Reactions on Reading
To Sir, With Love
Shara D. Taylor
Memphis, Tennessee - International Business
Throughout our lives, we are faced with having to deal with people who
try to hurt us with their words. This is especially true for Black
Americans. If we respond quickly and negatively we will fall victim to
the stereotype that Black people are hot-tempered and overly sensitive.
If we decide not to respond at all, we will be classified as pushovers.
Because of this, we are put in the awkward position of deciding whether
or not to speak up for ourselves. This type of treatment may come from
any source imaginable, including strangers, co-workers, students, and
friends. For Mr. Braithwaite, it comes in the form of a fellow teacher
by the name of Mr. Weston.
Braithwaite does everything in his
power not to lose his temper and play into Weston’s hands. “I was
becoming a bit irritated by the smile and the unnatural patronizing good
humor,” Braithwaite reveals. Braithwaite possesses a tremendous amount
of strength and courage in order for him not to respond to Weston. If
faced with this same situation, many people would have put Weston “in
his place” the first time that he made a sly, devilish remark. Because
Braithwaite knows that he may not be able to find another job, he
maintains his composure and ignores the comments. By not reacting,
Braithwaite shows us an alternate way to handle this type of ignorance.
Many of us are quick to respond without thinking through all of our
options carefully. If we take a lesson from Mr. Braithwaite, we will see
that there is always another way to deal with a problem.