Persuasive, No? In the essay! ^0 The Debate Has Been Miscast From The Start! +/-, Henry Louis Gates Jr. , explains that the idea and what is thought to be by people over the debate of multiculturalism has been wrong form the start. He attempts to explain his thoughts and views as to what multiculturalism is and where, exactly, the problem is on why there is a distorted view of multiculturalism. Gates first points out what we have been told about multiculturalism and gives examples of the, in accordance to him, the wrong meaning of it. He backs his statement by saying that schoolteachers and scholars have even realized the problem and have responded. Gates also makes a very good point to back why there is a problem by stating, ! ^0 After all, if multiculturalism is just a pretty name for ethnic chauvinism, who needs it? ! +/- (Gates 385).
Then he leads into his definition of and reasoning for multiculturalism. As an opening to an essay, Gates has already persuaded me to read on and asked valid questions that provoked me to learn more about. By starting with the problem, giving solid facts and giving solutions on what can be done to correct it show that his thoughts are well organized. These points and thoughts make this essay not only persuasive but eye opening too.
Gates is trying to get across the point as to why multiculturalism is important and what we think it means. He asks very good questions in his essay that makes you think and persuades you to believe in what he is saying. One question that stood out most to me was the one which is referred to as! ^0 the time-tested question in universities! +/- (Gates 385). The question that Gates is referring to is! ^0 What does it mean to be an American? ! +/- (Gates 385). This question sparks up an interesting thought. Not only is asking what it is to be an American, but also what America consists of.
What it means to be an American to me is what I am made up of. Everyone is from a different descent and different culture. For instance, I am a mixture of two cultures, Irish and Italian. Thee entire country, in a historical way of speaking, is a melting pot of earth! s people.
This question persuaded me because it amplified the point that America is multi-cultured no matter how you look at it. As stated by Gates, ! ^0 Mixing and hybridity is the rule, not the exception! +/- (Gates 387). Gates gives many good examples that back his claim. He also gives examples of how others do not give reasons for their counter arguments to what he has to say. This is another way that Gates persuades me in his essay. He mentions that the conservative critics! ^0 have never hesitated to provide a political defense of what they consider to be the! (R) traditional! curriculum! +/- (Gates 386).
In other words, they fail to state what they think should be the curriculum for education. Gates persuaded me even further by stating what would it be like if political concerns were not brought up in the schools curriculum. Gates goes on to say! ^0 to imagine a curriculum untouched by political concerns is to imagine that education can take place in a vacuum! +/- (Gates 386). Though Gates' explanation is wordy for some, he puts it into perspective. Gates explains what he means in the previous quote by giving examples of how we want our kids to read and add. However, we do not want our children to be performing acts of racism or prejudice Gates gives one more excellent point about multiculturalism and schools by saying! ^0 There is no tolerance without respect-and no respect without knowledge! +/- (Gates 286).
Although Gates! essay is persuasive for the most part, he makes a very big mistake that draws the persuasiveness and interest away from the essay. He starts out with a very good point defending his stance on multiculturalism against cultural nationalists, Allan Bloom and Leonard Jeffries, stating! ^0! -it is the enemy! +/- (Gates 387). Gates makes an excellent point by saying! ^0 For whatever the outcome of the culture wars in academy, the world we live in is multicultural already! +/- (Gates 387). However, after he makes this point he starts talking about being an African-American student and different African-Americans who have influenced our culture.
He even starts listing people and what they have done. Now I am not against him being proud of the people who are African-American and that have done great things, but, this is where he becomes one sided. Gates starts getting off the topic and starts talking about just his culture, African-American. This is where I started loosing interest and stopped being persuaded because he rants and raves only about blacks instead of mentioning many cultures. I am Irish and Italian, some of my friends are Mexican, what about the Irish and Mexicans. Gates makes an overall persuasive essay by stressing on his viewpoints and the points of others that agree with what he is saying.
His facts are solid and emphasize what he is trying to get across. Aside from the fact that he trails off and starts being one sided with his issue about multiculturalism, he makes a well rounded point at the end which rebounds his essay and makes you remember what he was talking about in the essay. At the end of Gates essay he says, ! ^0 It there is an equilibrium to be struck, there! s no guarantee we will arrive at it. The worst mistake we can make, however, is not to try! +/- (Gates 388). This thought by Gates brings back a real sense in believing what he thinks.
It also reassures you that there is no harm in multiculturalism and that there is no reason that we should not give it a try. Work Cited Gates, Henry Louis Jr. ! ^0 The Debate Has Been Miscast From The Start! +/- Constructing Literacies. Ed. Susan Be lasco. Boston, MA.
Heinle & Heinle, 2001. Page 384-88.