Author Brent Staples writes an essay called “Just Walk On by.” This essay is based on his emotion and experiences of being stereotyped as a criminal because he was a young black male. Staples was angry throughout the essay, but I can say that he remained humble and didn’t play the blame game. Staples knew and understood why people acted the way that they did toward him. In the essay he talks about how he grew up around the same type of black men that he is being stereotyped to be like, thugs, criminals, dead, or in jail. Staples stated “Many things go into the making of a young thug. One of those things is the consummation of the male romance with the power to intimidate.” Meaning basically you can’t judge a book by its cover. Stereotypes affect different individuals regardless of race, religion, and sex.
Brent’s essay started off as if he was a predator. His words were “my first victim was a women white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties.” This automatically had me thinking he was some type of serial killer or something in that nature. As I read the entire essay and understood what was actually going on I noticed that I did the same thing people were doing around him which was assuming. Staples was actually innocent to the ignorance. He states “I could cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk of the driver – black, white , male or female hammering down the door locks.” Another thing Brent Staples said was “As
softly who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken—let alone hold one to a person’s throat- I was surprised embarrassed, and dismayed all at once.”
Since Staples felt embarrassed of how people stereotyped him he changed the way he went about things to make people feel more comfortable around him, whether they were walking past or standing an elevator, or sitting in a car. “I began to take precautions to make myself less threatening. I move about with care, particularly...