Topic 1: Reality Assumption
Read the article titled “Can Blacks Be Racist?” written by a columnist Leonard Jr. Pitts. He discusses and challenges current assumptions about racism held by many in the academic community.
In his article, Pitts makes the following comment:
“My take on the ‘blacks can’t be racist’ argument: Unassailable logic, unfortunate rhetoric.”
“People who make that argument reason as follows: Yes, blacks can be prejudiced or bigoted, but not ‘racist’ because racism involves systemic oppression—the wielding of power. As blacks neither wield power nor control the system, the reasoning goes, it’s beyond their ability to be racist.”
Topic 1-Questions: Can you phrase his commentary as a deductive argument? What point is Pitts making in this column about the difference between black and white bigotry? Do you agree with his argument? Why or why not?
Topic 2: Inductive Arguments
***Please read chapter 4-Inductive Arguments for discussing the second topic here. You can choose either question A or Question B to answer. Only one will be graded.
Question A: People seem so used to seeing that headlines “spun” the narrative in a way that distorts the reality of the statistical findings. But it is important to think critically when reading news articles, whether on the internet or in print. Find a headline or in a newspaper that distort the truth in a similar way. Explain why you believe the headline distorts reality. And then correct the distortions in the headline you pick.
Headline: Social media more popular with women than with men
In a random, representative poll of 2,500 US residents, it was discovered that 52 percent of women check their social media daily, while 48 percent of men check their social media daily. Margin of error is plus minus 4 percent.
Feedback: If you look at the margin of error in the study cited, there may be no difference between men’s and women’s focus on social media.
Rewrite suggestion: Study finds that appropriately half of men and women check their social media daily.
Question B: Start by asking yourself: “What is continuing community, campus, state, national, or international problems that concerns me?” Identify at least three causes that contribute to this problem and make it challenging to solve. Then review at least one classmate’s posts. Do you agree with the causes he/she/they identified for the problems that concern them? What additional causes would you cite to clarify the problem? (Or, given the causes they propose, list at least one approach that might help solve the problem.)
1. Please make sure you answer BOTH topics in your initial posts.
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