Weighing In Essay

1327 Words6 Pages
English 111
Weighing In Essay Racism has repeatedly played a controversial role throughout the course of history. This is a topic fueled by the heated arguments of the parties on both ends of the matter, may it be the cry of the victim or defense of the offender. As described in the works of two members of ethnic minorities coping with the alienation they both faced in what is supposed to be the land of diversity, Firoozeh Dumas’ “The F Word,” and Brent Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space, racism is portrayed as a dark shadow cast upon those who may not seem to conform to the “norms” of western culture to the typical American. Such stereotypes and predispositions should not hold the power to classify and simplify human beings to one
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Rather than being another “Joe” or “Mary,” people would just have to adjust to her, not the other way around. Similar to Dumas’ struggle in America as an Iranian, Brent Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space” details the struggle of being a black man in America. There are countless stereotypes implanted in the minds of Americans of the typical black person, aggressive, dishonest, ruthless, and overall ill intentioned. The first encounter with this racist outlook on blacks Staples had was in a wealthier area of downbeat Chicago, who began to appear worrisome and soon after proceeded to run from the author, who had done nothing intentionally to provoke fear in her. I agree that women should always place their safety as their first priority and should remove themselves from any situation in which they find themselves uncomfortable or at risk, but if blacks and whites can’t manage to walk the same streets without one race thinking the other is going to attack at any given moment due to the misconceptions floating around in their heads, then America really isn’t a land of diversity. It then becomes a land of hierarchy. As he says, Staples is too scared to even wield a knife at a chicken, let alone wield a knife at another human being, but by the color of his skin and appearance, one would never know this. Being perceived as dangerous, he writes, is a hazard in itself, and could easily land him in the back of a police car
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