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White Frights

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White Frights

A lot of people in the United states judged people by the color of their skin. The American people often have a lot of prejudice when it comes to black people. The American people underestimate the black peoples will to work and their will to be a part of the American nation. The essay “White Frights” which is an edited extracts from “Stupid White Men” by Michael Moore. “White Frights” is an essay, which uses a lot of irony to get his opinion out about how cruel he think it is to judged people by the color of their skin, and not on their actions.

Michael Francis Moore is an American documentary filmmaker and author. He was born April 23rd, 1954 in Flint, Michigan, United States. Michael Moore is well known for his essays. Michael Moores essay “White Frights” is an essay about an “I”, who is a white person “I am white”[1] and who is afraid of white people “White people scare the crap out of me”[2]. Though the whole essay “I” is coming with a lot of points about why all people should be afraid of the white people instead of the black, all of his arguments are based on actions and are completely the opposite of all the normal prejudices there are about black people. Through the whole essay, he is also using irony to encourage the reader and his messages with this essay.

The language function in “White Frights” is expressive language function because the essay focuses on expressing Michael Moores opinion about the prejudices there are towards black people.
Michael Moores way to engage the reader is with using a lot of irony, actually is the whole essay ironic. His message with the essay is that we should not judge people by the color of their skin, we should judge on actions, and therefore should we bury all of the prejudices about black people as criminals and people that we should be afraid of. The irony comes at the point where “I” is afraid of a white person even though “I” is white. “I” is coming with a lot of evidence which support his argument about not to judge by the color of a person’s skin. This way of argumentation is called “cherry-picking” or to “cherry pick”. “Cherry-picking” is a way of argumentation where the narrator is only using evidence, which support his argument.

To encourage the essays message Michael Moore is using the three appeal forms, ethos, logos and pathos. He is using all three of the appeal forms to make the essay look more reliable and to make it more real to the reader.

We find the appeal form ethos in the language and in the layout. At page 2 line 45-53 there is a clear use of ethos in the set up. A part for the passage: “• Slavery? Whitey! / • US companies laid off more than 700.000 people in 2001. Who ordered the lay-offs? Whites CEIs.”[3] The same way there is a clear use of ethos at page 4 line 116-122. The use of ethos is again in the set up. A part of the passage: “• Black women are four times more likely than white women to die while giving birth. / • Black levels of unemployment have been roughly twice those of whites since 1945”[4] “[…] - but then again, my color gives me a certain insight.”[5] There is a clear use of ethos in this passage. The ethos is there because he is telling us why we should believe in him.

At page 2 line 45-53 there is a part where “I” set up some arguments about why we should be afraid of white and not black people. A part of the passage: “• Who has started every war America has been in? White men. / • Who invented the punchcard ballot? A white man.”[6] There is another set up of argumentations where he is telling how bad the black people is living and under how bad circumstances they have lived. In these passages there is a clear use of logos because “I” is coming up with many good points about why white people should be afraid of white people based on actions and why we should not make the black people our scapegoat because they have been through enough.
These are all facts we can look up on the internet but as a reader you would like a reference to the site where he got this information from, so you could be sure that it is not just something he makes up. However when he is telling about a year and what happened at that time, it seems real for the reader.



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