Injustices Against Humanity Essay

714 words - 3 pages

Social injustices occur on a daily basis ranging from minor racial slurs to violence and abuse. It is easy to see why Primo Levi is astonished with the actions that we humans place on each other. The articles US Inner-city Apartheid by Philippe Bourgois and Difference and Other Infections of the Day by Alisse Waterston show clearly the prejudice and inequality that take place on a daily basis around the world.

Philippe Bourgois speaks first-hand on the injustices that occur in the mainly Puerto Rican district of East Harlem, New York. Throughout his research on inner-city poverty and social marginalization, he has made friends with several community natives, a number of them being "crack dealers" (Bourgois 301). Bourgois is able to take a deeper look into his newfound-friends lives as their companionships develop. This intimate and personal perspective allows Bourgois to learn from these peoples pasts and put varying factors from their history into reasons to their unique culture; sometimes taking it to the extent of actually finding justification for their unique customs. Bourgois does an excellent job of mixing his own theories in his article, as well as the concepts of several other professionals. A few paragraphs of insightful conversations with his friends in East Harlem make the reading more interesting and, because of the dialogue, the reader gains sympathy to the people that we come to know and understand throughout reading the article.

Waterstons article, however; felt more like a short story than a piece of literature that was to be analyzed by students because of its lengthy paragraphs of conversation and the details of several women's lives. Alisse Waterston had gone to Woodhouse in order to conduct AIDS research. Waterston speaks of how it is easy to fall into the belief of having "target groups" (Waterston, 179) and how easy it is to associate AIDS with an image or group of people. Waterston focuses on topics such as social marginalization and inequality, stereotypes (ibid. 180), elements of harm, and social categories/programs (ibid. 187-188). After pages of "experiences, remarks, attitudes, and beliefs" of the interviewed women, Waterston explains that the lengthy stories of the various women in the...

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