Racial Discrimination In Mosley's Equal Opportunity By Walter Moosley

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In Walter Mosley's fictional short story, "Equal Opportunity" (1995), he describes racial discrimination through the character of Socrates Fortlow, an African American ex-convict attempting to find employment. Socrates has been out of “prison eight years and is fifty-eight years old, he is ready to start life over again,” (Mosley 1). Socrates Fortlow, the convict much like Socrates the philosopher “struggles with questions of good and evil with the seriousness suggested by his name.” (Mosley 2625). The story is written in third person narration from Socrates Fortlow’s point of view. Socrates is depicted by Mosley as a complexed character who hasn’t worked a job in over thirty-seven years. He was arrested for murdering two of his friends when…show more content…
Looking at the cash register that was opened, he asked himself, “How much money passed over those counters every day? (Mosley 1), but he was “a killer not a thief,” (Mosley 1). Socrates says, to Anton “I came for, an application,” and Anton acts like he doesn’t understand Socrates, by answering him with a question “An application for what?” Anton Crier’s brow knitted?” (Mosley 1). Anton further disrespects Socrates by asking him his age, “Uh, how old are you, sir?” (Mosley 1). Socrates responded by saying “Askin, me my age. That’s against the law. You can’t discriminate against color or sex or religion or infirmity or against age,” (Mosley 1). Anton is surprised that Socrates knew about the law of discrimination and said to him, that “I am not discriminating against you. It’s just that we don’t have any openings right now,” and asked him to come back in the fall when the kids are back in school,” (Mosley 1). Anton thought that Socrates would accept his answer and leave, but Socrates is persistent and the assistant store manager gives him an application with apprehension after consulting with the store manager, Ms. Halley Grimes. Socrates ask for a pencil to fill-out the application form and Anton tells him, "You, you, you can just send it in." Socrates reply is, “I didn't come all this way for a piece'a paper, man. I come to apply for a…show more content…
However, Socrates keeps on coming to the store by bus for five consecutive days for further updates. Upon his arrival, Ms. Grimes tells him that the office faxed a paper back saying he was not qualified for the job position. When Socrates ask to see the paper from the main office, she said she threw the paper away. Socrates calls the main office and was told, no application for him was faxed from Ms. Grimes. Socrates had a feeling that Ms. Grimes did not fax his application, ''Because. they keep ev'ry scrap'a paper they got just as long as it makes they in court," (Mosley 3). After Socrates leaves the supermarket, Ms. Grimes reports him to security and tells security she feels threaten by

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