Racism and Unconscious Bias in Staples' Just Walk on By

In Brent Staples’ Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space,' Staples portrays the matters, stereotypes, and censures he undergoes as a black man in public settings. Staples offers his viewpoint by introducing the audience into believing he is committing an offense but ultimately indicates the manner in which his actions taken towards him are due to the fear associated with his labeled stereotypes of being rapists, muggers, and gangsters. He continues to unfold the audience from a 20-year-old and provides an overview of how irrespective of proving his survival compared to different stereotypical blacks within his levels of educations in addition to work ethics in the contemporary period, he is still in a similar plight (Brunson & Miller 613). This essay provides a rhetorical analysis of 'Black Men and Public Space' by Brent Staples who tries to introduce people to something many are guilty of but offer little attention to. Utilizing accounts from his and others' perceptions, Staples essay reveals the racist propensity of people to believe black men are violent and harmful.

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The reason for the article, Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space' is to illustrate how unconscious bias as well as racism persists. He utilizes numerous rhetorical approaches to ensure readers see his perception. He achieves this using language, pathos, an amusing writing format. Diction is an enormous part of the article. He uses terms like, "As I swung into the avenue behind her," in addition to, "Both hands shoved into his bulky military jacket" (Staples 267).

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The words swung, bulky and shoved develop an aggressive impression to the pictures professed by audiences. Numerous other terms he utilizes to develop this sentiment include, "subsequent to a few more quick glances, she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest” Staples 266). Another model he applies language is brought out his aptitude when he indicates that the sense of fear erroneously associated with him in public areas frequently has a terrifying taste (Greene & Owen 26). The evocative terms he utilizes are special and develop a perception of a learned person. Staples uses pathos to appeal to readers in numerous diverse aspects. Fear is an emotion he endeavors to get at by using quotes that develop the feeling and restates this by indicating he became recognizable with the diction of fear.

Staples applies mockery as well as humor to get the audience to relate to him thus allowing them to consent with him. He provides an idea that suffering from insomnia; he is pestering sleep. The observation follows a serious paragraph while saying that it is not apparent how he attained twenty-two years. This article represents an exceptional piece of minority literature of the present (Staples 265). The essay is of high quality which the author relates to blacks in addition to other ethnic groups. Within the essay, Staples makes numerous valid remarks and poignant observations regarding the unfairness blacks experience in routine social settings.

He indicates his righteous anger at comprehensive-rooted bias and the infrequent abhorrence that blacks experience. The aspect of this writing is not exceptional, for marginal writing in America in full of similar ideas. Nonetheless, what renders the essay special in its own way is the author's projected alternative for the matter. In place of using an essential point of view of hostile confrontation against racial injustices, the author tries to visualize the issue from White Americans' viewpoint and proceeds to ease their anxieties (Pain 900). This is an apparent special observation in the context of minority literature and blacks. While the logic used by the writer may be considered weak and his attitude submissive, it requires courage for an individual of the minority group to attain and provide an olive twig. The other parts of this writing clarify extra aims for why such matters are the way they are thus arguing in favor of Staples' position.

Remembering the historical times of racial reconciliation that took place in the United States, it is correct to indicate that antiwar leaders in the form of Martin Luther have abandoned a highly lasting legacy compared to confrontational ones similar to Malcolm X. essentially, in the modern era, the similarity would be extended to learned people in the form of Cornell West as against voluble ethnoreligious leaders like Louis Farrakhan. While both ends have sound reasonable points of view to back their stands, it is the balanced and cool evaluation of the peaceful leaders that triumphs through (Staples 266). A similar measurement is pertinent to Brent Staples' point of view, which is founded on nuanced and balanced evaluation and destined to provide into a tranquil settlement. Also, while recognizing the justification for black men belligerence, the author highlights its basic flows.

While numerous observations come from Staples’ individual experiences, the writing is commendable for its deliberation of the contrasting perspective. For instance, the mention of Norman Podhoretz' contentious article dubbed 'My Negro Problem and Ours' is far-fetched to indicate the many problems black people faced in the past. Apart from the apparent racist tone of the essay under review, the author does not indicate valid explanations made by Podhoretz. For instance, Staples agrees with his colleagues in identifying the particular variety of distrustful tetchiness that black men have portrayed (Pain 899). The major problem, with the author's scrutiny of Podhoretz' perceptions, is its suitable labeling of all black men, for this is unashamedly not right to classify a whole society as anguishing from suspicious tetchiness.

However, apart from this minor fault in Staples' talk, there is the heavy reality behind numerous of the writer's assertions. And ultimately, in a show of fictional mockery, the self proclaimed `authority to change public space' propels the writer to change his confidential behavior and thoughts. When biases illustrated by the white group are highly incorporated for its debauched overnight, a highly practical alternative is sought. In what is considered the most unforgettable final parts from this work, the writer informs the readers how he has learned to change tense circumstances into friendly ones (Staples 268). Staples shows the audience how his espousal of a considerate stance in the public room has changed his individual undergoing.  While not being instructive regarding his model, there is some aspect of an earnest proposal in his utterances.

The author highlights the fact that he was an alumnus of the University of Chicago, permitting the readers to comprehend he is a learned fellow who most likely has proper information about what he is referring to. Alongside his university level of learning, Staples worked as a journalist in Chicago. When talking about black people in mugging past, the author alludes to a renowned essay and incorporates quotes. The terms Staples applies to describe a white female's reaction to his presence were fundamental illustrations of the manner in which pathos was effective in the writing. According to his assessment, the way the female felt was worrying. She felt uncomfortable thinking the black man was dangerously close. Staples makes readers understand how people robotically feel frightened as if all black men on earth are hazardous or dangerous. The author exposes the emotions of fear that many individuals experienced where blacks were around (Greene & Owen 29). The major point of the essay under review is that as a result of racial discrimination and bias, black men are continually being mistaken because of the totally falsified notion. Staples did a commendable job of highlighting the main points of the condition, offering a solution to the matter and supporting his reasoning as to why he considered it was right to make himself seem less threatening.

This writing is a rhetorical analysis of the article 'Just walk on By: Black Men and Public Space' by Brent Staples. The author talks about conflict with the identity of a black man and how such people undergo bias in the society. Staples says the white majority ensure their black counterparts go through hell by not treating them as their colleagues. In place of having a personal identity, black people are victims of discrimination. Rather than maintaining a special personality that a person can identify and differentiate, black people are considered members of a stereotype. Albeit many of the assumptions and accusations generated by the public are not true, members of this minority category suffer ceaselessly. There is definitely a comprehensive deal of ethos utilized in the entirety of the essay under review.


Works Cited

  1. Brunson, Rod K., and Jody Miller. "Young black men and urban policing in the United States." British journal of criminology 46.4 (2005): 613-640.
  2. Greene, Patricia G., and Margaret M. Owen. "Race and ethnicity." Handbook of entrepreneurial dynamics: The process of business creation (2004): 26-38.Pain, Rachel.
  3. "Gender, race, age and fear in the city." Urban studies 38.5-6 (2001): 899-913.
  4. Staples, Brent. "Just walk on by: A black man ponders his power to alter public space." Canadian content (2012): 263-268.
Updated: May 03, 2023
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Racism and Unconscious Bias in Staples' Just Walk on By. (2021, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-persistence-of-racism-and-unconscious-bias-in-brent-staples-just-walk-on-by-black-men-and-public-space-essay

Racism and Unconscious Bias in Staples' Just Walk on By essay
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