Racial Discrimination In Brent Staple's 'Just Walk On By'

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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. Staples sympathetic persona helps the reader feel and understand the racial problems that he experiences daily. His point of view is that of a man who feels that he has done wrong, when in reality, it is society that has done the wrongdoing. Staples knows that the stereotypes that he faces for being black are wrong but also understands that he has to accept them. His opening lines in the essay are “My first victim was a woman” (Staples 542). This simple line initially makes Staples look like a killer. He makes the reader view him this way initially as it is the way that he views himself. He believes that everyone he sees is a…show more content…
His sympathetic persona along with his analogies actively connect the reader to his story, while the strong diction and depressing tone make a strong emotional impact. Unlike most essays, the anti discrimination message can be applied to multiple minority groups and other social issues. As a whole, Brent Staples essay succeeds on all levels as it makes an impactful argument describing how society's view on African Americans as being dangerous violent criminals is truly
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