Just Walk On By Brent Staples Analysis

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Pages: 5

Freedom from Fear Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, or a threat likely to cause pain. In the essay “Just Walk on by” by Brent Staples, an African American man who grew up in Chester Pennsylvania, a small town in the 1960s. Staples explains that at such a young age, he learned to distinguish right from wrong because in his community there were gang warfares, street knifings, and murders. Staples remained a shadow in his community, his shyness making him grow up as one of the good boys. Due to society's stereotypes, Staples has always been seen as a threat because of his skin color. Staples access to the American dream is limited because even though he’s harmless the odds will always …show more content…
For example, in the reading Staples says “I entered a jewelry store... The proprietor excused herself and returned with an enormous red Doberman pinscher straining at the end of a leash. She stood, the dog extended toward me, silent to my questions, her eyes bulging nearly out of her head(2).” unfortunately, discrimination still exists in today's society. On the evening of February 26, 2012 Trayvon Martin an unarmed 17 year old African American student was confronted, shot, and killed near his home by a neighborhood watch because his hoodie and skin color made him look suspicious. The shooter claimed he shot Martin in self-defense. In the essay Staples also says “I soon gathered that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself. I only needed to turn a corner into a dicey situation, or crowd some frightened...Where fear and weapons meet there is always the possibility of death (2).” What Staples interpreted from fear and weapons relates to Trayvon Martin. Martin was killed because a simple neighborhood watch had fear from seeing an African American with a hoodie on in his