How safe is America?

April 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

After reading the essay “How Safe Is America?” I felt aggravated at the attempt Desiree Taylor made to compare the everyday struggles of poverty with the 9-11 attack. She started off by saying that a picture in a magazine she saw struck her the wrong way. It was a picture of a girl running out of the fiery building looking well dressed and stylish. She says that she tried to look at it with the horror that this lady might have felt but all that she thought was this is not the America she lives in. I believe everyone in this country is different and we are not all going to see eye to eye but for someone looking for sympathy or relate-ability , she did it the wrong way. She goes on to say that only after 911 did middle and upper class people feel unsafe, but she has felt unsafe her whole life. I do think that a lot of people ignore the struggles of poor people but, i do not think those struggles are comparable to being attacked by people outside the United States. Yes, it may seem scarier that your own people disregard you, but you should not make a comparison by downplaying such a horrible event. 

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§ 2 Responses to How safe is America?

  • sbarell says:

    I agree with you. I think Desiree is far off when she related 9/11 to poverty. It seems like a long stretch to compare the two. I understand that some people are more privileged than others but she is being stereotypical when saying that the woman in that picture must be wealthy and have no idea what it is like to struggle in life just because of her appearance and race. For all anyone knows this woman could be making minimum wage and could have her own set of struggles she deals with everyday.

  • I agree that external and internal violence are two very different things, and the tragedy of 9/11 should definitely not be downplayed. But I did think Desiree did a good job of exposing the irony of calling one event a tragedy while a loss of life on a much larger magnitude of scale goes virtually ignored by the public. The terrorist attack on 9/11 was a large amount of violent force applied over a very short period of time. Structural and economic violence in America is a force just as devastating but much more subtle, and applied over a much greater period of time, to which we have inured ourselves to the point that we don’t even recognize it as violence. And these violences are inordinately directed against those in America who are poor or in some other way marginalized. While I don’t think it was very politic of her to draw a comparison between structural violence and 9/11 while the latter was so raw in the hearts of Americans, the association did serve to illuminate the feelings of vulnerability and victimhood experienced by America’s poor on a daily basis in a very personal and emotional way.

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