Racism isn't born, it is taught! This essay "Just walk on by Brent Staples" is written in the mid 70's when racism was at its peak. Racism is not only common today it's been a part of American history. Staples works as a journalist in a predominantly white society. This essay deals with racism, stereotypes, and prejudice. In this essay, he demonstrates to the reader using his own experiences, how stereotypes based on sex and skin color can change the mind of one person and how it can influence many other people. Staples fears about how his appearance and his color make people think of him as a harmful person. a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket- he also mentions that he possesses an indulgent …show more content…
When Staples was growing up he has experienced a lot of hatred. Even from the young age, he is treated as a threat. He has narrated different encounters with different people in different cities, and the reaction was always the same. He describes how he has always been discriminated against for being a black journalist. As a black human male, Staples feels like he is walking on eggshells everywhere he goes. "a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket. He is just an innocent person living in New York who is judged by the way he looks and acts through a stereotype. Throughout his life, Staples describes many moments in which he was looked upon as a villain due to presumptions from the color of his …show more content…
He is not living a life of a normal people. He is dealing with different people of different nature. Staples never knows who is going to injure him or makes a false accusation about him. he was facing racism, discrimination, and prejudice all at the same time. He is living in that era where all black people are treated as violent, disrespectful and harmful. Staples explains that the woman's quick getaway when she saw him on a street at night following him, made him feel like "an accomplice in tyranny" that was "indistinguishable from the muggers." Although he said a person who doesn't even know how to use a knife how can he harm anyone? How he is thrown out of his own office just because guard assumes him as a burglar. He later explains how he portraits himself less threatening by taking measure precautions like the whistles around the people just to show positive ethos and to make people comfortable around
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In his paper,"Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space," Brent Staples clarifies how for the duration of his life, others have oppressed him in light of the fact that he is a tall, dark man who fills in as a writer in a transcendently white field. As he clarifies, he initially acknowledged the amount of his appearance terrified others, especially a white lady, when he used to take late night strolls as a graduate understudy. While he comprehends that we live in a society that has turned out to be progressively savage and perilous, he feels disappointed that dark men, specifically, are as yet being judged and misconstrued in view of their appearance alone. For instance, he refers to two occurrences where he was mixed
him at night and ran away from her with it all the stereotypes and the profiling that comes with it in which they would have to manage and live with for the rest of their lives after they finally realize such an ugly truth. Although, the way in how Staples and Rodriguez handled racism are completely different ways, Staples attempts to combat the racism and prejudice of society by making
In her essay, Whistling Vivaldi Won’t Save You, Tressie Cottom talks about Ben Staples essay, Just Walk On By, in which he acts differently in public to ease peoples perspective of him. Tressie mentions this particular essay because of a ill-advised shooting of an unarmed black man by the police. She says that Brent Staples is right to a point, like in the case of Jonathan Ferrell. Mr. Ferrell got into a terrible car accident and when he was able to get out of his car he walked over to someone’s house, who had called the police. When the police showed up they ended up shooting him ten times ultimately killing him.
Staples says in his article " one day, rushing into the office of a magazine I was writing for with a deadline story in hand, I was mistaken for a burglar. The office manager called security and, with an ad hoc posse, perused me through the labyrinthine halls, nearly to my editor's door." ( Staples 262). Staples was a black man , who worked as journalist in a white firm and was mistaken for a burglar, even though there was no evidence of him stealing anything or doing any criminal acts. He was judge by his skin tone and what others thought of blacks.
In Chester there are a lot of gang warfare and murders however, Staples did not get involved. Staples grew up to be the good guy since he was timid however, a survivor. In his lifetime, he saw a lot of people go to jail. Now Staples in his twenties, grew up to be a young black man that is 6 feet 2 inches with a beard and a fresh haircut. He works as a journalist and works sometimes very late hours.(193)
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.
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.
Throughout his essay, Staples is able to make the audience understand what he has to deal with as a black man. Staples does this by using words and phrases such as, “...her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny” and “... I was indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area…” (542). By writing and describing how he (Staples) feels, the audience is able to get an inside look into how black men are treated and better understand why society’s teachings, play a vital role in how we see each other. Staples’ powerful writing also allows the reader to take a step back and see how as a society, people make judgements on others based on appearance alone.
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.
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. Staples illustrates how the nature of stereotypes can affect how we perceive others around us in either an excessively admirable light or, in his and many other cases, as barbaric or antagonistic.
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.
I was surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once,” he writes to admit that he’s harmless. Staples effectively persuades his readers to believe that not all black men are harmful. He wants to make more people comfortable around him and less of a negative stereotype. By acting the opposite of a thug that many [white] people make up the conclusion to be, Staples changes his behavior in a way to protect himself because he’s percieved as a thug that could potentially made him a target and a danger to those around him and to himself. Staples concludes in his essay that thugs wouldn’t be “whistling a bright, upbeat from Vivaldi’s Four
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.