Act: Do the Right Thing
Agent: Spike Lee as camera, director, creator, and actor
Agency: Harmony is necessary for the success of any society. There should be no discrimination based on culture, race and age.
Unity is important for the peaceful coexisting of people in the society. Persuasion should be used to bring people together whenever there is any misunderstanding. This can be attained if there is love amongst all of them. Despite their diversities, everyone should be ready to live with one another and regard them as their neighbor. There is a need to go beyond all the cultural and racial boundaries to be able to establish an inclusive society. This pentad examines Covino’s analysis of Jane Austen’s Elements of Persuasion. This is done by giving it a critical evaluation.
In page 80, the author asserts that love and hate are two crucial emotional states which determine the possibility of non-violent persuasions. I would like to concur with him because persuasion is a skill which many people do not possess. As demonstrated in The Night of the Hunter, love and hate are contrasting elements which may either thwart or promote effective execution of the persuasion process. While using the Killer as a demonstrative character, it is evidenced that this is possible. Although there are so many were of resolving a conflict, non-violence should be prioritized because it compromises the wrangling parties to submit to peace. This can be instrumental in eliminating any disagreement which may arise as a result of hatred. For example, the Asian is lynched by the mob because of his complexion. Otherwise, if there was love, no one would harass him just because he belongs to a different social class. If there was love, no one would bother lynching an innocent man simply because he is perceived to be belonging to a different group. It demonstrates how hatred can negatively impact on the persuasion process amongst the people. It is the major cause of disunity amongst between the Asians, blacks and all the other racial groups.
Many people have decided to discriminate upon others merely because of their perceived stereotypical beliefs. In page 82, the author gives an excerpt of Pino, Stevie, Officer Long and the Asian Clerk’s treatment of those they despise. Whereas Pino loves Italians, he openly hates blacks. In fact, he insults them in the open. He refers to them as monkey, fried chicken and drunkards. This is quite oppressive and should not be condoned. Moreover, Stevie, Long and the Clerk do the same when they praise their cliques and abuse their perceived enemies. These abuses are labeled against such people, not because they deserve them, but due to their ‘inferior’ identities. This is quite unfortunate since it indicates the influences of cultural stereotypes on individuals. Instead of tolerating one another and considering them as equal, such people cling to their cultural cliques and take the advantage of their perceived superiorities. Hence, they constitute the unwarranted logos of hate. I would like to condemn this behavior because it has no value to add to anyone. This is a very common behavior in the society. Many people have taken advantage of their social identities to spearhead hatred. However, they do this because they fail to understand that it can promote violence. I believe that people like Pino should be enlightened. They should understand that it is not necessary to participate in such evil acts because they are not important at all. It can only contribute to make because it only encourages people to value themselves at the expense of others.
As a matter of fact, persuasion should have no boundary. However, it has become so challenging to many people in the society. As the author explains in this article, one of the reasons for this is generation gap. This implies that individuals form a clique of the people they identify with. At the same time, they approve of others and do not accord them the dignity they deserve. I would like to support this argument because it holds water. As evidenced in the Right Thing, efficient accommodation in a multicultural society can be difficult to attain. This is due to the fact that people do not want to be dynamic to freely interact with others. Hence, there are several small groups of the Asians and blacks who unfortunately fail to recognize and tolerate others from diverse groups. The same attitude can be attributed to the youths who fail to identify with the ageing population as a result of the age gap. As Aristotle explains, ‘people associate physical age of a person with certain characteristics.’ (P. 86). For instance, Rubin links short hairs to the pathos of rigidity and authority. I would like to condemn such positions since they are harmful to the society. They do not bring any benefit rather than fueling hatred and unnecessary divisions.
I would like to agree with Covino for arguing in favor of non-violence. In deed, it is a noble remedial measure to injustices in the society. As explained in page 85, it can be a peaceful way of resolving any challenge affecting humanity. Thus, the writer credits Martin Luther King Jr for advocating for it during his civil right struggles. I think this is right because it worked. If it were not for the peaceful boycotts adopted by the blacks in the USA, racism would not have come to an end. Upon identifying themselves as oppressed immigrant group, the black Americans came together as a team to liberate themselves from the bondage of racism. They were convinced that it would be only through such identification that they would be in a position of accomplishing their ultimate goal. It gave them an opportunity to work together and be in solidarity with one another. After all, they were sharing the same problem. This is a right argument because it promoted a dialogue which made it necessary for the US government to ratify non-discriminatory laws which eventually brought racism to an ultimate end.
However, this does not mean that violence can not resolve any problem. As advocated by Malcolm, violence can also be applied as a remedial measure when the situation warrants its use. I would like to concur with this assertion because not all circumstances call for submission. Despite that it can be destructive; violence can be used as the last resort. When all other measures have been exploited, violence may be necessary. For example, demonstrations can be held to compel the concerned authority to introduce the necessary changes aimed at resolving the problems at hand. This explains why the university students decided to take to the streets to protest their disapproval of the Vietnam War. I am strongly convinced that this is a right assertion since it enables the persuasion process to occur faster than it could otherwise be.
The other important thing about persuasion is that it requires equality. As Aristotle examines, persuasion between unequal individuals can only be attained if people employ appropriate aspects of ethos, pathos and logos. In his philosophy, he takes them as the most significant elements of persuasion which should be upheld at all times. He is right since they are paramount for any dialogue making process. In his attempt to explain this idea, the author however goes ahead to explain that it may require some form of coercion. I am strongly convinced that this is a right argument because it explains how persuasion can be coercively applied in the deliverance of individuals from their problems. Persuasion is an integral element of humanity. Without it, there may be no room for harmony and peace amongst the people. The author exploits this topic in a very candid and useful manner that can educate and sensitize readers about it.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that this article is quite resourceful in the understanding of persuasion as an integral aspect of human relations. As Covino explains, The Elements of Persuasion is rich in information which can be used to comprehend human behavior based on their identity. I strongly concur with him for suggesting that persuasion is a very important thing which can be used to promote harmony, understanding and tolerance in the society. Evidently, it can help in encouraging people to go beyond their identities to be concerned about others.