Just walk on by
February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
After discussing this essay in class I went back over and re-read it again in order to get the full effect of the article. I have to agree in saying that this sense of frightfulness we get when a stranger walks by us at night or even in a creepy hall way at Purdue does happen a lot of the time. The stereotyping of people is a very bad part of our society but it is the way people were raised and how they feel about certain situations. When Professor Marlo told us about how a white male was singing out guns on campus and how the typical suspect of on campus shootings are white males I would feel the same because of the stereotype. For women, I feel as though when a male is walking by us at night or when no one is around it makes our hearts beat faster and make rash decisions when really they could be an average person.
The media and news put so much into stereotyping that it scares us as victims because what we see on the news or in movies is what is always in our subconscious. I thought that it was interesting that Brent Staples would whistle a white tune whenever encountered with someone he might feel uncomfortable. This shows that he will not hurt them in any way. But in some situations a person may never know because they could seem nice and then follow the stereotype to hurt you or mug you.
I believe this essay was very enlightening because when I am walking on the street or in an unfamiliar place I would feel uncomfortable but if I were to just smile at the person or if we were stopped together in the same spot to start a conversation to break the tension and provide safety for the other person. I am once again saddened by other stereotyped people Staples mentioned in his essay about a reporter doing a story and then being made out to be a victim. It is the way of the world and I hope someday that people can live and not feel a panic when a stereotypical person walks by them.