This reading Aria was a intresting and somewhat sad reading. The child was a Spanish boy growing up in a mostly white area and going to school in a white school where the kids spoke English. Richard had a hard time adapating to the new lanaguage and at his house him and his family spoke Spanish and liked there indivudialism of being different. The boy was very afarid and shy in school to speak and lost out on alot of chances to adapt and succeed in the classrooom. It was a bit frustating because Richard did not really try to make changes and adapt to speaking English and getting along at first. The teachers met with his family and wanted them to start speaking English at the home. This caused the family to seperate to a point, something they once valued of being different they had to act the same. The family grew apart over time slowly because of the changs in the house and the lack of communcation within the house. Richard enjoyed school more though and had chances to be successful. It was sad because to lose a family over changing is really sad. I know that I am blessed to come from a supportive family and that well always be there for each other no matter what. I could understand what the message of this article, and it made me realize how some culutural changes people can make can tear families apart and make changes in the household, yet it can allow the people to be successful in the society.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This excerpt from Amazing Grace by John Kozol takes place in the Bronx in New York. In the Bronx there seems to be a lot of gang related activity, drug use, prostitution and many illnesses primarily AIDS that is spreading around this city. There are also many issues with air pollution and many people have asthma because the air is not clean. The government has assembled all these people into one city and created a ghetto of the poorest families. This is making people of this area feel like they are being segregated from the rest of the country. It has given many of them the feeling that they are not worthy enough to be associated with the rest of the nation. Also instead of trying to better this area and allow these people to try to change their lifestyles the government keeps adding more negative aspects to the town such as more garbage dumps and a waste burner. The narrator of this story is from Manhattan a town much different than the Bronx. She comes to a church in the Bronx, St. Ann’s, where the pastor Martha Overall is very involved with the people in the town. There is a mother waiting to talk to the pastor and allows the narrator to take her son for a walk. The little boy, Cliffe, actually takes the narrator for a walk and shows her around the town. On this walk he points out many different aspects, one of the things he points out is the waste burner. He tells her that they burn bodies in there and she later finds out that they burn amputated limbs from the hospital in this building in the middle of their town. Another thing the boy points out to her is that he saw a young boy get shot in the head in a park they passed. Later the narrator finds out this park is where drug addicts come and get clean needles and condoms. The little boy only seems to point out the negative in the town but still seems to keep his spirits lifted. He seems to be much more grown up than kids from other towns. The pastor took the narrator to Mrs. Washington who was a social worker for people who had contracted AIDS. Unfortunately later she found out she had AIDS as well. She is a sickly woman but has always given back to her community. She tells stories of how a fifteen-year-old girl was a drug addict and over dosed which led to her death and how her uncle did not have enough money to buy her a gravestone. She also told a story of how the cops knocked on a mother’s door looking for her son; this mother was confused and found her son sitting naked on the stairs. He was naked because he sold all his money for cocaine. Another story she told was of a mother whose boyfriend raped her daughter and they both died of aids leaving the grandmother without a family. Mrs. Washington talks about how the hospitals in these towns are not clean and people are waiting for days to get checked. They run out of medicine and sometimes patients have to clean their own rooms before they are admitted. The Bronx is full of social unfairness being set by the government and is not safe or healthy for the citizens. The article ends with Mrs. Washington’s son talking to the narrator about how sick his mother is and how the town is just becoming worse. He is scared to see his mother die and does not believe that the town is giving anyone a chance to improve their lives. Tuberculosis is going around the town and Mrs. Washington is scared to go to the hospital because you could be waiting for days and contract other diseases before you are seen. David talks about this and how prostitutes on the street just walk up to you, the drug use and the pollution issues in the town. None of this gives them a chance to change.
This article shows the discrimination against the people that they are moving to this town. Our government should be trying to offer these people ways to improve their lives instead of adding to the negative aspects of their lives. This upsets me to see the way many people live. It is not fair to have these social prejudices against children who cannot control where they grow up. This article affects me because I do not understand how the government can let these children grow up in such a bad environment. I have luckily never had to experience this but for less fortunate people this is reality and something needs to be done about it. This article affects the country as a whole as well. For one part of a town to get this bad it is allowing for this behavior to expand around the world. If the government is grouping people into on area of New York they could start to do this in other states. No state wants an area of town that is a dump. I would not want an area in Rhode Island that is that bad. If the government does not look at this whole aspect it could affect the country as a whole because other states could discriminate against low income families and people that need some support and make their situations worse instead of trying to balance the town with some good and maybe allow these people to make the changes needed to stop living the ghetto lifestyle. No state wants a ghetto area where it is too bad to even drive through. The government needs to focus on bettering these areas for the sake of all citizens.
I do believe that if the government tries to help citizens out and better their lifestyles that these people need to put in an equal effort. I do not completely blame the government but for the sake of all citizens they need to offer a better system to allow these people to try to better their lives.