Walk On By Brent Staples

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The Power Behind “Just Walk on By” In Brent Staples article “Just Walk on By”, Staples shares his thoughts on the way marginalized groups interact. He uses his own experiences as a young African American man to shed light on how people can have implied biases that affect the way they treat other people. Staples does this to demonstrate how society develops preconceived notions in the minds of individuals about marginalized groups, primarily African American men, which are often a flawed representation of the people within these groups. The rhetoric he uses is key to developing an understanding persona and an emotional appeal that exposes the implied biases of people without alienating or offending the audience, to whom-- among others-- he attributes these biases. To achieve his objective, Staples further appeals to the audience by establishing a likable and understanding persona by concession and rebuttal, as well as light humor to make himself more charming. For example, Staples admits that for women, “the danger they perceive is not a hallucination. Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence”. However, he wastes no time to assure that these problems don’t make up for the alienation black men feel always being treated as suspects (543). Staples further demonstrates understanding by recognizing the fact that many young black men are pulled into the ideal of being a…show more content…
These devices ensure the audience’s attention and understanding, rather than a lack of sympathy or interest. His devices also connect the audience to the issue and makes them understand the depth of misrepresentation. Staples in his own way is able to show how preconceived notions are cruel generalizations of large groups of people, and a constant plague to the african american
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