Stereotypes In Brent Staples's 'Just Walk On By'

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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. 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

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