TWP, PG 283-289

TWP, PG 283-289 - Staples is both aware of and very...

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Kevin Pintauro March 11, 2007 TWP Pg 283-289 Brent Staples’s “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” is an essay that discusses other works of literature about the passive racism that black people receive from others; especially in urban areas. After a woman quickly “escapes” from Staples, he looks at himself and knows why the woman might have mistaken him for something threatening. Since he has dealt with so many people like her, he probably just feels sorry for the woman as she will continue to be terrified by people whom she knows nothing about. Since she was the first person to label him with a frightening stereotype, Staples had not yet come up with a system to deal with other's anxiety. He was surprised to have elicited such a feeling from the woman, and in turn internalized her anxiety. Later, after he had gotten over his initial shock, he tries to change his image, hoping that people would no longer assign him such frightening stereotypes.
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Unformatted text preview: Staples is both aware of and very understanding of the feelings of the people around him. He knows when the people on the street become weary of him, as he has seen their darting eyes and the defensive posture they assume so often. He does not, however, become angered with their fearful emotions, for he understands the natural fear people have of the unsavory stereotypes he is so commonly confused with. By understanding that, Staples was able to conquer the rage one feels for being mistaken as a criminal so often, as he described in his writing. In his writing, Staples makes no angry remarks to the people who fear him, while on the street he takes special precaution to facilitate such people, going to long lengths to sooth their fears. His attitude towards others on the street is one of empathy. Even though he is unfairly portrayed as a person of unsavory motives, he rises above the normal human reaction of resentment and anger to become the epitome of empathy and tolerance....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENG 150 taught by Professor Mcmahon during the Spring '07 term at Creighton.

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TWP, PG 283-289 - Staples is both aware of and very...

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