Truth behind the madness

It's time to take a stand

Truth behind the madness

Hassan Boyer

Mr. Grossman

English 2: American Literature 3rd period

7 December 2014

Truth behind the Madness

On July 17, 2014 a man by the name of Eric Garner was killed in Staten Island after a police officer put him in a chokehold. The tactic used to bring Garner down was banned by the New York Police Department. Garner was approached by an officer due to suspicion of him selling loose cigarettes. He claimed that he was not selling loose cigarettes, but the police responded by trying to arrest him, although they had weren’t sure that Garner was selling loose cigarettes and they had no evidence to support their accusation. Officer Daniel Pantaleo was caught on camera choking Garner even after he yelled “I can’t breathe” 11 times.

This tragic event relates to the Crucible in many ways, but the topic up for discussion today is the divide of the U.S. due to something that has always been desired POWER and how it relates to the Crucible. In both scenarios, taking place in different time periods nothing has changed a corrupt judicial system, a society that lack morales and care for others, and how the abide by authorities that only try to appeal to themselves.

Eric Garner was never found guilty of selling loose cigarettes and he still loses his life by a chokehold that is against Police Department rules! The most astonishing part is that the grand jury doesn’t indict the police officer responsible for the death of a innocent man. It’s as if they ignore the possibility of the police officer accusations against Garner being incorrect and his actions being premature. This behavior is seen in the Crucible by Judge Hathorne and Deputy Danforth as everyone accused of witchcraft were eventually punished and Judge Hathorne accepted the accusations brought up against the accused without questioning the credibility of the information presented. The same way the police officers actions were justified by the Jury due to accusations against Garner. This has corrupt government written all over it , but if that doesn’t convince you maybe this will. Danforth states “You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.(Crucible 3.1080).” What Danforth said was the feeling towards the witch trials in Salem. Although Danforth is a respectable man he sees things in black and white, which could be said for almost all of the authorities in Salem. Either you support god or the devil. Of course the court see themselves as supporting god. That being said anyone going against the court’s belief would be the devil. In today’s society the color of your skin determines the verdict as seen in the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. This may be seen as a bold statement and far fetched , but look at all the cases of innocent defenseless African- Americans being killed by caucasians. Do these names ring a bell Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Oscar Grant? Does that make the judicial system right to allow the killers of these men to walk free and to let innocent people die. To anyone with decent morales not at all, but due to the power they have they are able to make the decisions that Salem and the U.S. can only sit back and watch as we are victims of something we are to afraid to change.

Another thing that has continued to be a problem is people’s lack of morales and regard for human life. In the Crucible we see this a lot through people accusing one another to save their own life or to get back at someone that they may not be too fond of. A prime example of this would be Abigail Williams she accused people to save herself and to get back at others and a majority of the people she accused paid the ultimate price.An example of Abigail selfishness and disregard for others would be when she said “I want to open myself! . . . I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!(Crucible 1.1048).”By confessing that she consulted with the devil according to the rules of Salem she is redeemed no harm done in that, but what we should pay attention to is how she accused others even though she had already saved herself by confessing. This is similar to the Eric Garner situation due to the lack of regard towards a life displayed by the officer. There was no reason for him to choke Garner, not to mention he used a chokehold that was banned by the NYPD and continued to choke him after he screamed I can’t breathe 11 times. The same way there was no reason for Abigail to accuse all those people.

Now you might say that we need authorities, but it seems that only bad is to come from giving someone too much power. Earlier I referenced a quote from Deputy Danforth. “You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.(Crucible 3.1080).” Now this quote here means a lot . Earlier we spoke on how Danforth was trying to convey that the authorities in Salem represented god so what they believed to be right would true for all. Now both in modern day and the witch trials of the 1700s what gives authorities the right put themselves above an entire community only to make laws and decisions that the people don’t support. In Salem many people either didn’t agree with the trials or were too influenced by the standards in laws set in place by the authorities to see the trials as foolish. This correlates to people that advocate and peacefully protest to the disagreement of people getting away with killing innocent people that don’t pose an imminent threat, such as Eric Garner, or others that make excuses to blame the victim in order to rationalize and accept the authorities idiotic decision because of even more idiotic laws they have been put in place.


Work Cited

Gillespie, Nick. The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/03/the-policies-behind-eric-garner-s-death.html>. Jonsson, Patrik. "In Wake of Eric Garner Case, Should Grand Jury System Be Reformed? ( Video)." The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Dec. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/1206/In-wake-of-Eric-Garner-case-should-grand-jury-system-be-reformed-video>.

"Online Student Edition." Online Student Edition. 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.glencoe.com/ose/showbook.php>.

"Salem Witch Trials - 1692 Salem - Economic and Social Divisions - DiscoverySchool.com." Salem Witch Trials - 1692 Salem - Economic and Social Divisions - DiscoverySchool.com. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures

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