Black Men and Public Space
Racism, is the dark past of the white race. Therefore, it has been a debate throughout history between races that carries out negative features than positive, which brought the discrimination of black males. I believe no person is superior to another based on their race or color. Racism is a negative attitude that demonstrate the ignorance that human beings have. It is a learned attitude. They are like teachings that are transmitted from generation to generation. This implies that both white and black males have no reason to believe themselves superior. This absurd attitude of superiority only causes enmity between human beings. But according to past events, this war between blacks and whites carried out slavery in the United States. referred to the legal institution that existed in the United States of America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Nevertheless, the question we must ask ourselves is if we believe that the problems of discrimination, stereotypes, police brutality, among others are still present in the 21st century? Unfortunately, we can’t yet affirm that racism in the United States has ended. Many thinks that it is an act that we must ignore, but we must bear in mind the high degree of racism currently prevailing in the United States. Where we see many cases of police brutality against men of color which makes black people wonder why the police in the U.S continues to kill black males? Like the case of Terence Crutcher, who died in Tulsa in the state of Oklahoma after a police officer shot him, without this man having been possessing any type of weapon. So is the case of another police officer who killed a black man named Keith Scott in the city of charlotte, in North Carolina. This last incident divided the police and the community, because the authorities pointed out that the man was armed, and the citizens argue that he was reading a book inside his car. There are many voices that believe that these cases, like those of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray evidence the structural problem of racism and excess violence of the police with the men of black race. Because of these problems of discrimination against black males, the expectations of society have dramatically increased towards black males, making them feel less efficient and feel embarrassed by their skin color. That implies that they are being a menace to society and a predator to pedestrians, Brent Staple’s view is that walking at night has affected both the author and the people around him. He seems to cause fear, terror, and discomfort among pedestrians at night, especially women. Being that he is not a menace to society, he feels discomfort as going seen as such, and to be associated with the feelings his god given presence has provoked upon the people around him. Staples was not aware of his effects on others because he grew up around violence and things of negative attribution, and being that he wasn’t a bad guy or a trouble maker he was scarcely noticeable, he grew up in that type of environment, it made him want to remain in the shadows. Black males are to learn that their skin color and given features have enclosed them in a bar with societies stereotype for them. Therefore, forcing them to change their ways even if not harmful or to take precaution or else they could end up in a perilous or lethal situation. The victims’ staples refer to, are the people he encounters. They are victims of their own thoughts of being prayed on and the feelings of terror staple’s appearance inflicts on them. This experience is very relevant today since many black males are being discriminated against for their skin color and because of the ignorance that still lingers on the minds of those that refuse to believe and respect human equality rights. There are many types of stereotypes that very much exist today that contribute the discrimination that many along with black male’s face, some even as petty as to refer to their clothing or the way they speak. For some reason the terrible slaughter of black males in the United States at the hands of the police makes us think about the “black males” problem in our continent. In the first place, it is fundamentally racism, as the black males themselves express it. The sciences increasingly claim that racism is not a scientific “doctrine” but an ideology that has been used to justify the domination of some social groups over others, an ideology based on supposed biological features that would naturalized this right of domination, superiority and even property. Due to these circumstances, another controversy according to Zulu kente’s poem the narrator refers to the black male as a person, someone memorable who regardless of the false critics of society is defined as “honorable” who can be recognized for his great attributes. An elegant person with great capacity and traditional identity that may be full of dignity, although society refers to it in a way not tolerant because of its articulate way of thinking, a male who can combine his thoughts in different ways to express himself, he uses an expressive force without violence, to let his influences as someone that really matters memorable, otherwise the narrator feels embarrassed by certain rumors, he can become proud to be who he is as a person of color. In Zulu’s word black male’s role models have a great significance in the problems inculcated in society, as Barack Obama, was the 44th president of the United states, and the first black man to serve in the office. First elected to the presidency in 2008, he won a second term in 2012. He gave hope to every black male thinking that with him in a democratic party, racism would come to an end because of his life trajectory as an African and student he faced a process of challenges. According to A&E, he excelled in basketball and graduated with academic honors in 1979. As one of only three black students at the school, “Obama became conscious of racism and what it meant to be African-American”. “He later described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage with his own sense of self: “I noticed that there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog… and that Santa was a white man,” “I went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking as I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me.” As well as Nelson Mandela one of the human rights defenders, also one of the most recognized human rights symbols of the time, is a man whose dedication to the freedoms of his people has inspired human rights defenders throughout the world. He became a member of the African national congress and actively worked to abolish apartheid policies of the ruling National Party. Taken to court for his actions, Mandela declared: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have embraced the ideal of a free and democratic society in which all people live together in harmony and with the same opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live and what I hope to achieve. But it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die, if necessary.” Compared to the poem “how relieved impressed, proud yet a little ashamed, I am” can be related to Black Men and Public space, for as staples grew in an environment full of violence and negativity, but even being a journalist, the media false depiction has placed black males in the typical rumors of how they must isolate from others just because of the way they have been catalogued. Society has created certain stereotypes where today we can say that racism or the problems lead to society inequality have not yet ended. Optimism has not been very good for black males but negative, where hundreds of males recognize that racism is still present. There is still a long way to go before a black man can have equal opportunities. The majority of the black population of the United States considers that they are less likely to get a job than whites, despite the time that has elapsed since the memorable intervention of Luther King, many blacks feel that they have no equality with whites in terms of employment, education, and housing. At least four in 10 blacks perceive racial discrimination as an important factor in explaining why they have lower standards of living than whites, and why blacks are imprisoned at higher rate than whites, as it refers Andrew Billingsley in “Black Families in White America.” “negro families have been mistreated, ignored, and distorted in American scholarship in part because of the absence of general theories guiding studies of African families,” “unfortunately, social scientists and other students of group life, as well as the mass media, have helped to perpetuate this ignorance and distortion.” (p.3)
Why do we refer now to the media?
Because we want to value the important role that they play in the reinforcement or elimination of racial discrimination in a specific context, in the United States. Given this question we consider that the means of communication are the channel used to transmit a certain message to its market, goal. Therefore, the choice of the means or to use a decision of utmost importance because it directly affects the results obtained. “When the media badly represents black males, the effects are felt in the real world, the lives of black men in the united states have been long adversely affected by the negativity of public perception.” Black America, racial stereotypes and the mass media. The media have great power, reach an unreachable amount of people scattered in many parts of the world. Most of these people make up their opinion about the world and “the others” through the influence of the media. Human thought is shaped by them in a way that teaches us how to treat people, think about politics and live our lives. We have grown up with a big lie, a cliché, in the form of relief and that every society must see us all as equal individuals. Let’s not deceive ourselves, we are not equal in anything, there are even people who, being human, are quite inhuman. Each person is different. We must accept that we are different, that there is diversity. By making us think that we are equal, little by little, we are entering in small bags, racially and ethnically differentiated in society. Black males have experienced the worst documented. The media have taught us a depressing and false comparison between the white man and the black man. They have created a vision of the negative aspects of the black community as if it were a general characteristic of the black community, including the use of drugs, criminal activity, robbery and poverty. Society has this as true, which makes it impossible for black males and females to advance and grow, who have been fighting for equality for hundreds of years. This reflection of the black community as criminals makes that access to the American dream impossible, where equality, justice and the pursuit of happiness take place. The information that comes to us in a televised way, is crucial, although we don’t have to forget the physical newspapers and their online version, since it has the power to teach you with images and audios, the past, present and future. It is easy to influence the perspective with which we see the world, through television. Is an omnipotent giant, in which everything that is told “has to be true” and more if they appear in the news, the portrait of black males is always the same criminals, drug dealers, poor people, murderers, and rapists. This image of the black community is constantly offered on television and newspapers in the U.S. they use, constantly, a verbal and visual manipulation, which therefore creates a general opinion about black males. What do we get when the media puts on the white sector of the population and demonize the black sector even when they are the victims? When a white police officer shot and killed a black person, the media don’t hesitate to show a heroic man in his impeccable police uniform. While for the victim they usually use unflattering photos always underprivileged, inside the cliché of black males: hood, fallen pants, sleeve cuts and even if they were ever arrested they would put photos of their records. Even though the victims will continue to be treated as criminals, this is reflected in the media. Even perpetrating the same crime can distort the image of an entire society. Before this proliferation of images where the bad ones are always the same even when they are victims, the society not far from racial prejudices tends to create an idea, an erroneous stereotype that is given to them through something that they consider legitimate.
To what degree does a man of color’s dress code contribute on their appearance?
In the clear majority it is comfortable to wear sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts, typical of any black male in his 20s. But these days, sometimes it’s not so favorable. It’s safer that way. While other men go running with sweats, casually in the city of New York wearing hoodies, sweatshirts without thinking twice, certain black males should rarely be seen with tight pants and fashionable boots. That means casual business every time they are in public, their hair should be seen at a shorter length so that it is always presentable and covering the many tattoos on their arms. Some black males with these forms of dress are professional but on rare occasions they can be satisfied with the people who have seen them as targets of their blackness and murdered. Many were dressed casually. There was Trayvon martin, who was shot and killed while wearing a black hoodie; Michael brown, was wearing loose clothing when he got shot in Ferguson; Freddie gray was wearing a gray jacket with a hood when he got arrested in Baltimore. Nowadays, black males have had to know in what way they can dress as it has become a life or death decision in their lives.
- Andrew Billingsley. “Black Families in White America” by Prentice-Hall, Inc.1968, Englewood, Cliff, N.J. pp. 3, chapter 1.
- A&E, Television Networks. “Barack Obama Biography.com” by Biography.com Editors, The Biography.com website, published date, n/a. https://www.biography.com/people/barack-obama-12782369. Accessed November 10th, 2017.
- Kente, Zulu “African Man”. Through the Looking Glass, vol.1, no 1, 1991, pp 12.
- Muzzo Gisella. “Civil Rights of African Americans in 1960, EE.UU.” Theories of communications, by Edith Tamagnini. Slide Share of PowerPoint Courses, May 14th 2014. www.SlideShare.net/GiMuzzo/civil-rights-of-african-americans-in-1960-ee.uu. Accessed October 28th, 2017.
- Staples Brent. “Black Men and Public Space” Short Takes (Model Essays for composition), Edited by Elizabeth Penfield, Pearson, 2013, pp. 179-182.