In the two essays, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” by Brent Staples and “I’m Not Racist But…” by Neil Bissoondath, there are both differences and similarities. The two authors differ in their opinion on the causes of racism and life experiences involving racism, but are similar in regards to the use of stereotypes in the world In Brent Staples’ opinion, causes of racism are derived from fear and the insufficient knowledge that a person might have about another that may cause them to be racist. In his piece, he writes, “Another time I was on assignment for a local paper and killing time before an interview. I entered a jewellery store on the city’s affluent Near North Side. The proprietor excused herself and returned with an enormous red Doberman pinscher straining at the end of the leash. She stood, the dog extended toward me, silent to my questions, her eyes bulging nearly out of her head. I took a cursory look around, nodded, and bade her good night.” (Staples 227) This quote shows that the woman that owned the jewellery store was afraid that she might get robbed by Staples and therefore acted by protecting herself with her vicious dog, with the intention to scare away the “robber”, whom she believed to be Brent Staples. She assumed that because she was in an affluent neighbourhood and because Brent Staples was black, he was there with the intention to rob her rather than the true reason, which was to kill some time prior to his next interview. She showed prejudice and racism towards Staples because of she was afraid of his skin colour and did not have true information about him. Neil Bissoondath differs in his definition of racism. He writes that the cause of racism derives fr... ... middle of paper ... ... became afraid and tried to get away from him. (Staples 224) In Neil Bissoondath’s essay, we see an example with the mover complaining about a Chinese driver he encountered. He said, “I’m not racist, but the Chinese are the worst drivers on the road.” (Bissoondath 271) The accusation that the mover made was a stereotype which exists about the Chinese, in general, because of the shape of their eyes because of their ethnicity. Their eye sight is not impaired in any way because of the shape of their eyes, but because they are different and people are afraid of them, they are made fun of because they are different. In regards to racism, Brent Staples and Neil Bissoondath may have different view points about its causes and by their life experiences involving racism, but they have similar views on the use of stereotypes and how they affect the races they pertain to.
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Fueled by fear and ignorance, racism has corrupted the hearts of mankind throughout history. In the mid-1970’s, Brent Staples discovered such prejudice toward black men for merely being present in public. Staples wrote an essay describing how he could not even walk down the street normally, people, especially women, would stray away from him out of terror. Staples demonstrates his understanding of this fearful discrimination through his narrative structure, selection of detail, and manipulation of language.
Racism is defined by merriam-webster.com as ‘1. A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 2. Racial prejudice or discrimination.’ Racism exists among all races and ethnicities, but most prominently between whites and blacks. The most basic cause of racism begins with the idea that there is something different between different ethnicities. Though that thought is illogical, it is one that seems inevitable. The amount of hatred one can hold against another because of the difference in their skin pigmentation is uncanny. There are an uncountable amount of sources on racism to be found just by merely looking on the internet. In The Bluest Eye, a novel written by Toni Morrison, alone one can find a series amount of racist comments and “ways of thinking”, but beyond that racism can be found in poems, films, and everyday life.
In Brent Staples’ "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space," Staples describes the issues, stereotypes, and criticisms he faces being a black man in public surroundings. Staples initiates his perspective by introducing the audience in to thinking he is committing a crime, but eventually reveals how the actions taken towards him are because of the fear linked to his labelled stereotypes of being rapists, gangsters and muggers. Staples continues to unfold the audience from a 20 year old experience and sheds light onto how regardless of proving his survival compared to the other stereotypical blacks with his education levels and work ethics being in the modern era, he is still in the same plight. Although Staples relates such burdens through his personal experiences rather than directly revealing the psychological impacts such actions have upon African Americans with research, he effectively uses emotion to explain the social effects and challenges they have faced to avoid causing a ruckus with the “white American” world while keeping his reference up to date and accordingly to his history.
The author of Black Men and Public Space, Brent Staples, is an African American man who has a PhD in psychology from the University of Chicago and he is a member of the New York Times editorial board. Staples published an article that described several personal experiences in which he felt that the people around him were afraid of his presence. Staples’ purpose is to bring to light the prejudice that exists in everyday life for African Americans. In Black Men and Public Space, Staples appeals to pathos by using imagery and strong diction, and he uses a somber yet sarcastic tone to portray his message.
In Brent Staples’ essay, "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Spaces," and throughout society, races play a dominant role in perceiving a man or a woman as a menace in a public space. This type of racial segregation has been ubiquitous throughout history. In the 1850s, African Americans were frequently deprived of the basic necessities of life. In the 1940s,
A person’s actions doesn’t reflect upon another person of the same race. Our society occasionally stereotypes both gender and race. I’ve been stereotyped by being apprised that I’ll be another hispanic teen getting pregnant. They say hispanic girls fall in love too quickly and end up getting pregnant before the age of 16. “Just Walk on By”, written by Brent Staples in the late 1900’s was intended towards a stereotype audience of African Americans being aggressors and muggers. Staples purpose is to divulge the idea, that African Americans, are all seen the same due to one black man committing a crime. “Just Walk on By”, establishes an ordinary hard working person to being stereotyped by others because of his skin color.
Philosophers have developed concepts they consider are sufficient for defining racism. One philosopher is Tommie Shelby. Shelby presents his reasoning for why we should view racism as an ideology, or a system of beliefs that constitute social oppression (Shelby, 415). Racism is not an innate characteristic, rather it is something culturally and socially constructed, denying it as being a personal vice. This means that racial discrimination is not just about the individual but, also society. Society plays a large role in creating certain beliefs, stereotypes, and thoughts about different groups that serve to promote racism. I will present Shelby’s reasoning and understanding of racism, later introducing another philosopher, Sally Haslanger,
Racism has existed through the world for centuries and has been the primary reason for numerous conflicts, wars and other human tragedies all over the planet. From 16th to 19th-century blacks were taken from their homes and families and taken for the slave trade. They were often overworked, beaten and killed. Being black was not the best thing you could be in 1950’s. Racism is not something that is inborn, it is what people created. In the article, “We’re all racist. But racism by white people matters more”, Mona Chalabi says “I don’t think white people are born with some sort of racism gene – the main thing that explains those different scores is the way that society has geared up our brains differently.” It is our society that is ignorant,
To understand racism, we need to know what is making people act racist. In America, fear is the primary cause of racism. What is fear? It is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous or a threat. Andrew Smith said “People fear what they
According to Navarrete, McDonald, Molina, & Sidanius (2010), race refers to a group of people who exhibit similar physical and genetic characteristics that are different from other groups. He also refers to race as social constructs. Racism, however, is defined as the belief that one’s own race is superior over other people’s races (Cote-Lussier, 2016). On the other hand, racial stereotyping may be defined as the blanket assumption that every member of a particular racial group behave and act in a certain predefined way irrespective of their individual unique differences (Wong, Horn, & Chen, 2013; Graham & Lowery, 2004). The two terms, though, are mistakenly interchangeably used in most racial studies. According to Inzlicht & Kang (2010), numerous scholars and researchers have done a number of researches on race, racism, and racial stereotyping. A lot of the research that has been done in this field, though, has mainly
In today’s society the definition of racism and what it entails may vary from person to person and the differences in the definition may be a reflection of alternative perspectives taken on the issue. A lot of the responses to the definition of racism may be based solely on personal experiences including the individual’s interactions with others, how they were raised, and the influences that affected them during their lifetime. With further research it can be discovered that contrary to popular belief, racism is not that simple and cannot simply be described by ones interactions or attitudes towards a specific group of people. Traditional views describe racism as the belief of the superiority of one race above others (Lecture, September 12,
“Racism occurs in explicit forms…[and] is also commonly and indirectly present through prejudiced attitudes, lack of recognition of cultural diversity and culturally biased practices” (Brice). Susan stated that when she was younger there was a boy that told her she “deserved to be deaf” solely because she was black. The magnitude of a statement such as that is mind blowing. Prejudice and racism are still, embarrassingly, prevalent in today’s society. However, a symbolic interactionist view on prejudice is that if groups of people are seen as equals and are held to the same standards, then stereotyping is heavily reduced (Kendall