JUST WALK ON BY Have you ever been obsessed by the fear of being different from other people? People usually give the wrong perception on the others based on their appearance, or their skin. In the article “Just Walk on by”, the author Brent Staples tells a story about his own experiences, which are how he was discriminated because of his appearance: a black man. The story begins when the author was mistaken for a criminal due to his black skin by a white woman. Although Brent Staples was just a graduate student, every time he went to the public, almost everybody, especially the women tried to run away from him.
Simply, he is black, and they considered that a black man could be a rapist, a mugger or worse. The readers can picture how a young black man is isolated from the public through the author’s experiences: being perceived as dangerous on the street, or being mistaken for a burglar at work. At the end, he found out that he was not able to change the bad perception on his black skin, so he learnt to get use to it and tried to be successful. In response to the essay, there are three points that crossed my mind after read the article; specifically, these are the discrimination, the compassion and ways to get over the obstacles.
Related essay: On Compassion Summary
To begin with, discrimination is the first issue which was pointed out very clearly in the article. Discrimination has lasted for many decades. There are many kinds of discrimination, such as skin colour, religion, national origin, and gender. Although many laws, controversies, demonstrations have exploded to against the discrimination, a lot of people are still suffering from that issue. The victims often receive the bad perceptions of the others on their own appearances, and as the results, they are not trusted by anybody or even be considered as a criminal, and worse for the society.
For example, the author was mistaken for a burglar at his workplace just because he is the black. He finally chose trying to be successful as a way to overcome the discrimination. However, how many people who are discriminated can be optimistic to get over their obstacles as Brent Staples did? The victims of discrimination usually feel stressed, depressed, and insulted, so it’s very hard to think of a positive way to overcome it. Some of them choose to suicide or kill any people who hurt them. Obviously, they become worse as a result of discrimination.
When we were born, nobody was able to choose our parents, skin colour or gender, so we have no rights to evaluate or give any poor perception on other people based on their appearance. Another point that I want to share after reading the article is the compassion. Being discriminated by other people is the worst feeling in the world. As a person who comes from a poor country, I am often affair of being discriminated. I’m not black, but some people gave me the bad perception because they thought that I come from a poor country which means I have a poor education.
Everything I have is worse than theirs. Moreover, I used to be discriminated by a Vietnamese who was born in the America. He usually makes fun of me because I’m not good in English. As the results, I’m often reluctant and feel shy when talking with a stranger in English. Back to the article, the author’s story about discrimination reminds me of a poem I read many years ago: COLOURED When I born, I Black, When I grow up, I Black, When I go in Sun, I Black, When I scared, I Black, When I sick, I Black, And when I die, I still black, And you White fella,
When you born, you Pink, When you grow up, you White, When you go in Sun, you Red, When you cold, you Blue, When you scared, you Yellow, When you sick, you Green, And when you die, you Gray, And you calling me Coloured ? This poem was written by an African child. Eventually, discrimination exists everywhere in the world. The black is usually distrusted in both workplaces and society. In Brent Staples’ story, even though he had a good job in Chicago, he was still considered as a burglar. Not all coloured people are bad and aggressive, and not all the white are good.
Therefore, as coloured people, we should show the talents and prove our values to the world that everything white people do, we can do it, and even better. The final thing i learnt from the article is the ways to get over the discrimination. I really admire Brent’s spirit when he faced to his obstacles. He chose to avoid misunderstandings and tried to be successful as ways to against discrimination. Actually, in life, we can see a lot of coloured people who used to be discriminated proved their own values to the world.
For example, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and many other celebrities have showed their talents and been admitted by the millions people in the world. Plus, recently, Barack Obama is the first coloured president of America. Nevertheless, beside positive sides, there are some people choosing negative ways to overcome the discrimination. They suicide as a way to escape, or they kill anybody who hurts them. Sometimes, being friendly and optimistic is a good way to solve problems rather than being aggressive and pessimistic.
Our skin colour doesn’t make any senses; the way we perceive and get over our obstacles will make our own values. In conclusion, I’m strongly against the discrimination, but I also sympathize with the author in the article, and I admire the ways he chose to get over the discrimination. There should have more laws and organizations to support and protect people who are discriminated. Moreover, nobody have rights to evaluate or comment, especially discriminate other people based on their appearances. This world might be peaceful and happy if everyone lived by such tenets as “Never cause discrimination between human and human”.