Brent Staples, “Just walk on By”
First of all, this guy is a jerk. He intentionally tried to scare other people by intimidating them in a game he called “Scatter the Pigeons”, where he would stalk white female pedestrians until they ran away from him. (http://answers.com/topic/brent-staples). He would dress and act in an intimidating manner to create fear in other people, then blame the fear on their racial prejudice because he is black. Overall the initial question or issue seems to be, “Should people alienate others because of their race.” This is misleading because the author has baited the subjects in his story and misrepresented himself as a victim of racial stereotyping, where the reality appears to be that the first woman he describes as a “victim”, in quotation marks, really was a victim who should have run from this creep. He doesn’t go on to speculate about what kind of emotional trauma his game may have had on his victim. This raised other questions: Does placing the term “victim” in quotation marks give it the appearance to the reader that she wasn’t a victim? Is this intended to give the reader the impression that her fears weren’t real? That she didn’t really suffer any emotional trauma from the experience? Did his game cause an exacerbation of the problem, (racial stereotyping), that he was claiming that he was himself the victim of? Is the problem racial in nature, or was the young lady, all alone late at night walking down the street justifiably wary of this big guy with billowing hair and hands in the pocket of his bulky military jacket, who was stalking her, was she right to be fearful of the guy stalking her? My thought is absolutely yes. She should have been concerned for her safety with anyone acting the way he did, regardless of how he is dressed or what his racial heritage might be. This story was published 23 years ago, describing a series of incidents that occurred near the end of the Viet-nam war (1973) and within a decade...
In “JustWalk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space,” Brent Staples explains how a black man’s appearance after dark can change a person’s actions. Staples’ comes to realize due to his race, clothes, and hair some people become frightened by him. Since others perceive him as dangerous he realized this could easily place himself in danger also. Eventually, he became accustomed to the precautions a lot of onlookers took. Crowded city street walkers did not have the same reaction toward him as small town walkers did. He noticed more commonly women were the ones who felt unsafe. He agrees that young black men are common aggressors, but with that being true he still did not feel any better. Staples’ explains how he was raised in a town where he witnessed a lot of violence which made him decide not to follow the same lifestyle. Even though he was not a man of viciousness, he describes a couple times he was mistakenly portrayed as such. In time he learned to control his emotions towards being mistaken as a perpetrator. He now has ways to keep other pedestrians more comfortable while sharing sidewalks with him.
In “Snoopers at Work,” Bill Bryson explains how businesses and employers are legally allowed to invade your personal privacy. The author describes the three main reasons why both...
30 October 2012
JustWalk on By
In Brent Staples’ essay, “JustWalk on By” the author describes his experiences, feelings, and reactions towards the discrimination he has faced throughout his life as a black man. Staples describes several different personal experiences of when he felt that he had been judged or discriminated against by other people based on the color of his skin and how that contributed to his overall appearance. Staples has continuously been perceived as a danger or criminal simply because of his skin color, leading him to have to deal with many uncomfortable situations. The author has even gone so far as to take precautions when he is on the street just so that he will not be misjudged or thought of as dangerous by the people that surround him in these circumstances. Throughout Brent Staples’ essay, he illustrates how discrimination has affected him personally and uses various literary devices to elaborate on his points.
Staples position on discrimination is clearly portrayed throughout the essay; he has been misjudged based on the color of his skin and his physical appearance and for that reason alone. Although the topic of discrimination may be one that people do not like to talk about and something that people often avoid discussing, Staples displays a light tone and many different humorous remarks to get his point across. Staples uses a...
...JustWalk on By
1. Do the women in this story have the right to act the way they did in front of Staples? Is putting their safety over judging another person justified?
2. Does the way that black people are treated contribute to making more dangerous criminals?
3. Staples acts as if his intimidating demeanor is a handicap. Do you think this was a wise decision? Instead of standing up and expressing his thoughts on how he is treated, is it better to keep in mind the delicacy of the social issues at hand?
I believe the central idea of this essay is to show how Staple’s race and size affect how others view and treat him. How must one feel to be treated like a criminal constantly? Are the people justified to be afraid of Staples? If so, does it give them the right to arrest and harass Staples because he looks large and dangerous? Also, do you think this negative treatment of blacks is contributing to creating more hate filled criminals? In the essay, Staples treats his race as a handicap, and works his way around it so people will find him less intimidating. Was this the right course of action at the time? Was the social tension between blacks and whites too great at the time for Staples to express his opinion on the injustice he endured? If you were in Staple’s shoes, what would you do to combat the social injustice he faced? Also through this essay, we also see how people judge and group people, and act in a certain way towards...
JustWalk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space
1. Why does staples characterize the woman he encounters in a paragraph 1 as a “victim”?
One of the author’s purpose of characterizing the woman he encounters, is to share the reader a personal life experience in order to engage and catch the reader’s attention with this ironic and sarcastic situation. The author uses this type of language to transmit and inform the magnitude of racism at that time and how can affect an individual. He uses the word “victim” as a sarcastic expression of how black people were seen, as dangerous people. It is clear that the “victim” thought that being around Staples meant that her life was in a hazard.
2. What does Staples mean when he says he has he powers to “alter public space”?
The author recognize the fact that he have positive attributes on his side that can help him to “alter public space”. He works in a very good editorial, this means that, whatever he say can cause a strong impact in society’s mind set. Staples knows his influence in the media. Also, he is black and he understands how black people are stereotyped in society, so he uses to his favor the sense of “hazard” that society have toward black people. Staples have lived racism in a closer look since he was a child and he was able to convert that negative experience into a positive and encouraging method to overcome racism.
3. What is Staple’s thesis? Does he state it or...
Honors English 3, Period 4
08 November 2013
“I have passed by the watchman on his beat and dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain” (II. 5-6). Depression causes a person to distance themselves from the world. It also causes them to not want to associate themselves with people. In the poem, “Acquainted with the Night,” by Robert Frost, a persona seems to be walking aimlessly alone at night in the rain. The persona passes a watchman whom he refuses to associate himself with, so he drops his eyes. The persona also hears “an interrupted cry” that isn’t meant for him, showing how lonely he is. Robert Frost uses many metaphors and symbols to represent things such as depression and hope. In fact, in the poem, diction and imagery are combined to create the gloomy, depressing theme of loneliness and depression.
Frost uses diction to emphasize the theme of depression and loneliness. He does this by using many words to express the theme. Words such as “furthest city light,” (1.3) for example, imply depression or loneliness. The noun suggests depression and despair in many ways. The persona is not only depressed, but when he gets far enough into his depression, there is no light, or happiness, in his life. One that is depressed secludes themselves from any company and purposely distances themselves from society. The verb “dropped” (1. 6) demonstrates this hopelessness by dropping his eyes when he passes by a watchman, the only...
Dr. Lynn Fauth
20 January 2011
JustWalk on By
In the essay Justwalk on by, author Brent Staples shares his experiences of living with the prejudged notion that he is someone to be feared because he is different from his peers. Brent Staples grew up in the small town of Chester, Pennsylvania where he was an outsider. He caught on to something that most of his friends probably had never thought about before or even felt that they had the right to think about. Somewhere along the line of his child hood Staples chose to rise above the normality of his peers. He chose to become what was unexpected of him and set new standards for his life. He decided to be a dreamer, however; when his dreams came true Staples quickly learned that changing the way he felt about himself internally did not mean that people would overlook judgment on what they saw externally.
Brent Staples grew up in an urban hardcore society that demanded him to lust for intimidation over others but he matured and managed to slide by the test of his manhood, Staples writes,” I came to doubt the virtues of intimidation early on. I chose, perhaps even unconsciously, to remain a shadow—timid, but a survivor.” Staples moved on and became nothing close to a prototype of his brother who died at age 22 to gang violence. So how come after making such a drastic change in his lifestyle he still cannot manage to...
...schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s can be contracted as life goes on. People older of age tend to be more at risk for these types of mental problems. Most common physical disabilities are loss of sight, hearing, and the ability to engage in any motor activity.
Blindness in an individual can range from near-sightedness to complete blindness. As with most physical disabilities, this can be present in an individual from birth or caused by an injury to the eyes or brain. One cause of visual impairment is simply old age. Another could the result of an injury to the eye that leaves the person blind in one more maybe two eyes. Sight is one of the most vital senses a person can possess without it life would be very difficult. Those who are blind tend to walk around with sunglasses and a stick or even a dog to help lead them, the correct way. Sometimes people often mock blind people and refer them as
The most common type of hearing disability is noise-induced hearing loss which refers to damage to hearing caused by loud noises. Hearing loss can also be caused by head trauma, ear infections, pregnancy complications and genetic disorders. In many cases, the ability to hear can be partially helped through the use of a hearing aid. You always hear the word “deaf” to describe someone who doesn’t have ability to hear. These certain individuals communicate with sign language and the hearing aid often helps then interact as well. At time these people may be mocked because of the...
Expos US 1
11 September 2013
Deepening the essay “Justwalk on by” by Brent Staples
In the front part of the essay “ Justwalk on by”, Brent tells a few little stories which are talking about how bad racism is hurting him. He is hurting for racism as a child, as an adult, as a student and as a journalist. People are giving a mark of bad people on him. However, in the last paragraph, he “whistles melodies from Beethoven and Vivaldi....” (qtd. in Brent) and “Even steely New Yorkers hunching toward nighttimes destinations seem to relax, and occasionally they even join in the tune” (qtd. in Brent). He chooses the right way to make people think that he is a good person in side. He is not a threat. When most people are facing challenges or prejudices, they resist and refuse to treat the difficulties normally since they are not the ones who have faults. But Brent, he chooses to calm down and find a way to get through the problems. He is the one who can be grateful to enemies, to who has hurt him. At the beginning of the essay, it feels like Brent is accusing the sociality for the unfair treat that people has put on him. But after the stories, he has shown his bright and positive personality by trying to avoid those problems. In the end, he uses his own experience tells us his life, his great sprit. He tells us no matter what comes to you, no matter how much are the difficulties, there is always a way out as...