Topic: An Analysis of Arc of Justice and The Role Racism Played in Transpiring Events
文学分析 It depicts the problems caused by hate crime and the resulting issues because of racial discrimination and superiority, in Detroit during 1925.
The Arc of Justice is a book that has been written by Kevin Boyle. It depicts the problems caused by hate crime and the resulting issues because of racial discrimination and superiority, in Detroit during 1925. The author follows the story of Dr. Ossian Sweet, who waste grandson of a slave.
He worked hard and through sheer efforts and talent was able to complete his education at the Howard and Wilberforce universities. Having completed his studies, he became a qualified physician, and started his own practice at Black Bottom where he resided as well. However, the neighborhood was crumbling, and was full of black people and immigrants who were facing harsh times during that time.文学分析
Eventually Dr. Ossian Sweet got married and realized that it was time to move on to a better neighborhood, where his family may have an ideal life. So, they decided to move to an all white neighborhood. And as is common from the stories of the past, he learned the hard way that the people of color were not easily accepted by the white people, especially in an all white neighborhood.
The neighborhood they chose to relocate to was Garland Avenue, which was situated on Detroit’s west side. However, having heard stories about mobs attacking those families who dared to move outside of a black neighborhood and into Garland Avenue, Sweet decided to have his brother and a couple of his friends stay over on the first night in their newly bought house.
What transpired afterwards was a chain of events which would eventually change the future and the way blacks were treated by the white people. 文学分析
Ossian Sweet had provided the men staying in his house with weapons in case a mob attacked and his worst fears came true. In the middle of the night, they were attacked by a mob of white neighbors who were angry that a family from a different race had dared to move to their neighborhood, and starting attacking the house with stones.
In order to retaliate and scare the mob away, the men in Ossian Sweet’s house opened fire, which resulted in injuring one man, and the death of another. And thus, the story begins for the struggle to fight for what was right and to defend oneself when faced with adverse charges. As a result of this chaos, Ossian Sweet and his brother were charged with the murder if the man who was killed during the mob fight and thus begins the case.
In my opinion, the Sweets were right in their stance to defend themselves, because of unfounded and illogical racism, they were forced to live a night of terror which resulted in an accident.
Had they actually done something that harmed the people in their neighborhood and the residents had taken up arms against them, then it would have made sense for this line of action, but to attack somebody just because they are of a different color and race, is something that should not have been undertaken by anybody.“Good words will not get my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves. I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember”, (Eic Foner, American History 3rd Edition). Sadly, due to hate crime, primarily based on racial discrimination, these events unfolded, and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) decided to the support the Sweets and hired Clarence Darrow, known as the Great Defender as their attorney (Boyle, 233).
“Frederick Douglass, who had encountered racism even within abolitionist ranks, considered Lincoln a fundamentally decent individual. 文学分析
“He treated me as a man,” Douglass remarked in 1864, “he did not let me feel for a moment that there was any difference in the color of our skins,” (Eric Foner, 1877). However, not everybody is like Lincoln, and this can be seen by the fact that the mob assembled on the very first night of the Sweets stay in their new home and started attacking them without any valid reason (Boyle, 168). Due to this the resulting incident transpired.
Secondly, there was immense bias in the arrests made of the sweets and the accusations that were made against them (Boyle 267). What is interesting to note is that, even though there was a mob who attacked them and they were simply defending themselves from the attackers, the ones who were actually arrested were the sweet brothers. In order to address this issue, Darrow made sure that the jury consisted of mostly white men, who were all related to immigrants in one way or another, thereby, making it easier for them to relate (Boyle, 267).
And finally, during the course of the case, it is made evident that the case hinges heavily on the relations between races and the political climate that was there in Detroit those days instead of pivots of facts of law (Boyle, 217).
Even though legally a person had the right to defend his family and his property if they were in imminent danger, because Ossian Sweet and his family were black, they were asked to stand on trial (Boyle, 186). Like his idol Henry Clay, Lincoln saw government as an active force promoting opportunity and advancement. Its “legitimate object,” he wrote in an undated memorandum, “is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do for themselves.” (Eric Foner, 13) 文学分析
And thus, I would like to conclude by stating that because the Sweets family could not defend themselves, they had to seek outside help in order to win a case which would pave way for the future. Additionally, the brothers were let go based on evidence and were acquitted which was a small victory against the racial injustice that was done against them.
Kevin Boyle, Arc of Justice, A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, retrieved 24-10-18.
Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial, Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, retrieved 24-10-18