Malcolm X : Racism And Oppression

1549 Words Nov 6th, 2015 7 Pages
There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in human history (Slavery Facts). Slavery is a horrible form of oppression that people usually associate with racism, but in reality, slavery begins with treating people as less than human. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X As Told to Alex Haley, the author explores racism and subhuman treatment of American blacks in the mid-twentieth century. He uses personal and historical anecdotes to appeal to the strong emotions surrounding issues of racism. Because of his experiences as a black child in America, Malcolm X is able to illustrate many hardships the reader can only imagine. Using an appeal to pathos to evoke sympathy and indignation, Malcolm X argues that a person’s humanity should trump all other traits because viewing people as less than human leads to racism and oppression. Using anecdotes from his early childhood to evoke the reader’s sympathy, Malcolm X shows that being treated as less than human leads to oppression. Malcolm X’s early childhood is riddled with misfortune, and he is able to use this misfortune to help readers understand that subhuman treatment is unacceptable and leads to injustice. When Malcolm is just a little boy, his father, Earl Little, is killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm’s mother, Louise, goes to the police station to identify the body, and later describes the horrific state the body was in when she saw it. Malcolm X narrates, “My father’s skull, on one side, was crushed in… Negroes…

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