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Little Things Are Big by Jesus Colon - Article Example

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The author of the paper states that the story Little Things Are Big by Jesus Colon highlights the conflict of race, prejudice and class conflict where a Negro wants to help a white woman but is afraid of approaching her in incase she mistakes him for an attacker (Colon, 1)…
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Little Things Are Big by Jesus Colon
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Download file to see previous pages In “Little things are big", the event occurred in 1955 when the USA and the author recount the story in the present setting. In those days, the USA was racially segregated and the term ‘Negro’ was used often to identify Blacks in a derogatory manner. This was the perception and image that Jesus Colon felt white people had about Blacks, irrespective of the fact that Blacks were also humans with families, cultural values and ethics. The belief that guided Colon’s actions or lack of it was "[I]’m a *Negro and a Puerto Rican. Suppose I approach this white lady in this deserted subway station late at night?..."(Colon, 1).  Colon’s perception and fear were that the white woman would react in panic when she saw a Negro approaching her on a deserted railway station. The intentions of the Negro would be unknown to her and with the prevailing suspicion and distrust against Blacks; the white lady would have probably panicked, screamed for help. The story highlights the dilemma and the personal loss of the capability for self-reflection when a person from a racial minority community is placed in an uncertain situation and setting (Colon, 2).  It appears that centuries of deprivation and degraded living as a Negro has made Colon believe the things that Whites accuse his race of. A critical examination shows that Colon appears to be an honorable man with high family values and culture. However, the cloistered atmosphere in the subway station appears to cloud his ability to reflect and think. For that brief instance of a few minutes when Colon is in a quandary and thinks about the proper course of action to be taken, all the fears that have been heaped on his race come out in a gush (Dodson, 32).  A certain amount of racial stereotyping is apparent in the story. Both Jesus Colon and the White Lady appear to be victims of racial stereotyping. The Negroes have been profiled as violent and racially inferior beings fit for menial work only. On the other hand, White women are also racially stereotyped as racial bigots who presume that all black men are after them to outrage their modesty. These racial stereotypes are created mentally and in all probability, Colon has never been accused of such a crime and the white lady has never been a victim of the crime. However, what appears between the two is the great racial divide and bigotry that the system has created. The black man is held back by the fears that the white race has created about his own Negro race. The white woman is not aware of the turmoil that she has created with her three children and her apparent state of helplessness (Dodson, 35). The question that arises now is if Colon was a busybody and if the white lady really needed his help. She had presumably traveled from her home to the subway on her own along with her baby and two young children. She had even got on the train on her own, taken care of her children and managed her suitcase. She had also got down from the busy train on her own managing her baby, the suitcase and her other two children. All that remained was for her to walk the long concrete ramp and out of the station. Having accomplished all this herself, why should she now ask for help from a strange Negro? If Colon had tried to help, in all probability, she would have said no thanks and moved on (Popkin, 56). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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