Summary and Response to Staples' Just Walk On - Article Example

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This essay discusses the article Brent Staples “Just Walk on By A Black Man ” provides a discussion on the ability of his presence to change the emotions of other individuals. Staples provides an explanation for his thesis through narratives of incidents in his life…
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Summary and Response to Staples Just Walk On
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Summary and Response to Staples essay "Just Walk On.” Brent Staples in his article “Just Walk on By: A Black Man PondersHis Ability to Alter Public Space” provides a discussion on the ability of his presence to change emotions of other individuals. Staples provides an explanation for his thesis through narratives of incidents in his life throughout the entire essay. He details a number of scenarios in which different individuals are mistaking him for a mugger or a thief. One of the notable accounts is his encounter with a white woman, “I came upon her late one evening on a deserted street in Hyde Park”. The young woman glanced at him before disappearing into the dark.
Staples recognizes the kind of thought the young woman has towards him as a rapist, mugger, and a murderer. The scenario is a portrayal of how the stereotyping influenced the thoughts of the young woman to disappear from the presence of Staple. Staples asserts that it not only the women that find his race and sex uneasy, but even men find discomfort when they meet with any black person especially in dangerous places. He notes that for the very first time that an individual runs away from his presence, he feels confused and does not have any feeling of anger.
Staples acknowledges that the young woman had every reason to fear for her life because young men are potential muggers. The encounter with a woman was the first time he observed himself labeled as a frightening stereotype. He does not have any system in place to deal with similar occurrence and deal with the anxiety that some individuals may develop when he meets them. He also explains a scenario where a woman was not comfortable with his visit to the store. As he entered the store located in North Side, the woman, who is the proprietor excused herself and then returned with a dog. She then extended the dog towards him “I took a cursory look around, nodded, and bade her good night.”
Just as in Staples’s story, a number of individuals have been victims of stereotype. My cousin Ahmed experienced several religion stereotypes while staying in Colorado. On one Saturday, he joined his friend Lewis, who invited him to a birthday party for his sister. Ahmed did not arrive at the party as they scheduled with Lewis. Lewis informed everyone at the party that he was expecting a friend to join them soon as they partied along. However, he did not get to a point of revealing the kind of a person that Ahmed was. When Ahmed finally got into the venue, everyone left the place hurriedly to the surprise of Lewis and Ahmed.
Ahmed later realized that his presence was a discomfort to gathering since he was a Muslim, and the rest were Christians. They viewed Ahmed as a terrorist, and who could easily kill, and they thought he probably had hand grenades and other explosives. For this reason, they had to run away. Ahmed’s religion and the religious attire that he wore influenced the thoughts of the individuals in the party to label him as a terrorist stereotype.
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