Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Your assignment is to analyze one of the films weve recently viewed Sleep Dealer or Zootopia and craft an argument regarding what this film says about the issue of immigration, poli - Writeedu

Your assignment is to analyze one of the films weve recently viewed Sleep Dealer or Zootopia and craft an argument regarding what this film says about the issue of immigration, poli

read instruction carefully and refer to the movie zootopia, use more concrete evidenceand at least one quote from the movie in each paragraph. 1200-1500 word, 7 paragraphs

Your assignment is to analyze one of the films we've recently viewed—Sleep Dealer or Zootopia—and craft an argument regarding what this film says about the issue of immigration, policing, social justice, or a related issue. Please only choose a single issue for this focus. Additionally, you are required to tie your argument about the film into one of the critical texts we’ve read: the writing of W.E.B. Du Bois, bell hooks, Aviva Chomsky, or Michelle Alexander.

As with the last essay, what you choose to argue is up to you, but your thesis must include both a clear Focus and, most importantly, an Arguable Assertion which can be disagreed with. Again, your argument should center around meaning: what this film is saying about your chosen issue as it relates to the U.S. or, in the case of Sleep Dealer, the U.S./ Mexico relationship.

Your essay also requires concrete evidence: specifics from your film. You should both quote from dialogue and describe the specifics of the films visuals (shots and composition). While you can craft your argument around the film as a whole, you should ground your argument in the analysis of scenes. Go into depth with specific moments rather than quickly cherry-picking from the whole film.

Finally, in your essay, you need to refer to and quote one of our readings: W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk

Actions , bell hook’s “Teaching Resistance,” Actions Aviva Chomsky’s Undocumented

Actions , or Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow Actions . There are no exact rules for how you must do this, but at the minimum, I suggest using one of these authors in your intro and/or conclusion. Let their writing provide a framework or useful context for your argument about the text.

In class, we’ve focused on the politics of representation. Does your film appear to comment on or even rebut common media representations regarding issues of policing, racism, immigration, etc.? Does your film offer a response to how criminals or immigrants are typically evoked in political debates?


Constructing Your Analytic Essay


◦ Every thesis should have two parts: FOCUS + ARGUABLE ASSERTION

◦ FOCUS: The aspect of the film you are concentrating on

◦ ARGUABLE ASSERTION: Your argument as to the MEANING of the film, what you think the author is saying about the U.S., etc.

◦ Basic Template: “By [FOCUS], [Director’s Name] suggests [ARGUABLE ASSERTION].”

Focus ◦ Again, the aspect of the film you are concentrating on.

◦ This could be technical. Example: “Through the use of documentary-style cinematography…”

◦ But it is more likely that your focus will be THEMATIC or concerning a specific set of CHARACTERS or NARRATIVE THREAD.

◦ Thematic Example: “By depicting the connection between cultural appropriation and the legacy of slavery…”

◦ Character/ Narrative Thread Example: “By emphasizing the similarities between Anthony and Brianna’s father…

Arguable Assertion Pt. 1 ◦ This is the tricky part.

◦ An Arguable Assertion must be ARGUABLE.

◦ That means it must be something that can be DISAGREED WITH by a reasonable person.

◦ Imagine (or try if possible) handing your Arguable Assertion to a Random Person who has seen the film but not read your paper.

◦ If this person automatically agrees with your Arguable Assertion without having to hear anymore of your argument, the odds are good that your thesis is NOT ARGUABLE.

Arguable Assertion Pt. 2: What is NOT Arguable

◦ FACTS or a DESCRIPTION of what basically happens or is stated in the film. ◦ Example: “By [Focus], Nia DaCosta suggests that Black Americans are

disproportionately affected by violence…” ◦ Example: “By [Focus], Nia DaCosta suggests that gentrification is a force

destroying low-income communities…” ◦ Example: “By [Focus], Jordan Peele suggests many white Americans consider

being Black as fashionable…” ◦ Example: “By [Focus], Jordan Peele suggests many white Americans desire to

be Black…”

What is NOT Arguable Cont.

◦ An assertion stated so BROADLY that almost anyone who has seen the film would automatically agree with it.

◦ Example: “Through [Focus], Jordan Peele suggests racism still exists.”

◦ Example: “Through [Focus], Nia DaCosta suggests that racist trauma continues to impact communities.”

A Pause for Emphasis ◦ If your working thesis is similar to either of the two examples I’ve just offered,

it must be revised. You do NOT have a true Arguable Assertion. ◦ In particular, watch out for any variations of this thesis: “Through [Focus],

Jordan Peele suggests racism still exists.” ◦ Any reasonable person who sees Get Out understands that the film is

referencing racism in the U.S. So, if your thesis looks anything like this example, odds are good that you do NOT have a true Arguable Assertion. ◦ The Get Out conundrum: Peele’s social commentary is so clearly visible to a

viewer that it can be difficult to find a truly ARGUABLE thesis which can be DISAGREED with by a reasonable person.

Making an Inarguable Assertion ARGUABLE

◦ There’s no single method for this, but most commonly the trick is to be MORE SPECIFIC. ◦ So, if your interest is DaCosta’s depiction of gentrification or Peele’s depiction

of racism, you need to DELVE DEEPER into the subject, and come up with MORE SPECIFIC assertion that could be disagreed with by a reasonable person who hasn’t yet heard your argument. ◦ To repeat, if a reasonable person would automatically agree with your thesis’s

Arguable Assertion without having to read your paper, your thesis is most likely NOT ARGUABLE.

Constructing Your Body Paragraphs

◦ You need to construct your entire essay around ARGUMENT rather than SUMMARY or DESCRIPTION.

◦ The trick here is to use TOPIC SENTENCES to do this.

◦ Your TOPIC SENTENCES need to make ARGUABLE POINTS which support the thesis’s ARGUABLE ASSERTION about what the DIRECTOR is saying about the U.S., etc.

Topic Sentences: What NOT To Do

◦ Your topic sentence should NOT be SUMMARY or DESCRIPTION.

◦ Body Paragraphs should NOT begin like this: “Anthony begins to see the image of Sherman in the mirror.” “Chris’s girlfriend brings him home to meet her family.”

◦ In general, do NOT use a character as the subject of your Topic Sentences.

Topic Sentences: What TO Do

◦ Use the DIRECTOR as the subject of your topic sentences.

◦ Make the topic sentences a statement of what the director is SAYING through her/his/their choices.

◦ Again, every TOPIC SENTENCE needs to make an ARGUABLE POINT which support the thesis’s ARGUABLE ASSERTION about what the DIRECTOR is saying about the U.S., etc.

◦ By doing this, you are structuring your essay around ARGUMENT.

The Need for Concrete Evidence

◦ Every Body Paragraph requires CONCRETE EVIDENCE which supports and proves the Topic Sentence’s ARGUABLE POINT.

◦ Summary of scenes and plot details may be necessary but SUMMARY IS NOT CONCRETE EVIDENCE. You can include it when needed, but it needs to be balanced with concrete evidence.

◦ CONCRETE EVIDENCE means SPECIFICS: Quotes from dialogue or very specific description of the visual (shots) or audio (music or sound effects).

Every Body Paragraph Should Offer Concrete Evidence

◦ As a general rule, you should include a minimum of one short QUOTE from the film’s dialogue in EVERY Body Paragraph.

◦ I’m posting this slideshow to Canvas as a PDF. Please consult while you are composing and/or revising your essay.



and unconscious bias. As a lav1yer who had litigated numerous class-action

employment-discrimination cases, I understood well the many ways in

which racial stereotyping can permeate subjective decision-making pro­

cesses at all levels of an organization, with devastating consequences . I was

familiar with the challenges associated with reforming institutions in which

racial stratification is thought to be normal-the natural consequence of

differences in education, culture·, motivation, and, some still believe, innate

ability. While at the ACLU, I shifted my focus from employment discrimina­

tion to criminal justice reform and dedicated myself to the task of working

with others to identify and eliminate racial bias whenever and wherever it

reared its ugly head. By the time l left the ACLU, l had come to suspect that I was wrong

about the criminal justice system. It was not just another institution in­

fected with racial bias but rather a different beast entirely. The activists who

posted the sign on the telephone pole were not crazy; nor were the smatter­

ing of lawyers and advocates around the country who were beginning to

connect the dots between our current system of mass incarceration and ear­

lier forms of social control. Quite belatedly, I came to see that mass incar­

ceration in the United States had, in fact , emerged as a stunningly

comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that

functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.

In my experience, people who have been incarcerated rarely have diffi-

culty identify ing the parallels between these systems of social control. Once

they are released, they are often denied the right to vote, excluded from

juries , and relegated to a racially segregated and subordinated existence.

Through a web of laws , regulations, and informal rules, all of which are

powerfully reinforced by social stigma, they are confined to the margins of

mainstream society and denied access to the mainstream economy. They

are legally denied the ability to obtain employ ment, housing, and public

benefits-much as African Americans were once forced into a segregated,

second-class citizenship in the ]im Crow era.

Those of us who have viewed that world from a comfortable distance-yet

sympathize with the plight of the so-called underclass-tend to interpret the

experience of those caught up in the criminal justice system primarily

through the lens of popularized social science, attributing the staggering in­

crease in incarceration rates in communities of color to the predictable,

though unfortunate, consequences of poverty, racial segregation, unequal


educational opportunities, and the presumed realiti . mcluding the mistaken be]· f l .

es of the drug market, ie t 1at most druo de l bl

Occasionally, in the co . f o a ers are ack or brown.

u1se o my work, someone w Id k suggesting that perhaps the V' D .

ou ma e a remark •var on rugs is a a . . .

blacks back in their place Tl . f r c1st conspiracy to put

. 11s type o remark was i . bl by nervous laughter intend d

nvana y accompanied , e to convey the im •


idea had crossed their mind . . press10n t at although the

s, tt was not an idea a re . , bl take seriously.

asona e person would

Most people assume the V,/ar on Dru s w . . crisis caused by crack coc . . .

g as launched m response to the

ame m mner-c1ty ne· hb h d that the racial disparities

. d. . . ig or oo s. This view holds

m mg conv1Ct10ns and t rapid explosion of the p .· I .

sen ences, as well as the

nson popu atwn reflect n th .

government's zealous-but b . ff ' o mg more than the

. . e111gn-e orts to address ram d. . 111 poor, mmority neighborhoods Th · . h "l

pant rng cnme

. . ts view, w I e understa d bl .

sensational media coverage f I . h n a e, given the

o crac < 111 t e 1980s and 1990 . . While it is true that the p bl. . . s, is simply wrong.

u 1c1ty surround1110 era k . 1 d matic increase in funding f th d.

o c coca111e e to a dra- or e rng war (as well as t .

that greatly exacerbated rac· Id. . . . . o sentenc111g policies

ta tspant1es 111 111carcer t" ) truth to the notion that th W D

a 1011 rates ' there is no

e ar on rugs was laun h d . cocaine. President Ronald R fc. . II

c e 111 response to crack eagan o 11cia y an d h

in 1982, before crack beca . . nounce t e current drug war

me an issue 111 the m d. . . . . neighborhoods. A few years aft h d.

e ia or a cns1s 111 poor black er t e rng war was d l d

spread rapidly in the poor black . hb h ec are ' crack began to

ne1g or oods of Los A l d emerged in cities across th 2 Th

nge es an later

e count1y e Reaoa d . . to publicize the emeroence f" l

. . .

o< n a m1111stration hired staff o o crac < cocame 111 I 98S f

fort to build public and l . l . as part o a strategic ef-

eg1s at1ve support for the war 3 Th . was an extraordinary success Al .

. e media campaign · most over111ght th d.

with images of black "crack wh " " ' e me ia was saturated

images that seemed to c c. or

h es, crack dealers," and "crack babies"-

onnrm t e worst neg t" , · I impoverished inner-city residents Th d. b

a l e racia stereotypes about

demon drug" helped to t l h . e me ia onanza surrounding the "new

ca apu t t e ,Var on Dr f .. policy to an actual war.

ugs rom an amb1t1ous federal

The timing of the crack crisis he! ed t f . era! speculation in po bl I

p . o uel conspiracy theories and gen-

f or ac < commumt1es that th Vv

o a genocidal plan b th

e ar on Drugs was part

States. From th y e government to destroy black people in the United

e outset, stones circulated h drugs were bein b. h .

on t e street that crack and other g roug t 111to black neighborhoods by the CIA E II . ventua y,



UNDOCUMENTED How lmmigration Became lllegal




citizenship?" or "Why dont they just come here legally?" they are betraying a fundamental ignorance ofour immigration and

citizenship laws. People dont apply for citizenship or dont ob- tain proper documents to come here, because the 1aw forbids it. That's right the law forbids them to come to the United States or to apply for citizenship. US immigration law is based

on a system of quotas and preferences. If you dont happen to be one of the lucky few who falls into a quota or preference

category there is basically no way to obtain legal permission to immigrate. If you are already in the United States without proper documentation, you will never, ever be allowed to apply for citizenship.

Given the choice, nobody would risk his or her life wa1k-

ing through the des€rt to enter the country illegally, and no- body would risk the constant fear, discrimination, and threat of deportation that comes from being undocumented. Of course,

everybody who comes to the United States would rather enter

the country legally, and everybody who is undocumented would rather be documented. If only the law allowed them to do it!

The purpose ofthis book is to denaturalize illegality. I want to show it as the social construction that it is. I want to show

when, why, and how it came to be, and how it came to be so-

cially accepted as a fact. I want to show how it works and what purpose it serves. Or maybe whose purposes it serves. My goal

is to unveil the complex, inconsistent, and sometimes perverse

nature of US immigration law that makes some people illegal.


When people say, "What part of i1lega1'dorit you undcrstand?"

they imply that they, in fact, understand everlthing about it. They take illegality to be self-evident: there's a law, you break the law, thatt illegal. Obvious, right?

Actually, illegality is a lot more complicated than that. Laws are made and enforced by humans, in historical contexts, and for reasons. They c}range over time, and they are often created

and modified to serve the interests of some groups-generally the powerful and privileged-over others.

Most ofthe citizens who brag that their ancestors came here "the right way'are making assumptions based on ignorance. They assume that their ancestors "went through the process"

and obtained visas, as people are required to do today. In fact, most ofthem came before any legal process existed-before the concept of "illegality" existed.


Illegality as we know it today came into existence after 1965.In the decades before r965, the media rarely depicted immigration in negative terms. Nor did the public or Congress consider it a problem in need oflegislation. By the r97os, though, the de- monization of immigrants-in particular, Mexican and other


Latino immigrants*and the issue of "illegal immigratiorl'were turning into hot-button issues.l

There are some particular historical reasons for these changes.

Some are economic.The global and the domestic economies un-

derwent some fundamental structural changes in the late twen-

tieth century, changes we sometimes refer to as "globalization,"

Some analysts argued that globalization was making the

wo d "flat," and that r rith the spread ofconnection, technology,

and communication, old inequalities would melt away.2 Oth- ers believed that new inequalities were becoming entrenched- that a 'global apartheid" being imposed, separating the Global North from the Global South, the rich from the poor, the win- ners in the new global economy from the losers.3 I'11 go more

into depth about these changes and show how they contributed

to a" need for l11egah1y to sustain the new world order.

The second set of changes is ideological and cu1tural. Like

the big economic shifts, ideological and cultural changes are a

process; they cant necessarily be pinpointed to a particular date

or year. I use 1965 as a convenience, because that's when some

major changes were enacted in US immigration law that con-

tributed to creating il1ega1ity. But those changes responded to,

and contributed to, the more long-term economic and ideologi- cal shifts that were occurring.

In the cultural realm, overt racism was going out offashion.

Civil rights movements at home and anti-colonial movernents

abroad undercut the legitimacy ofracial exclusion and discrimi-

nation.While apartheid continued in South Africa through the

r98os, even that lost its international legitimacy. In the United States, theJim Crow regime was dismantled and new laws and

programs were aimed at creating racial equality, at least on pa-

per. By the new century people were beginning to talk about

the United States as a "postracial" society. At the same time,

though, new laws hardened immigration regimes and discrimi-

nation against immigrants in the United States and elsewhere.



Before deeply delving into the dizzying and sometimes irra- tional nature of immigration 1aw, itt helpfirl to consider what's actually happening on the ground. I had the opportunity to see firsthand the human tragedy that's resulted from the new immigration regime in March zoro, when I participated in a

weeklong humanitarian delegation with the organization No More Deaths, one of several that take direct action on the US- Mexico border.

Volunteers from these organizations attempt to provide hu- manitarian aid to migrants by leaving water at stations algng migrant trails and offering basic first-aid at camps in the desert, among other things. My group, though, was taking testimonies on the Mexican side ofthe border from migrants who had been

caught and deported.

During that week, I met several hundred deportees. They were arrested for a crime no US citizen can commit: entering the United States without oficial permission. Only people who are not US citizens need ofrciaTpermission to enter US territory.

Nogales, Sonora, on the US-Mexico border, has the feel of a. wat z,one, Every few hours, a bus from the Wackenhut pri- vate security seryice arrives on the US side ofthe border frlled with would-be migrants, mostly from Mexico's poor south- ern regions. Most of them were captured by the Border Patrol somewhere in the Arizona desert. "Tlrey used to try to capture us near the border," one migrant told me wearily. "Now, they patrol two or three days'walk north of the border. They want to find us when we're dehydrated, exhausted, blistered, so we cant run away.'

First, the drivers unload their belongings from underneath the bus-a few backpacks, but mostly clear plastic Homeland Security bags supplied by the Border Patrol. After about halfan hour, the migrants descend fiom the bus in sma1l groups. Under armed guard, the lucky ones retrieve their packages and shuffie





back across the border to be processed by Mexican authorities.

Many have lost everything on their trek through the desert,

when they were attacked by robbers, became separated from their group, got 1ost, or fled from the Border Patrol.

Processing takes about fifteen minutes.The migrants receive

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