choice to grasp the attention of his readers and further his point that racial profiling is an unfortunate circumstance that impacts African American men in negative ways.
The Justice system has shown a pattern of taking the side of law enforcement. As of today, police brutality, specifically excessive force still remains as one of the most serious human rights violations. From the severe beatings, to the unjustified shootings, and inexcusable aggressive rough treatment all contribute to police officer misconduct. Many officers need to be opened minded about the way they address victims, suspects, and criminals. Yes, they have the upper power, but in any situation everyone is a human being and should be treated as such; the majority of this unacceptable behavior goes unnoticed or unreported. As a result, this creates complications for everyone as a whole, therefore, officials face corruption allegations, and the public is fighting for their rights.
My daughter is away attending college, not just a few miles away from home, but four hundred and thirty miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. I couldn’t imagine my daughter calling home one evening hysterical because she had been arrested. Arrested for suspicious fraudulent activity using a credit card because her race, complexion, and ethnicity didn’t fit the criteria of how one should look when purchasing expensive items. Just thinking about the idea makes my heart pound uncontrollably. After many years of fighting for equal rights for African Americans, it’s unfortunate that racism still exist and the color of your skin can cost you your freedom. Racial profiling is unjust, unconstitutional, and remains a huge problem still in the twenty-first century.
Michael Brown’s death proved how race played a role in the police system. The alteration was a interracial conflict. People were outraged and fed up