We all have those feelings of fear at some point or another. In the essay “Just Walk on By” written by Brent Staples we see a good perspective of fear when he ends up in a few situations where he feels his life could be at stake. Staples should have been fearful at this time in his life because of the stories he sees of black men being mistaken and dragged from their cars and, the way he sees people react to him as he walks down the street being a black man himself. This sense of fear could possibly affect his American Dream. Staples is fearful because he is a black male in the late seventies and early eighties where people looked at them differently as if they were bad people, even though staples is as any other american working towards his dream.
If it weren't for these prejudice thoughts, many people would be together united as one fighting to better one another. As Brent states in “Black Men and Public Space,” “the hatred he feels for blacks makes itself known to him through a variety of avenues - one being his discomfort with that ‘special brand of paranoid touchiness’ to which he says blacks are prone.” (514). Due to this fear of one another, it has brought much tension among many. This discrimination has been going on for many years and is what makes the United States divided.
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.
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.
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.
In his essay, "Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power To Alter Public Space" Brent Staples demonstrates the negative views and stereotypes of black men. He narrates a personal story about the path he takes to understand the effects of his appearance and how it also affects his environment around him. In the essay, Staples describes how he has always been discriminated. This was first realized as a young graduate student when he takes a walk one evening and frightens a white woman who believed he was following her.
The patterns of trust and subsequent betrayal found in the Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, serve to teach lessons about what it was like for African Americans in post-slavery America, when the book is set. The Invisible Man trusts easily and naively. Yet, despite working hard, he is betrayed by the institutions and people he looks up to as role models as they exploit his expectations for their own agenda. Overall, there are four strong examples of those taking advantage and hurting the Invisible Man. With each incident, he learns a lesson about how blatantly the black population is disregarded, along with being given an object that represents the underlying racism found in a society.
He is scared if people come to his door because they will make a fool out of him and he doesn’t want to be more isolated and he originally is. Additionally, he doesn’t want to show how he is isolated as well. Crooks knows that because he is black and everyone treats him unfairly, he cannot express his emotions. When Lennie came to George, “It
We shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have morals and ethical principles we can applaud with an enthusiasm that enables us to rally support for them based on confidence and trust. We will have to demand high standards and give consistent, loyal support to those who merit it. We will have to be a reliable constituency for those who prove themselves to be committed... They will be treated in white political councils with the respect those who embody such power deserve. The manifesto that Dr. Martin Luther King embodied to contribute his leadership roles to his fellow ancestors and communities was one of his most powerful accomplishments.
Not only do they place stereotypes on Boo, they place stereotypes on those of different races, mainly blacks, and never question or think they are wrong. These exaggerated rumors affect many of the people, and are viewed as acceptable because of the specific structure of the town. The stereotypes exemplify the disrespect the people have for each other and illustrate the solution needed to avoid this problem. Classism is also embedded into the structure of the town and often affects the lower classes, such as poor whites, mixed races, and blacks. This is displayed in the quote, “But I want to play with Walter, Aunty, why can’t I?”
These examples all play a part in why someone may fear a black male. Exposure to negative media about black males can spark fear in people. Coming in contact with a black man right after hearing the news about a black man doing something horrific can make you afraid of them. Like what Staples says in his article “At dark shadowy intersections, I could cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk of the driver – black, white, male, or female- hammering down the door locks”.(p.2) Perhaps those people have heard of black men
In Brent Staples “Black Men and Public Space” and “From Parallel Time”, Staples describes the encounters and stereotyping he went through in his life. In each essay he references several events in which complete strangers judged him because of the color of his skin. Although both essays discus how he was discriminated against and stereotyped Staples actions change drastically from one essay to the next. In the first essay by Brent Staples, “Black Men and Public Space” Staples has very passive actions when he encounters strangers on the street.
Staples expresses “At dark, shadowy intersections in Chicago, I could cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk of the driver- black, white, male, or female- hammering down the door locks”(1). Quotes like this one reiterates the emotion of fear people tend to feel and experience when they are near a black male. By using such emotional language, Brent Staples connected with the readers and made them more likely to agree with him. He even starts off the article by emitting the illusion that he himself is the murder or burglar following behind the footsteps of a young woman who is sprinting away from him in fear of the unknown. In the beginning paragraphs he purposely uses the word “victim” to draw in the reader, and make them believe something might happen to the young woman, when in fact the author is considered the victim.
The strong insistence by these two writer that media just look on and examine people’s looks without considering their dignities, helps readers visualize how similarly Staples and Cofer view society. For both authors, a myth of the media stating that stereotypes are developing and persisting. In “Black Men and Public Space”, Ben Staples describes how he looks like when he is enough to frighten a young white women on the street late at night. He is a man with “six feet two inches height, and a beard and billowing hair”. Black men wearing a bulky jacket, to the public, are all fatal and threatening.