Black Men in Public Spaces (topic: Language of Fear)

Published: 2021-09-03 03:20:10
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Category: Book Reports

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Of all the emotions people have, the most multifarious is fear because fear can be aroused much easier than most emotions. The dictionary defines fear as "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat". However, the perception of fear or danger can be altered. People can create the illusion of endangerment by using bias, predetermined judgments, and stereotypes. In "Black Men in Public Spaces", the author describes how his skin color could cause uneasiness in people and how he had to moderate his behavior to accommodate them. Although unfair, Staples' describes the measures he took to prove he was not the stereotype society expected him to be.
Fear can come from the unknown or from dangers happening presently. But as Staples' tells his story, it seems evident that the people who feared him only felt that way because they were following an unjust stereotype. In effect, creating danger where there was none before. It is unfortunate because in many cases the stereotype is an inaccurate representation of a certain group of people and can inadvertently produce bigotry. Those who experience the sting of being scrutinized often become isolated or angry at society. Staples' mentions in his story how he chose to "remain a shadow - timid but a survivor" to contrast the attitude belonging to his friend, brother, and cousin who he says had "all gone down in episodes of bravado on the street". The way the author accepts the misconstrued preconceptions implemented on him and people of his race shows how cruel and ignorant society can be when judging their fellow man.

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