Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space
Brent Staples wrote this essay with the main theme dealing with fear of stereotypes particularly with African Americans. For example, when he wrote, “ I could cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic light and elicit thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, of the driver – black, white, male, or female – hammering down the door locks.” The word thunk is used as onomatopoeia showing a harsh tone, this also shows the major prejudice even within his own race. Brent Staples said he enjoyed night walks but when a female would see him the women in fear would not make eye contact and clutch their purse like they are about to get plummeted by an avalanche. This is all done because of a stereotypical black male walking at night must mean he is up to no good. On the other hand women these days are getting mugged and raped more than ever so they have a right to be aware of their surroundings.
In my opinion mostly all people are judgmental and will make the decision of whom that man or woman’s personality by just looking at her for a couple seconds. If we all go talk to a homeless man for a couple minutes and learn about the person not what he or she looks like their would not be as much fear that there is in these urban areas. It isn’t apporiate to avoid someone in such a shameful way by crossing the street in a hurry or not making eye contact. The point is that people might not be racist by doing such a thing but is doing it out of fear.
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