Just Walk On By
The issue addressed is about perceived security threat due to one being a Negro or black. The writer and quoted writers show that the black individuals were directly associated to all sorts of violence in their locality. The person addressing in the text finds himself being perceived as a security threat to the vulnerable in the streets and more during the nights. He also finds himself being pulled over by the police a number of times. He is always trying winning the trust of his terrified victims to assure them their security by acting in ways suggesting no hostility.
To some great extent the issue addressed by the author is factual. It’s a fact because most young blacks constitute to a huge percentages involved in violence. Their wrong interpretation about being a man and to be feared creates a character in violence in them. The powerless and poor black young men use violence in trying to embrace power to frightened and intimidate others. The persona confesses having buried such young individuals and seen more going to jail.
Nowadays, people are not so quick to using physical means to defend themselves. Most of them believe in the hand of the law and the maintenance of orderliness by the relevant authorities like the police. In today’s society people are very much aware of personal rights and their enforcement certainties in case of infringement. They are also limited by law into taking matters into their hands except to some reservations.
People do feel there is a Negro problem, but in trace amounts. This is mostly facilitated by the fact that the perception of insecurity issues being attached to the dark skinned still holds to some individuals. stirred up by unnecessary discriminations, some use it to fight back or scare those who tend to look down upon them while the non negro tend to avoid them in view of avoiding trouble by these people with ‘paranoid toughness’.
Response to Questions “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” – Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol addresses the issue of illiteracy and the plight of illiterates in the United States. Regarding illiteracy as a major menace to the society, he brings out the daily lifestyle and challenges faced by the illiterate. Illiteracy reduces people to identity-less, choice less, right less, easy to manipulate beings, better put ‘half-citizens’. About sixty-million people in the United States are illiterate. Although illiteracy has been sustained by successive Presidents in the United States, doing away with it is rather a matter of morality and is a challenge to be taken by everyone in the society.
Illiteracy here is a factual issue that can be addressed by both value and policy. About sixty-million people are here documented as illiterate. While successive Presidents have not had a firm policy against illiteracy, they also lacked the moral value and willingness to fight illiteracy. Some landlords, bosses and people in position take advantage of the illiterate by threatening them into giving them what they want, since they don’t understand their rights. Utility companies misinform the illiterate and lure them into contracts not favorable to them. These are issues of moral value at individual levels which can be corrected.
I personally agree with the statement “They are half-citizens. Their rights exist in print, but not in fact?” Illiterates basically cannot read any document issued to them, such as notices but have to depend on other people to read for them and tell them. They also don’t know the rights they have pertaining the documents and their requirements. Due to this they cannot make any informed choices and actions on such issues and the choices they make might be influenced most by the person reading for them. Thus in essence, the law might be all inclusive but since they don’t understand their rights, they less manifest their rights in action unlike the literate individuals .So, yes they are half-citizens.
I agree that those who are illiterate are challenged. It is a common scenario for an illiterate trying to cross the streets without looking at the street signs, maybe because they don’t know of their presence at all or their meaning. It is also true that illiterates fear to ask other people what they don’t know, out of fear of stigmatization which is real and thus end being more and more ignorant with changing times. Also in fear of stigmatization, illiterates tend to remain within their specific geographical locality (geographical paralysis) which contributes to their ignorance.
Yes, recently I was in a cultural setup I did not know anything about. At first I felt out of place but then I realized that being physically out of place does not mean my mind cannot be in place, I wanted to know more about the culture. Now I know almost everything about it. I think this is the best way the illiterate can solve their problem.