Essay about Media Literacy -885 Words
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Media and Literacy
In the Harper’s Magazine issue of October 2016, Rebecca Solnit and Robert Gumpert presented a photo essay entitled Division Street. It decries the predicaments of America’s distending homeless populations in the San Francisco region. In past years, homeless people demographics have dramatically risen as the metropolis’ formerly housed inhabitants experienced job losses hastened by technologies now executing tasks, which were previous sources of income. There are other similarly numerous justifications to the occurrence but the fact remains that this particular demographic simply requires assistance. Some homeless persons grapple with mentally illnesses and others have experienced fortunes turn out for the worst. This essay seeks to project the authors’ media and literacy prowess.
Solnit and Gumpert employ a unique ethical appeal by noting that the present state of affairs was not present during the Reagan revolution. Reagan’s presidency provided a quality of life implying that even economically challenged persons experienced a confidence that they had a place in the world-or at least a place and the world as a basis from which to forge forwards. The homeless demographics now stand at roughly 2.2 million prisoners as well as about half a million homeless persons. This contradicts the 1980’s a period when there were miniscule populations of such persons in the highly progressive nation. The homeless are generally individuals experiencing mental illnesses, manageable via competent treatment. Local, state and even federal administration policies in the past and still continuing today have led to an underfunding of previously robust mental health programs. Such have also complemented the growth of San Francisco’s homeless populations.
The technology explosion brought about an abundance of well-rewarded laborers to San Francisco. The result therefrom was a housing crisis as rent rate burst ceilings resulting to high evictions and displacement rates. Previous residents gradually lost homes and swiftly succumbed to street life. The consequential outcome was the new homeless persons suffering depression and anxiety and on the edge of insanity as homelessness is considered criminal in San Francisco. These populations were soon segregated into regions where drug users and the mentally ill seek refuge. Among the homeless populace are veterans of America’s military engagements suffering from conditions like posttraumatic stress disorders. Because of lost documentations, identities, personal medications, cell phones and so on to criminal elements, these are a populace unable to attain necessary competent treatment and assistance.
The two authors employ prowess strongly, invoking a good amount of sympathy from audiences. Housed persons regard the homeless as worse than pests. For instance, the photographer, Gumpert notes that, ‘Even they try to keep a low profile: I walk passed the unhoused daily, seeing how they seek to disappear situating themselves behind big-box stores and alongside industrial sites where they are less likely to inspire the housed to call for their removal (45).” The law enforcement apparatus in San Francisco is known to have in the past killed homeless individuals without provocation demonstrating the unprecedented differences in perceptions prevailing between people with homes and the homeless. This level of indifference amongst the housed demographic is indeed awe-inspiring as “Those without houses are too often considered to be problems to people rather than people with problems (45).”
The authors’ use of media and literacy skills distinctively illustrates that for some homeless persons, the conditions braved cannot be associated with laziness though persons with homes hold the opinion that these are individuals pursuing to benefits from social amenitied provided within the city by taxpayers. As the writer notes, “Silicon Valley also leads the way in creating technologies that eliminate a plethora of jobs-toll-takers, sales clerks, inventory and warehouse workers and if (Google, Tesla, and Uber have their way) taxi drivers and truckers-that might once have been filled by our current homeless population (45).” This sense logic is deeply captivating and enlightening though the housed are indifferent towards thoughtfully considering such important insights. To the comfortable populations, the dispossessed rightly deserve to experience bad quality of life but the reality prevalent on this issue is that persons with basic needs are generally an immensely ignorant lot.
The article also posits that the opulent in San Francisco as in other American cities are advocating for lesser taxes and grander tax incentives. These homed populations exhibiting decent quality of life regard the homeless as if from an unsociable diseased land. Essentially, what is happening to the homeless is that the same occurred to the real American Natives when British settlers arrived to America years ago. American civilization has caught it all incorrect by espousing psychopathic traits. Neither empathy nor remorse for the homeless demographic is an unfathomable state of affairs.
In conclusion, this article generates pronounced awareness as to the adverse outcomes emanating from technological developments. These developments are generating losses in job and advocating for policies that neglect the working class in favor of tax incentives accessible only to the rich. Sidelining the homeless is no answer to America’s growing challenge; the solution lies in enabling the disadvantaged demography. By proposing a sanctuary of hope in the form of shelters through an organization that groups resources together can serve to boost the homeless towards self-sufficiency. This is only possible if the strategy formulated in local, state and federal governance centers taxes the wealthy towards tangible social welfare initiatives.
Solnit, Rebecca and Gumpert Robert. Division Street. Harpers Magazine. October 2016. Print.