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There are problems about society that people never consider and that have never been an issue in the peaceful coexistence of people unless they are brought up by others. They sprang up into threats that are plaguing our modern communities as they were slowly discussed and people dwelled on them. One of these issues is the so-called "Negro-problem," which refers to prejudice toward people of African descent. The essay focuses on Brent Staples' experience as described in the book "Just Walk On By."
I agree with Staples that there has been an issue of racism and segregation of African Americans for a long time. For almost half a century now the black Americans have been treated as bad people, with the assumptions that they are poor, with crime being their main source of income and living in impoverished ghettos, rapists as well as being arrogant, violent and generally dangerous to be with. The behavior of some of the blacks was extrapolated to the level where all blacks were considered to be as the few who appear in the headlines to commit a crime. Staples found himself as a victim of this situation when in his early 20s a lady got scared of his presence near her and ran away (Staples). While he grew up from childhood, he had not thought he was a ‘stranger’ that until this age when the things he considered strange started happening to him and noticing that it was a difference in skin color that was bringing nightmares to the people around him that not of his skin color. As a journalist, he was still mistaken in several times even when he went to duties covering murder cases. Issues like these are not out of convictions but somewhat out of suspicion to say that the blacks are as violent as they are perceived to be. Some cases, for example, which denote that police made several arrests in cases related to violence or murder and most of those arrested were blacks, could give some an excuse to say that the blacks are as they have been accused of being. But this is not true because the arrests do not equal convictions. Staples fall a victim, but he was innocent as still many that have been accused of being. It is also true that there are many things which contribute to one being a thug, among them is poverty and unemployment. In these two its not only the black people who are poor or unemployed, it cuts across the whites and blacks, and thus the segregation that only the blacks can be involved in crime and violence is an unfair judgment. The low percentage of blacks among the whites is also another factor which leads to overrepresentation and over suspicion that they are bad people. Example, a 10% of a thousand blacks is way less than 2% of a million whites, a statistic like this commonly misleads to think that the blacks are more violent than whites.
There is need to address this issue of racism to have a society of both blacks, whites, Jews and everybody else co-existing together. It can be done only by getting off the differences among people and considering all others equal. Unreasonable bigotry based on skin color or social class will only aggravate the situation into worse states and even increase the distance between whites and blacks which in turn will increase violence and crime if one party feels unliked and unequal to the other.
Staples, Brent. "Just Walk On By." n.d. Scribd. .
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