This sample essay on Weighing In Essay offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion are provided below.
In Essay Racism has repeatedly played a controversial role throughout the course of history. This is a topic fueled by the heated arguments of the parties on both ends of the matter, may it be the cry of the victim or defense of the offender. As described in the works of two members of ethnic minorities coping With the alienation they both faced in what is supposed to be the land of diversity, Froze Dumas’ ‘The F Word,” and Brent Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space, racism is portrayed as a dark shadow cast upon those who may not me to conform to the “norms” of western culture to the typical American.
Such stereotypes and predispositions should not hold the power to classify and simplify human beings to one single standard of a certain background, as one single Story or idea does not define an entire mass Of people.
In Froze Dumas’ “The F Word,” she describes her life growing up as an Iranian in America. From the very beginning of her transition into western society, Dumas was exposed to the ugly world of racism at the tender age of seven, an idea almost too outlandish to even entertain.
The idea that children t such a young age could feel the need to alienate someone due to unfamiliarity shows that indifference to foreign culture and background can begin at almost any age.
She writes that her cousin was named Forbad, a respectable Iranian name meaning “greatness,” but in a land filled with “Joey’s and Mar’s,” this was completely alien to his peers, resulting in his nickname “Forehead. ” Similarly, her brother, Fairish, meaning “he who enlightens” became known as “Farthest. ” A friend of Dumas’ sounded too similarly to an African American slur and her brother’s name reminded those of a skin indention.
These children earned themselves such vulgar names solely due to the fact that they were raised and named accordingly to their culture, something that should never be disrespected or looked down upon as abnormal just because it is uncommon. When she reached the age of twelve, Froze opted for an American middle name, understandable for a young girl bearing the pressure of her surroundings, yet unacceptable for her to feel pressured to do so in the first place. She explains that she regrets this decision as it only complicated her life in the long run, even though it seemed o be a quick fix to her problems at the time.
She had always received incredulous glares or horribly executed pronunciations, many without even a hint of actual effort in attempting to properly address her, a sad but common occurrence for those who are not often exposed to foreign cultures. Dumas finally settled on the name Julie and even introduced herself to her next-door neighbor using her new name. Her brothers even made fun of her for wanting to Americanize herself, who then later became Fred and Sean. In college, she did away with Julie and went back to her old name, but found that applying for jobs was a more successful venture when she used her American name, interestingly enough.
Once she got married, it was almost as if she was living a double life, with family calling her Froze and most friends referring to her as Julie. This prompted her to permanently go back to her original name, forcing herself to cope with the mispronunciations and comments, which she simply now finds humor in. It is a huge relief that Dumas ended up referring to herself by her original first name, as don’t feel that she should have ever felt pressured into conforming to the standards of stern culture and trying to Americanize herself.
The fact that simply changing her name from Froze to Julie on job applications is mind blowing, as it is clearly not her credentials or talents that are being considered, but her American name. I appreciate that Dumas was able to come to the realization that although her American name would often allow her more job interviews and less of an intense reaction in every day life, her original Iranian name was part of her struggle growing up as an immigrant in America and was a better telltale of her story than Julie would ever be. Rather than being another “Joe” or “Mary,” people would just have to adjust to her, not the other way around.
Similar to Dumas’ struggle in America as an Iranian, Brent Staples’ “Black Men and public Space” details the struggle of being a black man in America. There are countless stereotypes implanted in the minds of Americans of the typical black person, aggressive, dishonest, ruthless, and overall ill intentioned. The first encounter with this racist outlook on blacks Staples had was in a wealthier area of downbeat Chicago, who began to appear irksome and soon after proceeded to run from the author, who had done nothing intentionally to provoke fear in her.
I agree that women should always place their safety as their first priority and should remove themselves from any situation in which they find themselves uncomfortable or at risk, but if blacks and whites can’t manage to walk the same streets without one race thinking the other is going to attack at any given moment due to the misconceptions floating around in their heads, then America really isn’t a land of diversity. It then becomes a land of hierarchy.
As he says, Staples is too scared to even wield a knife at a chicken, let alone wield a knife at another human being, but by the color of his skin and appearance, one would never know this. Being perceived as dangerous, he writes, is a hazard in itself, and could easily land him in the back of a police car simply due to the stereotypes of the black man. Staples understands that women are vulnerable in situations involving street crime, and that blacks have a tendency to be the offenders in such situations, yet this is no excuse for the complete isolation teen blacks and whites that occurs on an everyday basis.
He recalls a fascinating incident in which police attempted to arrest a black journalist whom they mistook for the murderer, further proving that many will forever have these misconceptions that almost all blacks are violent by nature. On late nights now, Staples finds himself whistling classical music, as he explains that many do not seem to think that a typical, violent black man would ever be whistling Beethoven or Vivaldi, which is one of the saddest parts of this story. It is almost disgusting to me that blacks and minorities in general feel he need to prove themselves to American society by doing ‘White” things.
It is often understandably easier to do so and conform to western ways, but it is never necessary because one should not ever be ashamed of their background. No single story or stereotype or standard defines a human being. That person’s actions, impact on the world, and the lives they touch are what define them. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, is often an image of hopes and dreams and opportunity for those who wish to create better lives for themselves, yet the stereotypes people tend to hold of each racial aground impede any sort of progress in continuing to paint America as this beacon of hope.
Racism not only simplifies humans to one single story, but almost dehumidifies a person, as well, looking past their traits and qualities and defining them as where they come from and what their culture is. It is necessary to learn that what society may deem normal to us is not necessarily normal to others, and rather than one party adapt to the other or furthermore alienate one another, we must begin to respect and not reject the diversity which surrounds us.