Gladwell’s response to Staple’s Argument

Gladwell would be in agreement with Staplesregarding the risk of generalization and stereotypes. He wouldidentify with Staples experience of profiling based on race. Heexplains how risky it would be if you are deemed dangerous while inthe real sense, you are not. He gives the example of the many AfricanAmericans that were shot simply because they were in the wrongneighborhood at the wrong time. It is not their fault that they died.They died because the society and the authorities have painted themwith a single broad brush.

Gladwell would recognize the problem that BrentStaples was experiencing and classify it as a stereotype. Stablesmoved to Chicago when he was 23 and started being profiled for hiscolor (Staples 2). He immediately became conscious of his skin colorbecause people began to profile him. Having grown in a predominantlyblack neighborhood, Staples had never felt alienated because of hisancestry. Gladwell cites the change oftact by the NYPD as the main reason behind the decrease in the levelof crime in New York. Unlike before when the force targetedminorities that were likely to commit a crime, the new strategyinvolved increasing the number of officers in high impact areas-areas experiencing an upsurge in crime at a particular instant.

Gladwell would respond in the negativeregarding Staple’s argument that such acts of fear contribute tothe making of a thug. Mr. Staples indicates that young AfricanAmerican men may feel motivated if people started to give them theirpurses and wallets during an encounter in the middle of the night. AsGladwell puts it, the rotten elements of any group do not need themotivation of a stereotype to propel them to greater heights of theircriminal activity. In such a scenario, the category of black malesthat is inclined to criminal activities will take the purse whenoffered. However, the other category that is made up of law- abidingblack males will politely decline the purse from the terrifiedpasserby.

Gladwell would agree with Staple’s argumentabout how wrong it is to stereotype an unspecific group when tryingto solve a problem. Gladwell gives the example of a pit bull thatattacked a young family (Gladwell1). It took the intervention ofneighbors and the police to save the mother and son from the dogs.The following week, the Ontario Legislature banned the ownership ofpit bulls. The legislature had made the step based on a largegeneralization of pit bulls. Only a small percentage of pit bulls hadbeen reported to attack people in this particular area. Other breedshad also incriminated in dog attacks towards human beings. However,the legislature decided to focus on the pit bull leaving the otheraggressive dogs to continue living among people. Gladwell’sargument is that generalizations are usually not facts. The issue ofpit bulls attacking humans is a category problem.

The reason that the people of Chicago wereweary of Staples is a generalization or stereotyping. It is true thatyoung males of the African American descent are overrepresented inthe crime statistics. The figures in our prisons further prove thepoint. However, the problem is categorical (Gladwell3). Not all blackmales are criminals or criminals- to- be. Some are raised in decentfamilies and neighborhoods. Skin color does not drive anyone tocommit crime. Factors that are likely to drive black males towardscrime include drug abuse, peer pressure and lack of education. Thisparticular category of young black males is likely to engage incrime. Even then, some that fall in this category may not opt forcrime. Some that does not match the description of this category mayalso engage in crime. Gladwell’s point is that generalizations domore harm than good.

In Staples’s cases, the residents of Chicagowere trying to stay safe- only that they were doing it in the wrongway. A thug does not have to be a young black male. The residentswere only taking precaution against Staples but assuming every otherperson was safe to hand around. He wonders if the young woman thatwas running from Staples ran right into the hands of a Caucasianrapist. Statistics have shown that every race is represented inmuggings, rape and robbery. Criminals have also become cleverer. Theyare now aware that the public is only weary of young black males.Criminals that do not match the description can easily thrive amongthe people.

In regard to stereotypes, Gladwell would labethe experience of Staples as an act of crime against human rights. Infact, Gladwell argues (4), terrorists have advanced their skills. Themodern jihadists are no longer young men of Arab or Pakistani origin-they come in various races and gender. The same applies to criminalsin the USA. They have taken different forms other than thestereotypical black African American Male.

In conclusion, Gladwell suggests the use ofspecific traits in the categorization of a group of people. Forinstance, the police have adopted a new criterion to identify drugsmuggling suspects at border checks instead of the stereotypicalblack or Latinos carrying big bags. The department has specified thecriteria to include nervous individuals that look uneasy. They alsodo not communicate. However, the criterion is not conclusive, but ithas nabbed more criminals than the traditional generalizations.

Works cited.

GladwellMalcolm.“Troublemakers”.TheNew Yorker. Web,.Accessed, 10 November, 2015,&lthttp://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/02/06/troublemakers-2&gt

Staples Brent. “Justwalk on by.” Web,. Accessed, 10November, 2015&lthttp://web.uncg.edu/dcl/courses/sociology101/content/episode7/PDF/BrentStaples.pdf&gt

Gladwell’s response to Staple’s Argument

Gladwell would be in agreement with Staplesregarding the risk of generalization and stereotypes. Stapleslaments, “In ‘My Negro Problem-And Ours’, Podhoretz writes thatthe hatred that he feels for blacks makes itself known to him througha variety of avenues- one being taken for a criminal”. This isindeed a generalization of a particular category of people and thusGladwell responds to this experience of profiling based on race. Thisis evident in the statement he makes regarding stereotyping “Anotherword for generalization, though, is “stereotype,” and stereotypesare usually not considered desirable dimensions of ourdecision-making lives. The process of moving from the specific to thegeneral is both necessary and perilous.” This generalization isindeed an answer to Staple’s woes in that much as racial profilingis indeed perilous, it is also necessary especially when combatingcrimes in a particularly city like New York.

Gladwell would recognize the problem that BrentStaples was experiencing and classify it as a stereotype. Stablesmoved to Chicago when he was 23 and started being profiled for hiscolor (Staples 2). He immediately became conscious of his skin colorbecause people began to profile him. He alludes that, “It is notaltogether clear to me how I reached the ripe old age of 22 withoutbeing conscious of the lethality nighttime pedestrians attributed tome.” Gladwell gives a clear analysisof the effects that a change of tact, when it comes to dealing withcrimes, can have. He cites, “Why is crime still falling? Theexplanation may have to do with a shift in police tactics. TheN.Y.P.D. has a computerized map showing, in real time, preciselywhere serious crimes are being reported, and at any moment the maptypically shows a few dozen constantly shifting high-crime hot spots,some as small as two or three blocks square.” He goes ahead toexplain that “The presence of a few extra officers down theblock, it was thought, wouldn’t make much difference. But theN.Y.P.D. experience suggests otherwise. More police means that somecrimes are prevented…” This makes it clear that generalizationsare not always accurate and the same ordeal that Staples goes throughas a young African-American man is the ordeal experienced in NewYork. Hence, the change of tact by the NYPD isthe main reason behind the decrease in the level of crime in NewYork.

Gladwell would respond in the negativeregarding Staple’s argument that such acts of fear contribute tothe making of a thug. Mr. Staples indicates “… some of my boyhoodfriends were finally seduced by the perception of themselves as toughguys. When a mark cowered and surrendered his money withoutresistance, myth and reality merged- and paid off.” This shows thatthe young African-American boys would feel motivated by the outcomesof their crimes. As Gladwell puts it, the rotten elements of anygroup do not need the motivation of a stereotype to propel them togreater heights of their criminal activity. In such a scenario, thecategory of black males that is inclined to criminal activities willtake the purse when offered. However, the other category that is madeup of law- abiding black males will politely decline the purse fromthe terrified passerby.

Gladwell would agree with Staple’s argumentabout how wrong it is to stereotype an unspecific group when tryingto solve a problem. Staples laments, “Yet these truths are nosolace against the kind of alienation that comes of being ever thesuspect, against being set apart, a fearsome entity with whompedestrians avoid making eye contact.” Gladwell also gives theexample of a pit bull that attacked a young family (Gladwell1), whichresulted to the Ontario Legislature banning the ownership of pitbulls. The legislature had made the step based on a largegeneralization of pit bulls. Gladwell responds that “Ofcourse, not all pit bulls are dangerous. Most don’t bite anyone.”He concludes that “It would have required, that is, a more exactingset of generalizations to be more exactingly applied. It’s alwayseasier just to ban the breed.” This clearly shows that it is notright to generalize categories of people and attribute some traits tothem. The reason that the people of Chicagowere weary of Staples is a generalization or stereotyping. It is truethat young males of the African American descent are overrepresentedin the crime statistics. The figures in our prisons further prove thepoint. However, the problem is categorical (Gladwell3). Not all blackmales are criminals or criminals- to- be. Some are raised in decentfamilies and neighborhoods. Skin color does not drive anyone tocommit crime. Factors that are likely to drive black males towardscrime include drug abuse, peer pressure and lack of education. Thisparticular category of young black males is likely to engage incrime. Even then, some that fall in this category may not opt forcrime. Some that does not match the description of this category mayalso engage in crime. Gladwell’s point is that generalizations domore harm than good.

Works cited.

GladwellMalcolm.“Troublemakers”.TheNew Yorker. Web,.Accessed, 10 November, 2015,&lthttp://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/02/06/troublemakers-2&gt

Staples Brent. “Justwalk on by.” Web,. Accessed, 10November, 2015&lthttp://web.uncg.edu/dcl/courses/sociology101/content/episode7/PDF/BrentStaples.pdf&gt