Jonathan Kozol - Amazing Grace
1. "It's a different world from where you live. What can I say?"
This quote exemplifies Alice Washington's feelings of resignation to her situation, and the facts as she sees them. Instead of feeling frustrated or angry to her situation, she is simply resigned to the fact that that is how it is in her neighborhood.
2. "Somebody has power. Pretending that they don't so they don't need to use it to help people - that is my idea of evil."
This quote from Alice's son is surprisingly profound. This simple statement sums up alot of what we have already seen in the previous readings for this class, and says a lot with few words. Ignoring situations because they don't directly affect you makes you part of the problem.
3. "I believe we were put here for a purpose, but these people in the streets can't see a purpose. ....... They're in a cage. They cannot see."
Alice's son is explaining how it is impossible for people to envision a world and future for themselves when this environment is all they've ever known, it is where they grew up, it it's almost like their "comfort zone". If they have never seen any other possibilities, what changes could they aspire to?
This reading was very eye opening to me. It offered a rare glimpse into another type of life. I myself have been guilty of thinking that most people living in situations such as those described in the reading were there because of concious decisions they made, and that in this country, if you were willing to work for it, you could improve your situation in life, but that is not always the case. Also, if you were born into this type of situation, how could you possibly attempt to change anything when you had no frame of reference for different ways of living? It saddens me to think about the huge imbalance of money and power in this country, where those who have a lot have a very very lot and those that have little have very very little.
I wanted to add this link to a great website, Care2Causes, which has a whole section on education. There are many articles dealing with subjects we have discussed in class.