Unprovoked Racial Discrimination In Brent Staples’ Just Walk On By

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In the past, countless people tended to discriminate against blacks and whites and ignore blacks. For example, you may be suspected of being a criminal just because you are black, or you may even be put in jail. Unprovoked discrimination is one of the many problems that should be eliminated. However, this discrimination is not completely eliminated at this time. Of course, the number of people victimized has decreased because people's human rights are better guaranteed than in the past, but this discrimination still persists.

The story is about an African-American writer, Brent Staples, who has been misunderstood by race He tells a lot of stories about himself. He surprised young white women as they turned the corner at night, and she ran away convinced that he was 'a rape criminal, a rapist or worse.' He says, 'Young black men are greatly overrated among the perpetrators of violence.' He refers to two extreme situations in which he is mistaken for a thief and tells the story of a reporter who is mistaken for the murderer he was reporting. Brent Staple makes it clear that these things are continuous and common, so he had to make changes to accommodate these frightened whites in public, for example, by whistling classical music at night. The point he is trying to make with this article is that white people often have some common misconceptions about African-Americans, assuming that they are all criminals, even though Brent clearly described himself as 'one of the good boys.'

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In the article how can we know the speaker is credible, intelligent, and good-willed? We can know that in the first paragraph of the article, ”Brent Staples (b. 1951) earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago and went on to become a journalist. The following essay originally appeared in Ms. Magazine in 1986, under the title, “Just Walk on By.” Staples revised it slightly for publication in Harper’s a year later under the present title.” According to “Best universities for psychology degrees 2019” research, psychology from the University of Chicago is in the top 5 universities in the world. Therefore, the writer's words are more reliable. Also he said that “I whistle melodies from Beethoven and Vivaldi and the more popular classical composers.”, “I now take precautions to make myself less threatening.”, and “Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black men are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence.” This parts that he said had a good wills tries to make others comfortable and shows he understands why some people fear him.

Pathos (appeal to emotion) is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response to an impassioned plea or a convincing story. In his essay “Just walk on by” Brent Staples used pathos to appeal to his emotion strongly. He mentioned that “I understand, of course, that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination.” It means he is appealing his emotion particularly to women’s emotion. “I grew accustomed to but never comfortable with people crossing to the other side of the street rather than pass me. Then there were the standard unpleasantries with policemen, doormen, bouncers, cab drivers, and others whose business it is to screen out troublesome individuals before there is any nastiness.” As we can see from this remark, he is inciting empathy in readers. In order to relate oneself to the reader, he mentioned “I was surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once. Her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny.” To causes reader to look inward at his/her own stereotypes, he told his first victim experience that “My first victim was a white woman, well dressed, probably in her early twenties.” Finally he said “Yet these truths are no solace against the kind of alienation that comes of being ever the suspect, a fearsome entity with whom pedestrians avoid making eye contact” to appeal his emotion to readers in the hearts of the readers.

The author used logical evidence to support his claims. He usually used facts, common knowledge, his real life experience, and personal anecdotes. For example he said “I was mistaken for a burglar. The office manager called security and, with an ad hoc posse, pursued me through the labyrinthine halls, nearly to my editor’s door. I had no way of proving who I was. I could only move briskly toward the company of someone who knew me.” He explained his real life experience to make his opinion logically. The author also gives the experience of another black man. He mentioned that “He went to nearby Waukegan, Illinois, a couple of summers ago to work on a story about a murderer who was born there. Mistaking the reporter for the killer, police officers hauled him from his car at gunpoint and but for his press credentials, would probably have tried to book him. 

Such episodes are not uncommon. Black men trade tales like this all the time. This shows that more people than him face this issue. Because of these examples allowed the writer to express his opinions in “Just walk on by” more logically.

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Unprovoked Racial Discrimination In Brent Staples’ Just Walk On By [Internet]. WritingBros. 2022 May 16 [cited 2024 Apr 21]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/unprovoked-racial-discrimination-in-brent-staples-just-walk-on-by/
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