A book, Identities and justification on a police officer’s action
“To judge individuals’ identities by appearances, whether it is a person or place, will only constrain anyone who would judge, in a prison of prejudices.”
“Identities” was written by a Canadian author, W. D. Vagaldson and the story deals with a social concern over judging one by his/her appearance and the tragic outcome from the decision. In the story, the main character is foreshadowed to be shot at the end because of his outlook that was spotted by an amateur police officer. The police officer has to be justified for the action regarding the foreshadowed homicide for the following reasons.
To begin with, there was no time for the police officer to warn the main character who was putting his hand in his pocket who looks suspicious. Also, the police officer could not help but just deal with his duty as the way he was trained in prior. Moreover, the fact that the main character trusts himself too much and acts carelessly in such a neighborhood where it is expected and prejudiced to be dangerous by himself adds to the point that it is just of him to do so.
“When the officer, who is inexperienced, who is nervous because of the neighborhood… because he has been trained to see an unshaven man in blue jeans as a potential thief and not as a probable owner…” (Vagaldson p. 5)
As it can be seen in this quote that the police officer already thinks the main character to be suspicious. In this situation, the man’s behavior of putting his hand in his pocket will look as if he is making a threatening posture in the officer’s perspective. Also, as an amateur without many field experiences, it is wise of himself to pull the pistol. On the contrary, from the main character’s point of view, the result might seem a bit skeptical to deploy an inexperienced officer in such an underprivileged neighborhood alone. However, considering the situation that the officer is put where they are confronting, it is possible to say that the police officer’s reaction is carried out in a reasonable manner to a certain degree.
“In spite of his car, he hopes his day-old beard, which he strokes upward with the heel of his hand, will, when combined with his clothes, provide immunity.” (Vagaldson p. 5)
By referring to the word “immunity”, the main character illustrates his unconscious prejudice against the neighborhood. While he is relieved that he could see that his appearance is more than enough to fit into such a poor neighborhood, his contradiction of wanting to be treated as a resident of a wealthy neighborhood by the police also shows the main character’s hypocritic side. These biased identities within himself come back to him as a death at the end.
From the main character and the police officer’s point of view, they are the same people after all, who would judge one by his/her appearance. In this sense, this is a fiction which reflects the reality of modern society. People have become more judgmental and there are countless events frequently happening in the present because people do not respect each other but try to judge a person based on their backgrounds on the outside, such as ethnicities, religions, nationalities, etc.
To sum up, the police officer at least acts with full understanding of the neighborhood and follows the order. Also, it is the nature of a police officer with heavy responsibility in his mind for his duty to guard the neighborhood and it greatly affected his decision at the end. According to the difference between the environments of the two characters, I would rather want to see that the police officer has to be justified for the action regarding the projected homicide. Consequently, the man does not deserve death but cannot blame the officer for the tragic outcome.
Key Question: What would an ethic of care towards the environment look like?
In my personal opinion, ethic of care means that helping or thinking deeply about someone sincerely. To create an ethic of care, people would require some experiences that related to themselves directly. For example, just knowing something cannot be called as one actually experienced it. At least they should have some personal relationship in a direct way of physical or mental. Furthermore, the most important thing is that caring something depends on one’s mind. In this sense, people should have a mind of willingness to care for the environment where they currently live. It is because most people would not want to lose the environment, which is also their home, as a result. In the current society, I already can see that plenty parts of the environment have destroyed by people, through the product of environmental pollution. To prevent it, people should start from the basic things, such as recycling, and buying as much as one eats so that food is not going to be wasted. From this change of act, there is an advantage. As the number of individuals who keep the solution increases, the environment will stop to be getting worse, and even more, it will get better. However, there would be a side effect of the solution too. By people starts to care of the environment, the development can be slower down in many ways. Nevertheless, if people can control the middle point of advantage and disadvantage, we should adopt an ethic of care towards the environment.
How has this unit impacted your creative and critical thinking and communication skills?
I have learned how to move graphs and interpret the moves of them from this unit. For me, this section was the one of math that deeply requires my creative and critical thinking. I had to keep thinking, in related to what I found from other problems, to solve new challenger problems. My creative thinking has been developed by applying my knowledge, and by checking back, I was able to improve my critical thinking. Mr. Muro usually let students talk to their partners during class time. Through the communication with my partner, I also could develop my communication skills.
As I was standing in the woods, I saw the sunshine, the trees, leaves and mud. I could deeply thinking about freedom because I was in the silence, only with sounds of the nature. Also, I felt as if I was deeply connected with the nature. All the compositions of the walking road surrounded by trees interested me with the fresh air, the nice green view and the soft mud. To not use my phone to take photos and videos of the beautiful view was the only difficult thing to me.
At Downtown Poco, the mood was totally different from yesterday. Car noise, people talking, and the whole atmosphere was busy. I saw many artificial things, such as cars and buildings, and people walking. It was not easy to think deeply about something, and I felt awkward. In different way of feeling with yesterday’s, which is peaceful, the Downtown made me feel awkward so that it is harder to not use phone. I absolutely felt my feelings, thoughts and actions changes depends on where I am.