Underlying theme of racism in America...

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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VictoriaMcMillen
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Underlying theme of racism in America...

Post by VictoriaMcMillen » 25 Mar 2018, 17:25

Many of the characters in the book were from diverse backgrounds. Throughout the book the author seems to use the two main characters, who are white, to bring about a better undersanding and compassion for those who are not white. Did you notice this as well? What are your thoughts before and after the book on how the media portrays diverse peoples verses real-life? Was the author able to grow compassion within you for others? Please feel free to answer whatever question you feel comfortable doing so.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 26 Mar 2018, 09:35

Fleisher did an excellent job of showing readers that they should be compassionate toward all people. He really emphasized the concept of "you don't know what someone else is going through." Through Vince and Trudi, Fleisher even highlighted some of the benefits of getting to know people with different backgrounds (he really enjoyed the cheesecake!). I try not to judge people based on stereotypes and I am perfectly accepting of immigration to the US, however it really brought my compassion for others to the surface. It reminded me to have patience with everyone and remember that I never know what someone else's situation might be. Treat everyone as a friend (but with caution) :)

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Post by Irishmom » 26 Mar 2018, 09:43

I think he did a good job with this. What a timely topic. I do think that this story makes a good point about empathy. Empathy in general will help overcome all kinds of prejudice.
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Post by Tzara Drusak » 26 Mar 2018, 16:33

I'm thinking about when the officer was conducting his investigation on the events leading up to the shooting, and the relative of the shooter. The officer was African-American, and the son of the mass shooter, Sean, was slightly apprehensive of this fact considering the rise of anti-black murders that were cropping up and the probable attitude of the officer in regards to this type of discrimination. As the visit progressed we could see where the son got relaxed by the officer's easygoing manner.

I think this was a wonderful portrayal of the interaction between persons of different races and how the feelings of such people are in actuality. I could read between the lines that perhaps the officer was used to dealing with these circumstances, and felt a sort of respect for how he handled the situation, and consequently, how members of the black community oft feel.

This is only with respect to Caucasian/African-American interactions, but several other forms of racial interactions are seen in the novel.
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Post by TashaCrispin » 27 Mar 2018, 23:08

I feel like the author did a great job here. The story was mainly focusing on patience and empathy. The two things are really helpful in the society where you interact with all kinds of people. The author could sure bring out compassion in readers with this. I wish out here in the world people would focus on this positivity.

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Post by n-dai che » 27 Mar 2018, 23:14

Irishmom wrote:
26 Mar 2018, 09:43
I think he did a good job with this. What a timely topic. I do think that this story makes a good point about empathy. Empathy in general will help overcome all kinds of prejudice.
Yeah, racism is uprising. Every time i watch a television, I usually hear a story like this. THis generation is changing from being friendly to self-centered. :(

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Post by britt13 » 28 Mar 2018, 19:40

VictoriaMcMillen wrote:
25 Mar 2018, 17:25
Many of the characters in the book were from diverse backgrounds. Throughout the book the author seems to use the two main characters, who are white, to bring about a better undersanding and compassion for those who are not white. Did you notice this as well? What are your thoughts before and after the book on how the media portrays diverse peoples verses real-life? Was the author able to grow compassion within you for others? Please feel free to answer whatever question you feel comfortable doing so.
This book did not change my mind but I loved how he worked with POC. I have always felt like people are people and racism makes no sense to me. Every race has some bad eggs but I like to believe that for the most part people are good. The immigrants in the story were some of my favorite characters and I think they were some of the more developed ones for sure.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 28 Mar 2018, 19:45

I did notice that he portrayed all the immigrants in a good light. Ahmed and Alma avoided alcohol. Rueben was responsible in his gun-owning advice. Rasha was a two-time heroine, and Qasim went out if his way to help Vince and Miles. I think it was intentional, and I appreciated it. I'm Asian and have relatives who are US citizens who still feel the racism now and then. Under the new administration, immigrants need all the morale boosters they can get. Thanks, Van!

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Post by Aubrey Cana Laine » 29 Mar 2018, 02:02

For me, he did a really good job. I think it would really be nice if people grow to be more compassionate towards others regardless of race and culture.

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Post by ReadingRebecca » 29 Mar 2018, 10:49

I do feel the media gives a very choppy version of real life because they are after ratings and not always the truth. In my opinion, they focus on whatever is popular in the moment. If a white cop abused a black man, they would focus on that but say nothing of a black man shooting down a white cop. There is evil and good on both sides. I believe if the truth were shown on all sides there wouldn't be such a roller coaster of hype going back and forth between the sides. I do think they should focus on truth, not on what's popular or increasing their television ratings.
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Post by lesler » 30 Mar 2018, 10:34

I did notice this, and thank you for bringing it up. Compassion is a powerful thing, and the mainstream media places terrible stereotypes in our head without realizing it. Word choice is also a great thing, and I thought the author did an excellent job choosing conscious words.

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Post by mcfeealexis » 03 Apr 2018, 09:56

I think the author did a great thing of trying to put reality and imaginiation together. He made most of his characters come from different background but his main characters were still white. Just like in society were we may be a diverse country, the people on top are still white just like his characters.

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Post by Eileen R » 03 Apr 2018, 16:06

This book couldn't have come at a better time especially because of the issues relating to race in America at the moment. The author did a great job of bringing race related issues to light. It's about time that we talk about these issues without stereotyping any particular group of people.

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Post by KRay93 » 04 Apr 2018, 18:49

Yes, I noticed it, and I don't think it was so underlying: if one followed the plot and the political intention of the author, the subject was obvious. It's foolish to judge a person merely by his race. While there are cultural issues that do create characters of a certain kind (and I'm not talking about the stupid prejudices that many people employ), we are all human beings.

Moreover, even the owners of the dog that attacked Vincent's showed they don't necessarily fall on their "own" stereotypes.

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Post by Makena Mugendi » 05 Apr 2018, 05:57

I believe Fleisher did a great job of making the characters relatable to the readers. However, I must say that the media in real life is not always fair in the portrayal of races in the United States. They make the same assumptions other people make, for example, they do not give the same attention to the murder of an African-American as they would to a white American. I am African myself and do not live in the states, but I do watch American television a lot, so I am bringing the perspective of someone living outside. But this has become evident to me.
Studies show that the majority of usage of drugs, for example heroin in the States is by white people, and the only drug mostly used by black people is cannabis. Yet it is still there; the assumption that people living in rough conditions are gang-related. Due diligence should be made when covering a story, otherwise, they should display something else.
Racism is rarely blatant anymore, but it is still there. The topic is suppressed and everyone is reluctant to speak baldly about it, and that is why it is not going away in my opinion.

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