Essay about Racist Society

Submitted By Bmwhomes1
Words: 1122
Pages: 5

Blanca E. Benavides
Professor C. Flores
English 1302 MO6
12 September 2013
Wretched Racist Societies From the beginning of time, literature has served as a way of expression. People around the world have poured out their feelings onto paper, so long as someone finds interest. Through the ages of history, common themes have risen. From early civilization, it was said that darkness is a symbol of evil and all negative things and in contrast that light is a symbol of God and all good things. Societies throughout the world create “social rules” which in essence leads to prejudice. In the short story “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space,” written by Brent Staples, the author shares his own experiences of antipathy and hostility toward him caused by his own self. As a young woman, I met James Poindexter, a young man who suffered from these very same fears. Brent Staples characterizes his own experiences growing up in a raciest society. He provides the reader with examples of his life encounters associated with his fears and insecurities. He comes to a realization of the way he’d be viewed the rest of his life. It all unfolded before him one evening when his tall frame walked behind a young woman. It became apparent that he was perceived as a threat to her safety and to her life as she raced off into the night strapping down her purse. He states “It was clear she thought herself a quarry of a mugger, rapist, or worse.” Even after becoming a professional, his self image continued to bring problems as he was mistaken for a thief several times. Lastly Staples explains how he manages his problem; all by cleansing his image, and controlling his rage toward those people who considered him a criminal. Consistent rejection can cause anyone to see the world as one color or the other, creating a situation of self blame. A man or woman may even believe that every situation that goes wrong is by his or hers own fault. In 1972 while I was attending Lamar Middle School, I witnessed a teenage black man being verbally abused and bullied by a group of white and Hispanic students. James Poindexter was the only black teenage boy in the entire school. He always appeared frightened and intimidated. He would not eat at the cafeteria; go to school dances, or to even walk the school halls. Students picked on James constantly and called him hateful names related to his skin color. The leader of the racist student body was Conrad Zimmerman, R.I.P.; he would not allow James the time of day. One day as I saw James standing outside the classroom in a depressed stage, I walked up to him and introduced myself. Although he was intimidated, we became good friends. James confessed; “All my fears are due to the way others have perceived me, being a black person has haunted me forever.” It was because of his color he was afraid to eat at the cafeteria, go to school dances, and much worst, afraid to go to the restroom. He explained how girls would walk off the sidewalks as he encountered them face to face. From this day on I would become James best and only school friend. As students continued to inflict fear into him, I reported the incidents to the school principal. Although the office addressed the issues with his aggressors, James would no longer attend the next school year. This is the consequence of what a harmful racist society can drive a person to do. In a recent murder case which occurred on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida; Trayvon Benjamin Martin who was a seventeen year old black man was shot to death by George Zimmerman a twenty eight year old mixed race hispanic-white man. Martin was the son of a failed marriage. At the time of the incident he was suspended for ten days from school for drug use. He was with his father who was visiting his fiancé and her son at their townhome in The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford. On the evening Martin was shot, he was walking to the townhome from a