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Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

Current Event Comparison


The current event that I chose for this assignment is about the shootings that sadly left three dead people at Jewish centers in Kansas City on April, the 13th. The three sources that I decided to pick are Bullets, Blood and Then Cry of Heil Hitler by Steven Yaccino and Dan Barry from The New York Times, White supremacist ID'd as gunman in deadly shootings at Jewish centers by Fox News and Kansas Jewish Center Shooting Suspect Identified as Former KKK Leader by Billian Mohney and Dean Schabner from ABC news. Before I start my analysis in these three articles, I believe that is necessary to know the context and background of this hate crimes focusing in the KKK. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 by many former Confederate veterans during the reconstruction at the end of the Civil War. The Klan quickly mobilized as a vigilante group to intimidate Southern blacks - and any whites who would help them - and to prevent them from enjoying basic civil rights as well as in an effort to reverse the policies of Radical Reconstruction to restore white supremacy in the South. By 1870, it was extended in almost every southern state. (Henretta, p. 457). They were joined in this struggle by similar organizations such as the Knights of the White Camelia and the White Brotherhood. Lynchings, tar-and-featherings, rapes and other violent attacks on those challenging white supremacy became a hallmark of the Klan. After a short but violent period, the "first era" Klan disbanded after Jim Crow laws secured the domination of Southern whites (Ku Klux Klan). But the Klan enjoyed a huge revival in the 1920s. This second generation of the Klan was not only anti-black, but also took a stand against Catholics, Jews, foreigners (especially Latinos) and organized labor. It was fueled by growing hostility to the surge in immigration that America experienced in the early 20th century along with fears of communist revolution. The Great Depression in the 1930s depleted the Klans

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

membership ranks, and the organization temporarily disbanded in 1944 (Ku Klux Klan). The Klan arose a third time during the 1960s to oppose the civil rights movement and to preserve segregation in the face of unfavorable court rulings. The Klan's bombings, murders and other attacks took a great many lives, in Birmingham city (Henretta). The cases of Klan-related violence became more isolated in the decades to come, though fragmented groups became aligned with neo-Nazi or other right-wing extremist organizations from the 1970s onward. In the early 90s, the Klan was estimated to have between 6,000 and 10,000 active members, mostly in the Deep South (Ku Klux Klan). The Klan today, is not as influential as it once was however, there are still many members throughout the country, and these murders are tied to a former leader. Analyzing the articles, it easy to see that one big difference between the three is the title. Each of them is made up of different words to make reference to the same topic. In this case, all of them are trying to suggest that the suspect, Frazier Glenn Miller, has been identified as a person with racial issues. I believe that the authors of Bullets, Blood and Then Cry of Heil Hitler, were trying to draw the attention of their audience by appealing to their emotions with the negative connotation of all the words used in their title. The word bullets makes reference to the method used by the suspect to commit the murders, a gun. Also, it is in plural because there were multiples shoots. I believe that they chose blood to symbolize the death of the victims. The word cry makes reference that the suspect screamed something. Finally, they used the words Heil which is a German word that means to hail or to cheer and Hitler which is self-explanatory; he was an anti-Semite and the leader of the Nazi Party. Heil Hitler means the Nazi salute or a gesture of greeting in Nazi Germany (Evans). These words all together makes reference to what happened, first the suspect shoot the victims, then they were injured and died,

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

and finally he yelled the Nazi salute. The last part implies that these murders were hate crimes and he must be an anti-Semite as well. The second title, White supremacist ID'd as gunman in deadly shootings at Jewish centers, is more direct in contrast to the first title. The first title gives the impression that the suspect is anti-Semite. The second title, however, makes it clear that he is a white supremacist. This proposes that not only he is anti-Semite, but also as a white supremacist, he believes to be superior to people of other racial backgrounds. I believe that the second title appeal less to the emotions in contrast to the first one. However, the author wants to draw the attention by using the words white supremacist first. This word could appeal to the emotions of the readers because again, it has a negative connotation. The rest of the words used are self-explanatory. Also, I believe that this title is more precise because it uses the words gunman, deadly shootings and Jewish centers which reminds the audience of this specific event. The first title lacks the specificity of the event; in other words it really attracts the audience emotionally, but it does not let the audience know of what specific event is the topic about not until you start reading the article. The third title, Kansas Jewish Center Shooting Suspect Identified as Former KKK Leader, is even more specific than the others. The authors use the word Kansas to refer to the location of where the crimes occurred. Also, they specify in which part of the city, in this case in Jewish centers. This title is similar in the structure to the second one. However, it is not until the end when they used the words Former KKK leader. Again, these authors want their audience to focus on this part which implies that race could be the reason of the crimes, since he was part of the KKK.

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

Another big difference that I found is the strategy that the authors use in telling the story. The writing style of the article from The New York Times is really unusual to what I am used to. Both the title and at the beginning of the article makes my claim obvious. It makes me feel that the story is told in a poetic way with more sensory words. I believe that the strategy of the authors is to use a descriptive writing to connect more with the audience and appeal more to them. For example, at the beginning of the story, it starts like this, the handcuffed suspect was led to a gun-gray police car, his beard salt and pepper, his T-shirt a striking white. In contrast, the other two stories lack this writing style. Another important difference is that this article focuses more in the life of Miller rather than in the crimes committed by him in Kansas City. The evidence that the authors of the New York Times use to support the idea that he might be anti-Semite is vast. For example, they use Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center and monitor of hate groups, as a witness of his antiSemitism comments by phone and on the internet. They also show more information about the website that Miller has. Then, they give a short biography of Miller. Something interesting about this article is that they really focus on showing evidence that he really hates Jewish people. They show his anti-Semitic and racist beliefs many times throughout the article. For example, they talked about a paper he has on his website that expresses the idea to do whatever is necessary to break the Jewish control. He also has stated, Jews deserve extermination, that the white race is drowning literally in seas of colored mongrels and how he encouraged to kill not only Jews, but blacks, and judges. I believe that this strategy really appeals to the emotions of the reader. Maybe, the authors intentions were to create awareness by using this variety of evidence and let their readers know that there are still people in this country that think like Miller. They are trying

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

to say that emotions like this lead to violence. Therefore, it is probable to expect that kind of reaction and crimes if the country lets this happen. This reminds me one of the readings of my class, where Martin Luther King Jr. in the Letter from Birmingham Jail, points that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," (Allen, p 239). The fact that victims who died were not Jews, brings Kings point alive again. We are all affected by the legacy of hate, even when it's not specifically directed at the group to which we are part of. I believe the authors make this point clear when they say that none of the victims were Jewish right after they claim that Miller is a white supremacist and an anti-Semite, and later on when they end the article by saying that while Miller shouted Heil Hitler, three white people laid dead. They are not black, Jewish or Latino people. As I said before, the ABC and Fox news articles are more similar in both the structure and the strategy of telling the story, in contrast to the New York Times. Their writing style is the typical for news stories. It is more like an expository style with a lot of interviews from different people. I believe that the authors want to provide different perspectives of the issue. Also, by reading what the family members of the victims say, they create a connection with the reader. It is the way to appeal to them. To feel what they feel. This characteristic is a big difference to the first article. Both, the ABC and Fox news articles focus more in the victims and their families rather than in the suspect. In the ABC news, the authors refer to Miller as a former leader of the Carolina Knights of the KKK in the first paragraph and that is it. Their approach is different. They describe the lives of the victims and what they used to do and enjoy. For example, they describe Underwood, the youngest victim, as a freshman who participated in debates and theatre and had a beautiful voicehe had a passion for life (ABC news) He was an Eagle Scout who loved camping and hunting with his grandfather [second victim] (Fox news). They

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

indicate that Corporon, his grandfather, was a doctor and that he moved to the area so he could be closer to his grandchildren (ABC news) and the third victim, Lamanno, who was visiting her mother as she usually did (Fox news). By doing this, the authors want the reader to relate to one of the victims, and make them think that he could be your son or your sister or even you who could have been the victim. Finally both articles from Fox and ABC news show statements made from the different Jewish centers, from a father whose daughters attend one of the centers and from the President Barack Obama. All of them condemning such attack and especially the President, guaranteed to bring the responsible to justice and pursue justice aggressively for victims of hate crimes and press criminal charges against the perpetrators of this type of crimes to the full extent of the law (Fox news). This shows that racism is wrong and that hate crimes will be always punished by the law. Again, like King said Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly ( Allen, p 239). These injustices have to be punished to let other people with similar beliefs like Miller that this is wrong and it will be penalized. These crimes have to be viewed as a threat to all people who live in the US, a threat to our freedoms. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world is the recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family (Allen p 225). As human beings, we cannot deny the freedom to other human beings to believe in different religions. That even though, there are people from different races and backgrounds, we are all equal. Denying this equality is a threat to our freedoms and our peace. Hate crimes not only threaten minorities, but all human beings, consequently all of us are responsible to teach and promote respect for differences. It is the responsibility of all of us to appreciate different ideologies and to encourage the respect for the human rights. These are some

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

of the responsibilities found is the Bill of Responsibilities developed by the Freedom Foundation. One that I consider essential is the number nine, To help freedom to survive by assuming personal responsibility for its defense (Allen, p 254). This is what King was talking about, we have to defend our freedom and this is our responsibility. After reading all the articles, I realized that I could not choose one to be the best. All of them had different approaches to tell the story of the same event. Each of them has a different goal with the same end, to show that injustices still happen, but there are more people who are tolerant and respectful. Each of them has information that the other articles did not have. Therefore, I learned that it is always important to read news articles from different authors and from different points of view. This will give me a broader idea of a particular issue.

Works cited Allen, Paul, and Jennifer Bauman. "Freedom, Responsibility and Justice." It Begins With Our Questions A thematic Introduction to the Humanities. Plymouth: Hayden McNeil, 2013. 225, 239, 254. Print. Evans, Richard J.. "All Hailed The Meaning of the Hitler Salute." The New York Sun. N.p., 16 Apr. 2008. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. <http://www.nysun.com/arts/all-hailed-the-meaning-ofthe-hitler-salute/74744/>. Henretta, James A., and David Brody. America A Concise History. Fourth ed. Boston: Bedford St. Martin's, 2010. 456-458. Print. "Ku Klux Klan." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan>.

Lizette Nielson

Class period: MWF 10:00 AM

Mohney, Gillian , and Dean Schabner. "Kansas Jewish Center Shooting Suspect Identified as Former KKK Leader." ABC News. ABC News Network, 13 Apr. 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. < http://abcnews.go.com/US/kansas-jewish-center-shooting-suspect-identified-kkkleader/story?id=23310932&page=1> The Associated Press. "White Supremacist ID'd as Gunman in Deadly Shootings at Jewish Centers." Fox News. FOX News Network, 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/14/1-reportedly-dead-1-injured-in-shootings-at-jewishcenters/>. Yaccino, Steven, and Dan Barry. "Bullets, Blood and Then Cry of Heil Hitler." The New York Times 14 Apr. 2014: n. pag. The New York Times. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/us/prosecutors-to-charge-suspect-with-hate-crime-inkansas-shooting.html?_r=1