Mr. Staples

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The thesis of Brent Staples written piece, “ Black Men And Public Space” to me states that in America for a long time, we as black men had to deal with racial issues for a long time in this nations most disgraceful time period, slavery. Feeling like a criminal all the time is not a good feeling, as he stated, a white woman made him feel as if he was a mugger or a rapist and “that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself”. This is a chapter in America’s history I know they wished never happened. Staples learned he was a threat to many people by just walking down the street. Many whites would cross the street if a colored or feared person was walking down the opposite direction. Racism is fear. People fear the most things they know little about. Staples was surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once. Where fear and weapons meet, and they often do in urban America, there is always the possibility of death. The danger Staples encountered because of his race are unbelievable. Staples worked as a journalist in Chicago, was mistaken for a burglar while working on a story. Security was called and with no way to prove who he was, Staples was forced to run for help in his own workplace. Another incident with Staples occurred when Staples walked into a jewelry store and a lady walked out and came back with a dog. Wow. Racism is tough, but I liked the way Mr. Staples handled himself. No negativity on his part. Over the years, Staples learned how to seem less threatening to the public. He moved with care and precision especially at night. If Staples was to walk in a building behind some people who are afraid of him, he would walk by, letting them clear the lobby before he would return. Staples also developed a tension reducing technique, whistling melodies from Beethovan and Vivaldi. Seems to work, because sometimes he would catch passengers on the train whistling along with him or maybe because music is a universal language we all...
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