Don't Stereotype Me

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Don’t Stereotype Me From the beginning of American society, black people have been viewed as a liability rather than an asset. Even today, one can still see the lasting effects of prejudice and discrimination against the black race. If America is considered the melting pot of countries why is it that there is a problem of acceptance, most commonly with that of African Americans? Too often, black people are forced to pretend to be something they are not to make white people "comfortable" around them. Likewise, too often black people give in to the notion that they have to live by the stereotypes placed upon them in order to get along well in society. It is because of the cycle of different stereotypes that it is harder for some black people to get along as well as some white people in contemporary society. It is apparent that in spite of social "progress", black people continue to be a viewed as a problem to society because of judgment based on the stereotypes that have been placed upon them, rather than who they are as a people. Often times, black people struggle to merge into society as one of its socially acceptable members, because they are judged not based on the content of their character, but on the ignorant stereotypes that have been placed upon them by society. For example, black men are often perceived as dangerous thugs, who can lash out in an act of violence at any given time. It is because of this particular stereotype that the essay "Just Walk on By," was written by Brent Staples. In his essay, Staples gives examples of ways he alters his behavior when he is in public in order to make white people more comfortable around him. He says, "…. to be an excellent tension-reducing measure: I whistle melodies from Beethoven and Vivaldi and the more classical composers" (Just Walk on By 212). Staples asserts that doing these things will make white people more comfortable with him walking behind them in public. After all, it is unlikely for a potentially


Cited: Carstarphen, Meta. ""Black vs. Blue"" Revelations: An Anthology of Expository Essays by and about Blacks. 5th ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 203-05. Print. Raspberry, William. ""The Handicap of Definition"" Howard University Student Handbook for Writers. 2nd ed. N.p.: n.p., 2010. 314. Print. Staples, Brent. ""Just Walk on By"" Howard University Student Handbook for Writers. 2nd ed. N.p.: n.p., 2012. N. pag. Print.

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