The article, Just Walk on By, by Brent Staples addresses discontent with the identity of a black man. The Black men are not given an individual identity but are instead getting a communal discrimination. Instead of a black person possessing a unique positive attribute that is recognizable and distinguishable, a black person is categorized as a class that is stereotyped.
Despite most of the laid down claims of the public about the black men being false, this minority group undergoes a great depth of suffering. Staples uses ethos and pathos as strategies to highlight the racial discriminations that African- American males face as well as show the biases of such racial stereotypes.The text is directed towards whites who racially discriminate and have negative perceptions of black males to make them change their opinions on African Americans men. It is clear that whites believe that black men are either muggers, rapists or violent people. Staples interaction with a young woman in Hyde Park in Chicago states clearly her opinion towards him: the thought of meeting a rapist or worse on that street because he is huge and bearded.
The author feels so bad to be judged by the woman because, at that time, he feels so sleepy and is inwardly “a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken” (Staples). Staples employs some actions especially in the late evenings to reduce tension, for example, whistling melodies from Beethoven and Vivaldi as more famous composers of classical songs. According to Staples, such actions reduce tension since the tensed people will always join in the tunes. The action is aimed at the black African men to inform them on how to behave to reduce tension.
The stereotyping to Staples occurs despite him being a well-educated journalist. The stereotyping is specifically directed towards the black American males of all ages, both educated and non-educated. The author has explicitly used ethos and pathos to highlight the negative stereotype and perception that African Americans face and to push for a change of these perceptions among whites. The use of ethical appeal (ethos) is clear in the entire text. Staples states the fact that he studies a degree course at the University of Chicago should enable the reader to understand that he is a man of substantial education who understands what he is talking about. Moreover, Staples was doing a journalism job in Chicago.
By elaborating his education and work, Staples employs ethical appeal to show the biases of the negative stereotype depicted by some people. The use of pathos is evident when Staple refers to the black men in the history of mugging where he cites popular essay and quotes. The author describes a white woman’s response to his presence as “worried”. The woman openly felt anxious.
According to her, the man was “menacingly’ close. (Staples). He notes how people easily feel …