Draft Causal with Feedback

9/11 Made America More Racist

It seems that racism has been around since before the dawn of time itself. It has thrived in the best and worst of times and in every corner of the earth, doing particularly well in the United States of America. America’s relationship with racism has been a very long one and it’s still going strong. As if the situation hadn’t been dire enough, then the twin towers in New York City were attacked in an act of terrorism more horrific and devastating than the world had ever known. Whether or not the 9/11 hijackers understood the consequences of their actions is irrelevant. The after-effects rippled outwards and caused further damage more than what anyone could have expected. Fifteen years later, Americans are still dealing with the repercussions of one man’s decision to attack the United States. 9/11 shocked and terrified the world. That day set a new precedent for the future of public safety all over the globe. The TSA was exploding with new rules and restrictions on who and what can be on a plane. Americans become even more wary of anyone who didn’t look like them. The media turned the situation into a joke. Tabloids were printing new conspiracy theories everyday while shows like “South Park” and “Family Guy” turned the whole ordeal and those behind the attacks into a punchline. The saddest part is that we had an opportunity to make a comeback. It would have been one of the most difficult things our country had ever done and would have further changed the world forever but we failed to take advantage of our opportunity to find good in the situation. We’ve let the 9/11 attacks define our foreign policies, world relations and even how America functions domestically. Furthermore it’s changed how we relate to others. Our culture had never been particularly welcoming to new elements but more now than ever, we bristle at the idea of welcoming anyone or anything we’re not immediately familiar with. In recent years this reaction has softened, especially with younger generations rising up and becoming more politically aware but the majority of America still holds deeply rooted emotions against anything related to the 9/11 hijackings. The ripple effects of the attacks still continue outward even today. Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump made it a main point in his campaign to assure Americans that he’d place restrictions on allowing muslims to enter our country. Regardless of whether or not his prejudice stems from the attacks, many his voters share this sentiment because of the events of 9/11.

References


Rose, S. (2013, September 12). Since 9/11, Racism and Islamophobia Remain Intertwined. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/steve-rose/911-racism-islamophobia_b_3908411.html

Poladian, C. (2015, September 11). The United States After 9/11: 6 Things That Have Changed Since 2001. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from http://www.ibtimes.com/pulse/united-states-after-911-6-things-have-changed-2001-2093156

In-Class Task

In a few sentences, use the Reply field below to critique this Causal Argument draft.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com
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16 Responses to Draft Causal with Feedback

  1. davidbdale says:

    It seems that racism has been around since before the dawn of time itself.

    Probably not, since races weren’t around at the dawn of time. If you feel the need to be dramatic, choose a claim that has some validity, Username.

    It has thrived in the best and worst of times and in every corner of the earth, doing particularly well in the United States of America.

    Your claim has the unintended consequence of trivializing your thesis, Username. Something that has been with us forever and will always exist lacks urgency.

    America’s relationship with racism has been a very long one and it’s still going strong.

    You’re circling a thesis here somewhere, Prof. 1) Racism is as old as time. 2) It’s common in the US. 3) Repeat: It’s common in the US. Is any of this necessary?

    As if the situation hadn’t been dire enough, then the twin towers in New York City were attacked in an act of terrorism more horrific and devastating than the world had ever known.

    It might have felt that way to New Yorkers on that day, but you were barely alive, Username, and you didn’t survive the Russian pogroms of the early 20th century that killed millions. Just saying.

    Whether or not the 9/11 hijackers understood the consequences of their actions is irrelevant.

    It is, however, relevant that WE understand the consequences of their actions. So far you’re hinting that somehow they affected American racism. By now, if I weren’t your professor with your best interest at heart, I would have bailed on this essay. Make it go somewhere.

    The after-effects rippled outwards and caused further damage more than what anyone could have expected.

    Still teasing.

    Fifteen years later, Americans are still dealing with the repercussions of one man’s decision to attack the United States. 9/11 shocked and terrified the world.

    It did. And we are. But you promised me something I didn’t know.

    That day set a new precedent for the future of public safety all over the globe.

    You spent many sentences insisting that America is racist, then several more reminding us we were attacked 15 years ago by foreign terrorists. Now you’ve added a third wild card: public safety.

    The TSA was exploding with new rules and restrictions on who and what can be on a plane.

    What’s your timeline here, Prof? “Was exploding” before 9/11? Or was the agency empowered as a consequence of 9/11?

    Americans become even more wary of anyone who didn’t look like them.

    Let’s be clear here. The first several sentences give no indication what races you’re indicting, but the clear implication is that you’re discussing black/white racism. “Anyone who doesn’t look like an American” is an entirely different sort of prejudice. You haven’t been clear yet; this new prejudice against “foreigners,” if that’s what you’re getting at, makes your claims less clear.

    The media turned the situation into a joke.

    Hopelessly vague.

    Tabloids were printing new conspiracy theories everyday

    How is that treating the abomination as a joke?

    while shows like “South Park” and “Family Guy” turned the whole ordeal and those behind the attacks into a punchline.

    If so, an example would be extremely helpful. But even if so, you’ve shifted your position radically from “the media” to “tabloids and South Park.”

    The saddest part is that we had an opportunity to make a comeback.

    From what to what, Username? From a racist country to a color-blind country because of a terrorist attack? From an isolationist country to one that embraced people of all nations? Is your topic racism or nationalism?

    It would have been one of the most difficult things our country had ever done and would have further changed the world forever but we failed to take advantage of our opportunity to find good in the situation.

    I admire the effort you’re making to suggest that 9/11 could have been a “learning experience” of some kind, but you’re leaving the entire argument to our imaginations.

    We’ve let the 9/11 attacks define our foreign policies, world relations and even how America functions domestically.

    If this were still your introduction, you might be forgiven for painting with broad strokes with the promise of providing details later, but these THREE MASSIVE CLAIMS are entirely unsupported. How does the legacy of 9/11 drive our foreign policy? our international relations? our domestic programs?

    Furthermore it’s changed how we relate to others.

    Other Americans? Other races?

    Our culture had never been particularly welcoming to new elements but more now than ever, we bristle at the idea of welcoming anyone or anything we’re not immediately familiar with.

    We’re actually the primary destination for Immigrants from almost every country that people emigrate from.

    In recent years this reaction has softened, especially with younger generations rising up and becoming more politically aware but the majority of America still holds deeply rooted emotions against anything related to the 9/11 hijackings.

    Which reaction has softened? The resistance to immigration or foreign visitors that existed before they were born? or the worsening of that condition that you claim resulted from 9/11?

    The ripple effects of the attacks still continue outward even today.

    Are you going to redeem the promises you made in your first sentences that America is racist?

    Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump made it a main point in his campaign to assure Americans that he’d place restrictions on allowing Muslims to enter our country.

    Not racist. Discrimination based on religious belief.

    Regardless of whether or not his prejudice stems from the attacks, many his voters share this sentiment because of the events of 9/11.

    Don’t you want to distinguish between peace-loving observant Muslims and terrorists (religious or not) who blow things up and kill people in the name of jihad?

    Like

  2. levixvice says:

    After reading the essay firsthand, the essay feedback made more sense, with some of the sentences being confusing with religious terrorism affecting the religion that people believe in as their faith is discriminated against by others to racism that is based solely on skin color and the stereotypes that surround it.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      I appreciate the comment, Levix, but you’ll always be misunderstood if you phrase your remarks with “‘with” clauses.
      —Here’s the first one:

      the essay feedback made more sense, WITH some of the sentences being confusing

      Does this mean that you were able to understand the feedback AFTER REALIZING THAT some of the sentences were confusing? Your claim does not make that clear. You could say instead:

      Once I realized some of the sentences in the post were confusing, the feedback you provided made more sense.

      —Here’s the second one:

      some of the sentences being confusing WITH religious terrorism affecting the religion that people believe in as their faith is discriminated against by others to racism that is based solely on skin color and the stereotypes that surround it.

      I admit to being completely perplexed by that one. There are SO MANY possibilties.
      I shouldn’t have to guess.
      Do you mean, for example,

      Some of the sentences seem to confuse religious terrorism with a sincere belief in faith practiced primarily by people of a particular skin color?

      Of could you mean:

      Some people automatically object to belief in a particualr religious because they arbitrarily relate it to a particular race of people?

      Or could you mean:

      Bigots with a prejudice against certain races automatically associate their predominant religious beliefs with the worst sort of behavior any member of that race has ever committed?

      Understand, even if one of these possibilities matches your intention, the fact that I have to guess means you have failed to communicate your clear claim.

      Like

      • levixvice says:

        The second one had the idea what I was trying to say Professor and I am sorry that I was unclear in my feedback and should give more clarity next time

        Like

  3. frogs02 says:

    After reading the essay, this user makes it seem like racism could be a good thing. He states that racism is “still going strong.” Still going strong is usually when someone is doing really good on something. This essay is all over the place. All of the claims are not supported.

    Like

  4. kingofcamp says:

    General Notes from Draft Argument
    “…racism has been around since before the dawn of time itself.”
    Poor opening; doesn’t make sense
    If people weren’t here before the dawn of time well then there you have it, no racism. Unless you’re talking about other animals?

    “It has thrived in the best and worst of times and in every corner of the earth” is not specific at all.
    Are you personifying racism? What is racism? Who is racism? What do you mean?

    “As if the situation hadn’t been dire enough, then the twin towers in New York City were attacked in an act of terrorism more horrific and devastating than the world had ever known.”
    You are stalling your main point—get to the point

    “The after-effects rippled outwards and caused further damage more than what anyone could have expected. Fifteen years later, Americans are still dealing with the repercussions of one man’s decision to attack the United States. 9/11 shocked and terrified the world.”
    You are boring readers, you need to clarify your point, not play around with the wording.
    I can sense the idea, but you haven’t explicitly stated your point yet.

    “That day set a new precedent for the future of public safety all over the globe. The TSA was exploding with new rules and restrictions on who and what can be on a plane. Americans become even more wary of anyone who didn’t look like them.”
    This is a great point! The wording could be better, but your idea is there! If you were to change the wording, clarify your objective, then you would have a strong claim to argue.

    “The saddest part is that we had an opportunity to make a comeback. It would have been one of the most difficult things our country had ever done and would have further changed the world forever but we failed to take advantage of our opportunity to find good in the situation.”
    Again, I like your idea. These couple of sentences are strong but once again, your wording does not do your idea justice.

    “We’ve let the 9/11 attacks define our foreign policies, world relations and even how America functions domestically. Furthermore it’s changed how we relate to others.”
    Strong claim! I like it a lot!

    “The ripple effects of the attacks still continue outward even today.”
    Yes, good point

    “Regardless of whether or not his prejudice stems from the attacks, many his voters share this sentiment because of the events of 9/11.”
    Why are we centering around Trump and his supporters? Isn’t this supposed to be general and not focusing on one group of peoples? I most definitely agree with your statement but to really hit the ball out of the park, I would end with something more general. Look at the country as a whole. Make a strong claim and use better wording. You start abstract, I like that (of course you were a little too vague and didn’t make much sense at first); you need to also end clearly but not with a very specific example.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      You do a much better job than I did of finding the value in this essay, King. Reading it again before scanning your Replies, I found myself quite impressed by some of Username‘s rhetorical sweep. There’s a lot of power in this bit here:

      We’ve let the 9/11 attacks define our foreign policies, world relations and even how America functions domestically. Furthermore it’s changed how we relate to others.

      It’s good of you to find the good.

      Like

  5. ziggy026 says:

    To me this essay was extremely confusing and inaccurate. It seems too dramatic and the text tries too hard to get a point across to the audience. There wasn’t a clear path and the author seemed to pull ‘support’ from anywhere and none of it worked together. Readers can make out what the goal may have been, but the execution did not work in the author’s favor. The examples used aren’t expanded upon and leaves the readers guessing and making assumptions on their own, which the author should answer for them.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Well, I do agree, Ziggy. I wonder if being asked to read someone else’s work and comment on it without worrying about how the author will react is a valuable lesson. It’s intended to empower you and liberate you from responsibility for a classmate’s feelings.

      Like

  6. strawberryfields4 says:

    While there are multiple flaws with this essay, I particularly struggled with the contradictory and confusing language that the author chose to use. When addressing a topic as hideous as racism, using words that have positive connotations, such as “thrived” and “still going strong,” are wildly inappropriate. Additionally, it is abundantly clear that proper research was not conducted before the author began to write. The author fails to provide solid statistics and information, but instead resorts to ranting about the terrible consequences of 9/11. The tragedy of 9/11 is universally recognized by all of the country and does not need to be summarized. Furthermore, the author fails to provide the reader with a solid thesis, but rather vaguely addresses a variety of “subtopics” related to the effects of 9/11. There is great potential for a strong causal argument on the subject of racism stemming from 9/11. If proper research and stronger planning strategies were implemented, the author could have guided the reader through a chain of outcomes that resulted from the attacks.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      You’re right, StrawberryFields. Others have commented on the rhetorical flaws, but you’re right to focus on the failure of the author to plot a logical patch. Readers need to be guided to the right conclusion.

      Like

  7. toastedflatbread22 says:

    This causal claim is not explored deeply enough. The claim is made, but there is no real evidence provided to back it up. The author spends most of their time providing history about 9/11, but that is not what the claim should focus on. Even when the author does address racism, it is extremely vague and it seems to point a finger at Americans, instead of thoroughly explaining where this claim stems from. Overall, it has the beginnings of a claim, but it is not written well enough and it makes weak statements that do not work for the paper.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      I mostly agree, Toast, but I do want to grant the author the right to make a valid point. You do too, I think. 9/11 DID make it feel safe to express hatred or fear of other cultures (maybe not specifically races). As you say, “it has the beginnings of a claim.” We both wish it were written better.

      Like

  8. chickendinner says:

    From the opening sentence, this draft fails at grabbing my attention and few other sentences fare much better. Many have nothing to do with the issue of whether 9/11 made America more racist, going on tangents about the TSA, South Park, and so on. The author fails to provide any evidence to support their position that it did. It seems like the real overriding argument of this draft, if there is one, is “9/11 was bad and led to bad things.”

    Like

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