Be sure that the TWO short 200-word responses (each) are carefully crafted demonstrations of your ability to analyze and collaborate (rather than attempts to meet the word count). A successful response will indicate all of these elements that the rubric points to: how will you respond to your peer’s analysis? add your own thoughts on this passage? demonstrate respectful collaboration in the service of a shared goal? add your own insightful, thoughtful questions about this passage?
It is essential to understand that you must engage BOTH with your peer’s words (as one does in a conversation) and add your own unique thoughts (as one should in a collaboration).
Paul Beatty: Closure
“Why are you waving at the flag?” I ask him. “Why now? I’ve never seen you waive it before.” He said that he felt like the country, the United States of America, had finally paid off its debts. “and what about the Native Americans? What about the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mexicans, the poor, the forest, the water, the air, the fucking California condor? When do they collect?” I asked him (Beatty 289).
Chang: Ch. 14
“How far had we come? Polls taken shortly after Obama’s inauguration found a striking new optimism around race relations. Harvard sociologists Lawrence Bobo and Alicia Simmons asked whether Americans believed Blacks had achieved racial equality. More than four in five whites believed they had or would soon. A much smaller plurality— 53 percent—of Blacks agreed, but this majority seemed significant.
A few months later, University of Chicago political scientist Cathy Cohen asked the same question of young people aged fifteen to twenty-five. Seventy-eight percent of young whites believed Blacks had achieved racial equality or would soon. A similar proportion of Latinos agreed. Black youths mirrored their elders’ more cautious hope (Chang 273).
Both of these authors share a common theme in these section about how White people and those in power believe that discrimination is coming to an end for minorities, yet minorities feel like there is still-a-ways to go before equality can be reach between the white population and the minorities. This can be seen by the character choice Beatty makes, with a previous famous character, and with Chang using a survey with questions that related directly to the topic. The authors from both of these texts are relaying that we still do have racial issues. White people or people who have more privileged may not see race as an issue anymore because they have consciously made an effort to change their behavior and they see how much it has changed, but the minorities are still able to see to see how differently they are still treated compared to other people. Paul Beatty does this by making a statement and then following it up a deep question to leave his readers actively think while Chang gives percentages to appeal to the ethos side of people. This comparison of people with higher statuses treating minorities different raises the question of whether people are still racist or if classism is becoming more prevalent now-a-days. If classism is becoming more present, this may be hidden under racism as many minorities still do not have the finical wellbeing the white majority has had decades to build up on.
Both of the authors make a point about how minorities are not treated as well as the majority; however, Beatty makes this point by using same race characters with one waving the American flag as Obama had just become president and “the United States of America, had finally paid off its debts”, the other character making a point that a black man being elected doesn’t bring light to the issues other minorities face (Beatty 289). This is in reference to historical activity between the majority of Whites and the minorities with the United States taking away Native American burial grounds and much of their culture through assimilation, having the Chinese build much of the transcontinental railroad, making the Japanese citizens go to internment camps in World War ІІ, and having discriminated against Mexicans to the point of deporting them. Chang uses statistics to agree with this as “More than four in five whites believed they had or would soon” achieve racial equality (Chang 273). However, Chang also included another minority population, the Latinos, and they seemed to agree more with the majority white population which Beatty would seemingly argue with. These authors both allude to the fact that the White majority may be seeing the improvement that have been made as seeing it as the glass is half full with improvements as discrimination is not visually seen as much as it used to be. However, many of the minorities can still see what has not been done to improve the equality and are seeing it as the glass is half empty of improvement and are looking for a full glass before declaring equality. Both of these texts also make a strong allusion to the Obama election as that is commonly referred to at the beginning of the “Post Racial Era” and seems to argue that this historic event may not be enough to be classified as a discrimination turning point as there is still much more that can be done.
“While the good old boys argued the merits and manifestations of sexuality, I thankful to be alive, went inside the store for soda” (Beatty 177)
“One of the most indelible images of the American Century had been the mutilated body of Emmett Till, a Black boy brutally tortured and murdered in 1955 by two white men in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white girl” (Chang 275)
The importance of both the Beatty and Chang’s passages are they deal with the “wolf whistle” towards a white woman by a Black boy (Beatty 177). Beatty’s passage deals with the aftermath of whistling at a white by the character named Me, at the behest of his father. Ironically, Me’s father leaves hastily with the white women after a sexual encounter and the character is left alone with several white men. In the case of Me, no harm falls on him as the white men have a candid conversation about the white woman’s like of “black buck[s]” (Beatty 177). In contrast, Chang’s passage is in regard to the real-life event surrounding Emmett Till. In the case of Till, who “allegedly whistle[d]” at a white woman, resulted in him being “brutally tortured and murdered” by “two white men” who were later acquitted (Chang 275). The reader was fearful for Beatty’s character because the act of whistling at a white woman invokes a strong reaction due to the circumstances surrounding Emmett Till. In the case of Beatty’s character, the fear is ultimately unfounded as the other characters present thought nothing of it.
Beatty uses the scene to illustrate how society not only looks down upon interracial fraternizing, but hyper sexualizes the black man. In today’s culture, this pattern continues, as black men are portrayed as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (Change 274). Change describes an Old Spice commercial featuring a “confident, but far from threatening” black man (Chang 274). The black man “heartily” calls out “Hello Ladies” in a tone most would consider sexualized; akin to the “wolf whistle” Beatty’s character uses at the white women (Chang 274). Further, Beatty indicates Me’s father was “[r]ecklessly eyeballing her the whole way” further stereotypes the black character as being “lecherous and libidinous” (Beatty 177).
Both Beatty and Chang illustrate the age-old stereotype that black men are lascivious and aggressively sexually pursue white women. In the case of Beatty, through the utilization of satire, he flips this stereotype. Instead, he shows the white women sexually aggressively by initiating a sexual act and riding off with Me’s father. The white characters who witness the event, acknowledge that she enjoys “black buck[s]” (Beatty 177). In the case of Emmett Till, he “allegedly” whistled at a white woman but the facts are debated (Chang 274). The knowledge of the Till incident set the expectation that Me (or his father) will face trouble for their actions. However, Beatty surprised his readers by showing the women accepted the advances by a black man but, more shockingly the “good old boys” did not react negatively (Beatty 177).