Thinking Activities 4.2
Reflect on the elements in yourself and your personal history that you believe exerts the strongest influence on the way that you view the world. Create a visual representation of the prescription for your perceiving lenses, highlighting the unique factors that have contributed to your distinctive perspective on the world. Then, compare your "prescription" to those of other students in your class, and discuss the ways in which your lenses result in perceptions and beliefs that are different from produced by other prescriptions.
There are a lot of elements in my life affect the way that I view this world. I was born and rise in Hong Kong, a small city where is free of speech and press. Over there, most of the people are very sensitive to their surrounding. They are very curious and somewhat like to exaggerate a small event into a big concern of the society. It doesn't matter it is about a cat or a dog or a human being, it will become the script of the movie if it is profitable. For instance, if there is a domestic violence today in the news, you will probably see that news being made as a TV series show soon, and then the next day you will hear everybody is talking the same topic in the restaurant, supermarket, and anywhere else you can think of. With the advance technology, people also expresses their feeling via internet chat rooms, radio, television, short message of the cell phone, all kinds of media; Hong Kong people are just very efficient in creating rumors. The countless bias and opinions in the news train or teach me how to to justify things objectively and differently.
In addition to the influence from the media, my personal working experience is another main factor that help me to create an unique and diverse perceiving lenses. I started working when I was 16 years old and I have gone through more than 17 jobs after that, regular jobs plus the part time jobs. I have worked in the psychiatry hospital and regular hospital, restaurant, factory, medical clinics, 7-eleven grocery shop, school of mental-retarded school, pets shop and detective company. My friends and my family always think that I am so wild and incompetent to stay in one job, but I enjoy every job I have done because all this unrelated jobs experiences keep my mind flesh and opened, and also make me more mature. Instead of sensing the world from the television, I am sensing the world from reality. The diverse job experiences make me prone to accept new things. My jobs allow me to contact with different classes of people such as poor, rich, educated, gang members, and mentally ill people. Most people like to talk to me and tell me their stories because they think that I am a good listener. By listening, I find that black is not always black and white is not always white, it depends on what is the color of the container that you put them in.
After I migrate to New York City, I am shocked by the diverse ethnicity of this city, particular in Queens County. I don't know exactly how many ethnic groups contain in this county, but it is more than enough to make me faint. The incoming stimuli from different cultures bombard my perceptions constantly. I am grad that I have a spirit called "unwilling to lag behind", therefore, I "regress" to the corner and start to observe this new world. The events I have seen on this city are unbelievable. I have seen people use a plastic bag covering his head for his entire journey in the train; I have seen a man masturbates in the subway; people singing or doing break dancing within the subway; I had never seen these odd scenario in public in Hong Kong. They open up my senses broadly. I use another new angle to perceive this world; I compare the cities that I lived and live and always ask myself why these people will do this, don't they scare other people will see them as insane or will catch by the police? If they are acting like that in Hong Kong, they probably would be charged for disturbing the city or civil crime immediately. I try to internalize the situation and get this explanation "there are many other people in this city are more crazy than me, I just honest to myself to show the way I am and the strangeness will do no harm indeed"…….. I further develop an objective perception to interpret this world and I am getting used to explain things in other point-of-views.
Study in college truly forces me to admire what I have sensed from my life. I used to have not much comment to the world. I still listen, see, smell, touch, and taste this world everyday naturally; I might have some goals or values about the world but no aspiration of it, because seems none of them is my business. I think that the world would be the same with or without my opinions, and actually no body will ask me how I feel about this world. Once I start studying in college, I learn that one of the requirements to be a successful student is knowing how to debate. I find that if I am not sensitive enough, I will be unable to understand and interpret this world to other people.
The expression and perception of my classmates over different topics are complicated. I feel that the ways they perceive the world sometimes is too extreme. For instance, most of them think that Mary Barnett is the murder of her daughter without further investigation. They only see thing in one direction, however their reaction is understandable and reasonable for me, because most of the topics we discuss in class are related to them or to their families. Emotion always on top of our intellection. I am relatively neutral probably because I always look myself as a bystander. There is a phrase in Chinese say "to onlooker is clearheaded" means that you will see clear when you can put yourself aside from the event. This is how I perceive this world.
Thinking Activity 4.3
Analyzing Different Accounts of the Assassination of Malcolm X.
1. What details of the events has each writer selected to focus on?
There are totally 5 writers in our text discuss about the Assassination of Malcolm X and each of them focus on different aspects.
- The first writer in "The New York Times" describing the events in detail including the age of the characters; the place that the event had happened; how many people involved. It is giving a general report of the process of the event.
- The writer in "Life" try to stress the idea that Malcolm X was not killed by other race but his own race.
- In "The New York Post", the writer focuses on emotion of the followers and the tactic that the assassinators use to kill Malcolm X.
- The forth article in "Associated Press", the writer focus on the fate of the assassin after they are arrested.
- The last writer in "The Amsterdam News" focuses on the reaction of people who are in the scene and revenge cycle of the black extremists.
2. How has each writer organized the details that have been selected? Bear in mind that most news organizations present what they consider the most important information first and the least important information last.
- The New York Times–the writer using a direct narrative to present the entire process of assassination. He first talk about Malcolm X, the main character of the event, then describes the assassin, the address of the event, and other people involved.
- Life–the writer describes the injury of Malcolm X first, then starts to introduce what Malcolm X is doing before he gets shot and how he gets kill by the black but not white.
- The New York Post–the writer describes the conversation of the audiences in the scene first. Then introduces Malcolm X to the scene and his audiences by quoting some of his speech. After that, the writer reports how the scuffle of the audience starts and how Malcolm X gets shot. At last, the writer ends the article by the conversation of the audiences again.
- Associated Press–the writer reports the event that against Malcolm X a week ago and his death during the rally as the opening of the article. Then, reports the homicide charge against Thomas Hagan, one of the assassins; reports how the assassins get injury and get caught, what firearms they use, and reports the charge of gun possession of Reuben Frances, the other shooter in the rally.
- The Amsterdam News–the writer introduces the event of the assassination of Malcolm X by breaking news in the television. Then, the writer talks about the bomb explosion of Malcolm's home; talk about the reactions of the black supporters and the reaction of Malcolm's wife. At the end, the writer mentions a revenge for the death of Malcolm. He brings out the idea of circle of revenge to the reader.
3. How does each writer interpret Malcolm X, his followers, the gunmen, and the significance of the assassination?
Each writer has their own style to interpret Malcolm X and people who are involved. Let's talk about the interpretation of Malcolm X first. The writer of "The New York Times" describes that Malcolm is a militant Black Nationalist; Malcolm is a black supremacy and his voice is shrillest according to the writer of "Life"; the writer of "The New York Post" expresses his admiration of Malcolm by quoting the words of the followers such as "Malcolm is our only hope"; in the "Associated Press", Malcolm is not the person that the writer focus on, therefore no particular description about Malcolm in this article; the writer in "Amersterdam News" describes Malcolm as an articulate leader of the Afro-American Unity.
The interpretation of the followers according to "The New York Times", "Life", and "Associated Press" are very general, no significant interpretation; however, the followers in "The New York Post" are interpreted as agitated. The writer shows us his feeling about the followers indirectly by quoting the phrase of the followers "Malcolm is our only hope. You can depend on him to tell it like it is and to give Whitey hell". As for "The Amsterdam News", the writer interprets the followers as awe, disbelief, and extremely agitated to the assassination of Malcolm X. The writer states "they were screaming for vengeance".
In the aspect of the gunman and the significance of the assassination, some writers have some interpretation but not all. First, the writer of "The New York Times" describes the appearance of the gunman as a Negro extremist with bearded, no rhetorical interpretation noted. There is no particular interpretation of the gunman or assassin in the "Life" and "The New York Post" either. In the "Associated Press", the writer talk more about the gunman. He describes the age, the injury of the assassin, the specify type of their weapon and also the consequence of their action. The writer in "The Amsterdam News" emphasizes the reaction of different people in Malcolm's neighborhood and the reaction of Malcolm's wife. He describes where these people live and how they dress; he describes the expression of these people as "awe and disbelief". The writer uses words like "talking loudly", "screaming for vengeance", "flaming with indignation" to describe the emotion of people reacting to the death of Malcolm.
4. How has each writer used language to express his or her perspective and to influence the thinking of the reader? Which language styles do you find most effective?
The writers of both "The New York Times" and "Associated Press" use a direct, gentle and clear description to describe the assassination. The language styles of these two writers show more knowledgeble and informative. In "Life", the writer uses the satiric statement to criticize Malcolm and the black. It is not hard to feel that the writer is a racist by reading his description. The writers of "The New York Post" and "The Amsterdam News" provide a vivid description of the event by quoting the conversation of people who are involved. The style and tone of language of these two writers provoke the emotion of the readers.
I find that all language styles of the writers are effective depending on who you are. If people who are like to read novel or more prone to listen the anecdote, then I believe they would find more interesting by reading the "The New York Post" or "The Amsterdam News". For the racists, especially the hater of the black people most likely will like the style of "Life". For me, the most effective language style is the informative one. The writers of "The New York Times" and "Associated Press" deliver a clear scenario of the Assassination. For those who didn't know who is Malcolm X, like me will immediately create a clear picture by reading these two articles.