Courtland Milloy, an African American columnist for the Washington Post, examines the effects inadequate educational facilities have on children. His article, ”Young Minds Injured by Our Inattention”, is focused towards the ethnically and socially diverse adults of the Washington area. Milloy’s intention in speaking is to explore the problems society has with it’s educational system. Although effectively appealing to emotions and values, Milloy lacks strong arguments of character and fact to convince the diverse community that the absence of recreational and educational facilities effect children and lead them to a life of violence.
Milloy draws his audiences’ attentions by retelling a tragic story of a 1st grader named Maurice getting run over in a school zone. He describes the driver as “barreling through…and not even slowing down after striking the boy” who “suffered serious head injuries.” Milloy’s story wins sympathy from the readers. The boy was just beginning to learn the complexities of life when he was forced to start all over again because of a reckless driver. Fatal injuries, especially those effecting children, touch the hearts of most adults. Parents of any social status wonder is this could ever happen to their kids and how devastating an event like this would be. In response to the young boy’s accident, volunteers sympathized fore the inner city school and built a playground to replace the concrete slab the kids used to play on. Most intended readers can relate to not having play grounds for their kids to enjoy. Parents almost always want nice facilities for their kids to play on whether it be a stick with a ball attached, a local park, a school playground, or an extravagant sports court in their back yard, depending on social class. Sympathy extends to children who are deprived of recreational facilities
due to weak funding in the educational system. Milloy makes the readers wonder why certain schools do not live up to the standards of others in nearby towns. Although a play ground was built for this school, Maurice may never be able to play on it because he must learn how to walk, talk, and eat all over again. People take forgranted the daily rituals of life and if put in the shoes of a parent of this boy, one would realize how tragic this accident was and even the effects the education system has. Milloy’s arguments of emotions appeals to the readers, but he does not present authority to support his claim.
Milloy does not persuade his readers that he is a man capable of determining if weak school facilities do in fact effect children. By merely reading this article, one can not tell if Milloy is qualified to state such a claim. He does not establish ethos and does not come across as knowledgeable of the situation. He is solely basing his reasoning on this hit and run incident which does not address the whole problem facing society today. Milloy does not use arguments of character to support his claim but discreetly describes the lacking values that society has to support the effect weak educational and recreational facilities has on children.
He goes on to explain that “the classmates who watched in horror as the car hit Maurice and then sped away, sustained another kind of wound, one that comes with the realization that their young lives don’t amount to much.” These kids are living in an environment that does not promote healthy morals and values. This might persuade the reader that the children realize that one day they might be a person who steals or even is the driver of a hit and run. The kids think their life is normal, and if they do not amount to much, that it is just life. By appealing to the casual reader, Milloy explains that the wealthy people dislike the low income schools. He describes how “there is not a lot of sympathy for the poor” and “redistributing school resources… generate[s] intense bitterness among many well to do parents.” The author clearly is pointing out that the values of this area do not concentrate on children and their futures. By focusing on this one problem on might note that this is a problem the whole world faces. Milloy wants the reader to examine both sides of the issue: Why should one school get more funding than another? The arguments of value examine a particular down fall in our society. Although appealing to values, Milloy lacks any facts and uses weak reasoning to support his claim that the lack of recreational facilities in schools effect young minds and lead them to violence.
Milloy did not research any statistical facts to support his claim. He shows his biases views by not proving that children who grow up in a weak educational system that lacks recreational facilities, as well as a weak moral environment, are doomed to be people of violence. The intended audience might be convinced solely based on emotional appeal, but the secondary audience, the few living in the well to do areas, will not be moved by Milloy’s reasoning. Milloy should statistically defend that the absence of recreational facilities does, in fact, lead to a life of violence. Milloy implies that young minds are injured because of the absence of recreational facilities. He argues that the play ground is what creates a healthy mind. Although children do need to play, the reader might conclude that school should be focused on more educational purposes. The children in inner city schools need to placed in a positive learning environment. Milloy does not explain how the play ground creates intelligence but states that the lack off results in violence. Because of the intention to explore, Milloy does not use facts but draws attention to the values and emotions of society today.
Milloy’s structure of communication is arranged to grab the hearts of his readers. Although the surface of his arguments seem effective, they do not convince the reader that young minds are injured by society’s inattention.
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