Write 1-2 paragraphs for 2 discussion

timer Asked: Nov 18th, 2016

Question description

We're continuing our two-week discussion focusing intently analyzing some characters (Character Analysis), and looking at our first sample paper (Sample Paper I), which is attached here. Let's go!

1.Character Analysis

As we are moving through Ghettoside and Twilight preparing to write from our texts for our future papers, it might be helpful to think about who your "favorite" character (from either text) is and why. "Favorite" might not mean the one you would like to bring home to meet the folks but can mean the one who has the greatest impact, the one you remember after you've gone on to new chapters. Who would you most like to see performed if the text were made into a film or series? Who struck you at the deepest level, perhaps for their honesty, their hypocrisy, their suffering or lack thereof? What about this character, their words, actions or circumstance, made you remember them? Share that with us here.

Remember that the goal here is to think critically and that means digging beneath the surface for what is not obvious. We aren't cataloging every thought about a character. We are inferring a thesis about that character's character (and that thesis may prove useful to us in our later papers). You can do it!

2.The Monster continues

This conversation about Ghettoside is continued from last week. Here's last week's prompt:

If the question is: why are black-on-black murders so prevalent? Or, why are homicide cases with black victims so often unsolved? Leovy has one answer, "Where the criminal justice system fails to respond vigorously to violent injury and death, homicide becomes endemic.” It's circular. The cases aren't solved ("the criminal justice system fails to respond vigorously") and so, there are more murders to solve ("homicide becomes endemic"). In other words, much as she discusses, in the absence of a reliable justice system in any community, shadow justice prevails.

What do you think about Leovy's thesis? How does this impact your understanding of L.A.'s segregation? How does it relate to the research from Week Three about the violent episodes in L.A.'s history?

Be sure to specifically reference Ghettoside (at least from the first half of the text) in your response.

Some new thoughts to aid this week's discussion: might I suggest a Venn Diagram (math majors, help me out)? The diagram I see has overlapping shadow justice systems, starting with the one that is Leovy's focus, adding the one that (we can argue) allows for a great deal of police violence with no official ramification, which is to say, the police are their own form of shadow justice, and adding the "vigilante" justice group Anonymous and groups like them. Anyone not familiar with Anonymous can Google it easily though Anonymous' outrage with regard to the Sandra Bland case is particularly relevant to my Venn Diagram idea and to our class, here's a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0F-MhNLyDo

Anonymous 1 Anonymous English 2 Professor Hassman 25 Recently 2015 New Name, Same City When one hears the words “South-Central,” there are a myriad of negative connotations that go along with it. Given its history, this area of Los Angeles has a reputation based on violence, unrest, racism, gang related crime and other things of the like. Ensuing the riots of 1992, South-Central Los Angeles went under a process of rebranding by changing their name form South-Central to South Los Angeles. Though there was still a high rate of crime, after the riots it had made somewhat of a decrease. The purpose of this rebranding was to rid SouthCentral of its stigma as a violent and gang infested area. Now, Los Angeles councilman Bernard Parks is attempting this rebranding once again by proposing to change the name of South Los Angeles to SOLA. This time, however, the motives behind this rebranding and the effectiveness of this strategy are called into question. This rebranding seems to strip inhabitants of a sort of “nationalism” and pride that they have for their city of residence. It also poses as a threat of gentrification to current poverty stricken occupants of South Los Angeles. Lastly, the changing of a name in hopes of rebranding the city and altering its connotation falls flat in its attempt and does not help to clean up the city. This name change proposal is accompanied by what appears to be an inferiority complex. It creates the idea that people are ashamed of where they come from and in consequence feel the need to create a new identity by calling the city by a different name. In doing so, it sends the message that the people of South Los Angeles believe that there was something wrong with the Anonymous 2 city in the first place, which is actually counterproductive when trying to remove a stigma—the name change actually acts as an affirmation of that stigma. It enhances the idea that South L.A. is trying to hide something. South-Central actually got its name “generations ago when the black jazz scene exploded along Central Avenue,” and though it made many other associations with gangs and violence, it has historic roots of which the city should encourage its residents to be proud. When changed to South L.A. and given new names to neighborhoods like Vermont Knolls and Green meadows, though television stations and businesses elected to use the new name, the community continued to refer to it by its old names (Jenner). The people of South L.A. want to be proud of where they come from and giving it this “face-lift” encourages them to feel like they have to hide that. Being authentic about where one grew up is important to a lot of people and constantly feeling like one has to cover up what really went on in this area strips them of that opportunity. South L.A. has seen the worst; it has had riots, gang violence and homicides, and it still continues to experience these phenomenons, but for the people who grew up here, it has given it character and has brought some closer together, even if it is in mourning. South L.A. is a mostly African American community and I think that they are, in a sense, proud of all of the struggles they have endured and trying to use euphemisms to cover up these struggles has a way of diminishing the challenges that South L.A. locals have overcome. The city is also home to many of those who suffer from extreme poverty and modifying the name to a more contemporary “SOLA” strikes fear in the minds of those impoverished of gentrification. Altering the name of South L.A. to SOLA is an attempt to become more modernized and to keep up with other more “fashionable” cities such as WeHo, NoHo, and DTLA. Though it also reeks of gentrification, especially since the name seems to be inspired by a new one billions dollar development by the name of SoLA Village. This development boasts 1.66 million square Anonymous 3 feet, and “is expected to have residential units, a hotel, grocery store and retail space” (Trinh). Reporters comment that this development will “dramatically alter the neighborhood, which until now has largely been ignored by fancy developers” (Gaurino). This raises questions about what this name change is really geared for—helping the current state of South L.A. and its current residents or attracting more fancy developers and a wealthier populace. The name SoLA gives the impression of trying to achieve a trendier vibe and population and it has put fear in the minds of many working class residents of the area that they will be priced out (Jennings). Remodeling South L.A.’s image by way of this name change and new development leaves little room for those at and below poverty level to stay and survive in the South Los Angeles area. Therefore, even if renaming South L.A. to SOLA was an effective strategy towards making it safer and a more prosperous community, those with roots in the city and who live there now will be edged out due to higher prices and would not be able to reap the benefits of a new thriving SOLA. In conclusion, SOLA is a ploy to attract more money to the South Los Angeles area, which might help to clean it up, but does nothing to better the lives of current members of the community because they will no longer be able to afford to maintain residence there. Though there were some improvements made to South-Central following the first name change, such as cleaner streets, lowered rate of crime, and better shopping options, there are still these deeper issues that cannot be dealt with via name change. Inglewood based author, Erin Kaplan agrees, and points out that “the fact that we keep changing the name of SouthCentral/South L.A. really points to the fact that we haven’t done enough to make it a different place” (Jennings). South Los Angeles is still suffering from gang violence and an extremely high rate of homicide. Changing the name does not remedy these more extensive issues. The reputation of South-Central/South L.A. does not come from its name, it comes from what Anonymous 4 transpires within the area. As said by “ Mark Arena, a thirty-four-year-old former gang officer” when speaking of Watts—a neighborhood in South Los Angeles—“‘violence is accepted here” (Leovy 86). Detective Skagg’s from Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside saw that people involved in the violence were simply “trapped by conditions of lawlessness” (Leovy 87). This illustrates how the attitude of South L.A. bears more importance than its name. To quote Juliet from the Shakespearian classic Romeo and Juliet, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Shakespeare). In this case, South L.A. is still the “same place with the same people” (Hernandez). This is to say that changing the name will not have dramatic effects on the inner workings of the South Los Angeles area, councilman Bernard Parks cannot simply spot treat South L.A.’s image by replacing its name. Author Jill Leovy wrote Ghettoside as an attempt to illuminate the highly dysfunctional justice system that lets murderers run the streets of South Los Angeles. The failure of the justice system is mainly due to a lack of trust that residents of South L.A. have for the police officers. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need to feel safe and secure is not seen by inhabitants of South L.A. to be taken care of by the LAPD. This contributes to the lawlessness of the area and perpetuates the stigma that this collection of neighborhoods have because gangs take the law into their own hands. One witness explained why he did not report a killing at which he had been present by saying that there were “‘rules and regulations behind living there” (Leovy 82). Territories are run by gangs who make their own laws and out of intimidation, people see fit to follow them. Changing the name of South Los Angeles to SOLA may make it so it no longer sounds like “South-Central,” but it only touches the very surface of the issue. If South L.A. does not improve their justice system and work harder to clean up its streets, no matter what name it goes by, it will always be seen as a dangerous and seedy area. Anonymous 5 In contrast to all of these arguments made about why modifying the name of South L.A. is the wrong choice to make, there is potential for it to clean up these streets. Attracting more wealthy developments and residents, could also contribute to a higher demand for low-income housing because of the workers that will need to live and work in that area. Negotiations have been made with new developers and the United Neighbors In Defense Against Displacement that developers would include some low-income housing to house those with extremely low wages. There have also been studies made that show that “keeping diverse communities intact is good for everyone in the city” (Torres). Nonetheless, there is only a small amount of low-income housing in comparison the the housing that is planned to be priced high. This leaves room for only a small amount of people currently residing in South L.A. to stay and have opportunity. The others will be priced-out of the area and forced to take up residence in other parts of town, and possibly taking the violence and gang-related crime with them. In turn, this only relocates crime and benefits few of the South L.A. community. To close, though there may be some benefits to the attempt at rebranding South Los Angeles, these benefits are minimal. The outcome of this name change will be detrimental to this currently residing in the area and detrimental to the self-esteem of South L.A. It may be effective in lowering the crime rate in the area, but if the crime is not solved at a deeper level, it will only migrate to other neighborhoods. In order to give South L.A. a better name for itself, the name does not literally have to change or sound more appealing. The problem of South L.A.’s violent history and current crime issue must be approached from a different angle. Simply putting lipstick on a pig does not make it more beautiful. South L.A.’s rebranding must begin at the core instead of the surface—the name change only seems to create different problems instead of solve the current ones. Anonymous 6 Bibliography Gaurino, Kate. "New Name Game: South LA or SOLA?" Intersections South LA. Annenberg Media Center, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2015. . Jennings, Angel. "Can South L.A. Re-brand Again? How Does 'SOLA' Sound?" Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2015. . Larkin, Michael, and Kate Larson. "Councilman Proposes Rebranding South LA "SOLA"" NBC Southern California. NBC News, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2015. . Leovy, Jill. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2014. Print. Torres, Benjamin. "With Housing Prices Out of Control in Los Angeles, South L.A. Could Be the Next Big Thing." PublicCEO. Zocalo Public Square, 01 May 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2015. . Trinh, Jean. "There's A Movement To Rebrand South L.A. 'SOLA'" LAist. N.p., 21 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2015. .

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