Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has covered a number of aspects in the growing monstrosity that is class warfare in society in his article; The Coming War Race won’t be about race. He argues that the rioting in Ferguson has nothing to do with racism but with class warfare. He is of the opinion that issues like this are so often masked and labeled under blacks against whites or whites against blacks domain while in fact they have more to do with wars between the existing societal groupings. He insists that instead of confronting issues as they are, society then goes on to act as though it as an issue of racism while in fact those in higher positions of authority are playing those in the lower hierarchy against themselves. He also points out that because of this down-playing or mislabeling of issues they end up merely swept under the rag as just another part of history, this can be noted in his statement, “Or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on civil unrest in the Early Twenty First Century.”
Abdul insists that the Ferguson riots are based on class warfare and not on systemic racism as many believe. He provides an example of class injustice in the Kent State shootings where 4 students ended up dead and 9 were in a wounded state with one of the 9 being paralyzed on a permanent basis. He then proceeds to cite the Jackson State University incident which fell only 10 days after the first incident and in which 2 black students ended up dead. He asserts this incidents and the fact that little was done about them should not be labeled as racism else they too will end up being swept under the rag with little done to impact change. He states that protests should be brought about not as blacks against the white community or vice versa but as he says, “The middle class has to join the poor and whites have to join African Americans in mass demonstrations…” because in essence they are fighting the same issues.
His approach of the theme which is class warfare is somewhat vague. While it is true that he has some convincing ideas, he never quite gets to the point where he states how exactly his examples relate with class warfare. One would have to have had extensive knowledge on the examples provided to understand how exactly they relate to the theme in question. The opening paragraphs and the last ones are more expressive and explorative of the theme but the middle ones are the ones most combated with vagueness. His opening sentence, “Ferguson is not just about systemic racism it’s about class warfare” is definitive of the theme but by the time the reader gets to, “And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam war, racism, sexism and mindless, faith…” the confusion begins to set in because if in this particular incident there was an outcry against all this injustice then wherein lies his argument?
His sarcasm takes away from the emotional empathy the article could have drawn from the reader. He appears a little too offended by the issue than he should be as an author. While it is obvious that as a human being one will always have a stand on issues which is why literature exists in the first place, the author must always take caution to ensure that they do not appear too biased as these could be offensive to readers. The statement, “White against black economically impacts the future of the black community. Black against white has almost no measurable social impact,” is unnecessarily ruthless and, needless to say, a black reader would have halted and stopped reading the article at this very point.
The fact that he appears too connected and affected by the issue at hand interferes with the ethos. However, his logo is well in place. It is clear that although he may be a little biased in his analysis of class warfare, asserting it in incidences where there is a possibility it may have had no grounds, he tries to assert reason in his belief. Furthermore, his intention in the article is a moral and solid one and hence his logic is not unacceptable. As he states “If we don’t have a specific agenda – a list of what exactly we want to change and how we will be gathering over and over again beside the dead bodies of our murdered children, parent and neighbors.”
Judging from his intended mission, the article was a success. However, the detailing of the rules and regulations that entail good literary skills was missing. The author could have taken a lot more time to ensure that he did not go to offensive extents in the eyes of the reader. All in all, in the logical aspect, the article was a masterpiece; in the emotional one, not so much.
Abdul-Jabbar, K. “The Coming War Race Won’t be about Race.” Time Magazine (2014).
While you seem to have understood the article better than most, this essay is egregiously underdeveloped, lacking a thesis statement and as a result a clear structure. Each paragraph needs to be developed further, even the summary, but the body paragraphs need more detailed analysis of the evidence, showing how you arrived at the conclusions you did. D-
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