Rhetorical Analysis

1188 Words5 Pages

Many share the misconception that racism is a problem of the past. To them, prejudice has entirely ceased to exist, and today, humanity bears witness to a nondiscriminatory world. The flippant citing of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream,” perhaps even validates this new, egalitarian society emerging; however, such a society is merely an illusion. In fact, a minor offense as simple as citing “I Have a Dream” may not seem a big deal; however, many anthropologists contend that the telltale signs of institutionalized racism are present in these seemingly innocent actions. Furthermore, scholars Elizabeth Barnert and Terry Jones examine the state of institutionalized racism in their respective articles. Through a socioeconomic and …show more content…

While she never addresses the concept by name, Barnert’s text nonetheless seeks justice for minorities in cities facing clearly prejudiced systems. Moreover, and because Barnert does not explicitly state that institutionalized racism exists, her argument for reformation is weaker; however, her investigation exposes telling correlations between race and the economic status, opportunity, social environment, and education of inner-city communities. The oppressive system analyzed in the scholar’s article ensnares youth in never-ending cycles of detainment, poverty, and violence. She mostly emphasizes this prosecuting tone through her concerns that “adolescent voices on pathways to jail are notably lacking,” as she attempts to show flaws in America’s incarceration system and the society’s perception of race (Barnert 1365). Additionally, by providing the perspectives of these so-called troubled youths, her prosecuting tone becomes even clearer. She considers among America’s most profound problems lie in its incarcerating a larger proportion of minority youths than white youths (Barnert 1365). Similarly, Jones shares this sentiment with Barnert, revealing more troubling realities that concern institutionalized systems of inequality. Unlike Barnert, however, Jones assumes a historical perspective to defend his thesis. This lens allows for a stronger argument on his …show more content…

He denounces the systems that have inhibited blacks and other minorities for decades. Jones argues that historically, the core of institutionalized racism is difficult to uproot, like a “runaway vine” (221). Moreover, Jones substantiates his thesis by analyzing trends in history, how whites historically designed legislation to regulate blacks after the abolition of slavery (219). Furthermore, Jones explains, “[white society] has decided to subsidize the suburbs, to give ghetto-dwellers inadequate education and social services, and to patrol the ghettos with oppressive police, whose function is to keep people in line” (223). Alike, Barnert’s use of evidence helps her thesis, though not as effectively as achieved in Jones’ article, who seems to be more attached to the realities of institutionalized racism. While recognizing that in Los Angeles County over 95% of youth detainees belong to minority groups (Barnert 1366), she never confronts the historical origin for this troubling statistic. Likewise,Barnert achieves most of her argumentative validity in her employing of statistics that support her thesis. For example, Barnert further traces institutionalized racism by supplying the fact that African American youths “areapproximately 5 times more likely […] to be detained than their White counterparts” (Barnert 1365). While the scholar’s statistics is effective at

Open Document