Life In the Ghettos
Black men and public place is a story written by Brent Staples about the plight of black males in the urban area in the US. The story I based on personal experiences of the narrator in different cities and the treatment he received a well fellow black men in the towns. The black people experience a rough treatment from the police, bouncers and other areas where there are security checkpoints. Women and other individuals in the town suspect them to be potential criminals and make their life and movement, especially during the night difficult. However, Staples does not blame anyone for the different treatment but sees it as a cause of the past events and the inability to differentiate between muggers from ghettos. The muggers who were mostly black young men had a history of causing violence in the streets and hurting women. Finally, he concludes that he had to adapt to ways in which he would look less suspicious to people in the streets. In an evaluation of the story, one would like to find out whether the author uses an explicit description that can convince the readers to accept all facts presented and if there is a need for additional facts.
Staples uses evoking memories to describe how he learned about the way others viewed young black men. He describes how a white woman looked scared by the fact that she was on a lonely street with him simply because he was black. His description clearly shows his innocence and lack of knowledge why the woman was very terrified. Having grown in a different town where the perception of black men was somehow different. The description supports the view that young black men were regarded as potential criminals who would hurt women and people in the streets, especially during the night. Though he does little to prove the cause of the fear and the negative view of the African American men by the public, the description white woman efforts to run away and get lost in the cross road shows the reasons for the different treatment in security checkpoints.
It is ironical Staples fails to understand the reasons behind why the white woman, the police, and others in the streets treat the young black men differently. It is ironical because of the broad public knowledge is known to many that most black men are involved in crime and scare most people. His surprise on the reasons for the white woman feeling scared by seeing him has summed up his description of how he grew up. He clearly describes his growing up and the how he looked innocent proving why he might not have understood why one would differentiate him from the ghetto muggers. Having witnessed crime in early life from the black friends and relatives, he should have realized that there was a need for one to develop fear especially when they are in a lonely place with a masculine young person who they did not know. His level of education would have also helped him in understanding the same. However, he uses language well to convince the reader why he would not have easily understood by describing his personal characteristics as a person who would not have killed anyone as he would not even cut flesh using a knife.
In his early life, he had witnessed several black young men commit a crime and some killed by the police because of living against the law. His argument his biased because he does not give any description of the white counterparts and their experience with the police and crime. The fact that he concentrates in explaining why he did not take it offensively on the treatment of the black young men fails to become convincing why not all the young people were treated with suspicion.
Staples apparently convince the reader that he did not take it offensively when he treated differently only because he was a black person. He proves to be a well-refined person with his scrupulous character, which is attributed to the way he handles himself on the onset of avid discrimination. For example, when he was on an assignment for a local paper he entered a jewelry store, and the proprietor suspected him and in return took measure that clearly showed that she suspected for a criminal. The way he handled himself showed his understanding of the situation and not having hard feeling towards the proprietor because he bid her goodbye politely. Through this, he quickly convinces the reader that he fully understood the fact that black men inherited the fear factor while in the public place and he fully accepted it. His clear description of the facts surrounding how he behaved after the lady owning the jewelry shop suspected her shows that indeed he has adjusted to ways of avoiding causing around to confuse him with a criminal. Also failing to resist when security officers handcuffed him while going to his office proves his acceptance of the fact that he had a duty to convince other he was not a criminal. He successfully uses description to show how he suffered as black young person and also how he had learned how to live with it and not blaming others for the little space he had in the public domain.
In describing the effect of the negative public perception of the black men, he was successful in using language to describe how there was a sense of fear. He uses metaphor to evoke readers’ attention, understand, and feel the way the black men had a tough time to walk along the streets because of fear meeting the gun. He describes how he was not comfortable when other were crossing along his way going the other side. The description clearly shows that fear that had cropped in him after moving out of his hometown where he described as having little of no different treatment for the blacks. The description acts as evidence that he had fully accustomed to being seen as a potential criminal and people avoided walking past him or across his way. The feeling of being uncomfortable showed he had already developed a fear of the police and the as he puts it, fear had met the gun.
Brent Staples was successfully in describing the public space of the black men. He described vividly personal experienced throughout his life to show the plight of the black people. To support his experiences and as prove it was too many other black people, he also describes what he saw or shared with other young black men. Though his story is convincing, he needed to do more to show that the white young men did not experience the same while in similar situations as the young black men.
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