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paper 2 - Jamie Mortakis October 5, 2008 English 102...

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Jamie Mortakis October 5, 2008 English 102 Section 59 Dr. Lisa Wellinghoff Mary Louise Pratt defines a contact zone as “a social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today” (Pratt 501). The Jena Six was an act of discrimination against young black boys. They were being discriminated against for hurting a white boy. Pratt and Gloria Anzaldua create conflicts between dominate and the minority of different cultures. In this situation the white people are dominate and blacks are the minority. This type of discrimination is a contact zone because the white person is trying to take advantage of the blacks. The community is of white majority, which also gives them an advantage. The town is small, so when this incident blew up to be national news. The town was not prepared for how racist they were going to appear. Racism is a principle that a person’s skin color is the main determinant in what kind of person they are. Racism and discrimination are two things I do not tolerate. Jena Six was the name given to the six black boys charged with the beating of Justin Barker, a white student at their high school. Six individuals Robert Bailey, age 17, Mychal Bell, 16, Carwin Jones, 18, Bryant Purvis, 17, Jesse Ray Beard, 14, and Theo Shaw, 17, were arrested in the assault on Barker. Barker was injured, he went to the hospital, and was released the same day. He also went to a party, the ring ceremony, that night. Prior to the fight, there were incidents that had instigated the attack. The “white tree” that sat in front of the school was apparently
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never sat under by black kids. During a school assembly a black freshman asked the principle if he was allowed to sit under the tree, the principal responded with “you can sit wherever you want.” After this, black kids sat under the tree. The following morning, there were nooses hanging from the tree. The school actually stated that this was a practical joke, and no one was punished for the act. Jacquie Soohen interviewed some of the boys about the incident. Jesse Beard said “One day, I just wanted to—maybe the first, second day, we started riding the bus,
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paper 2 - Jamie Mortakis October 5, 2008 English 102...

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