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James Baldwin Response by Gabriela Vallebuona

In the essay by James Baldwin he shows that police are very aggressive with people in the community. Some questions a field worker might ask to further uncover the culture Baldwin describes in “How safe do you feel in your community?” This is because the problems that were emerging in the community. For example, people not feeling safe in their own home since police are able to come in and search them without a warrant may lead to people feeling unsafe in their own home. Others may discuss problems within the community that are not so obvious. Another question could be “Who would you contact in a situation where you feel you’re in danger?” This is an important question to ask because the police is the obvious answer, however if people do not believe they can trust the police in this situation they are not doing their job. 

Another source of information a fieldworker might use to penetrate the “insider perspective” is to question the police as well. Seeing what problems are coming from within the police system is key in finding out what is causing their aggression toward the community. This would also be an ideal place to start in solving the problem. Looking at statistics is another way to penetrate the “insider perspective.” Data such as how many people of color are arrested compared to white people could uncover a racism problem within the police force. Knowing how many houses are searched by the police without a warrant can also show how the police continuously violate people’s privacy. 

2 thoughts on “James Baldwin Response by Gabriela Vallebuona

  • I really agree with you. Blacks did not have a safe space at all. They were constantly harassed and did not know what to do. Where is their “home” if they cannot even feel safe there. Blacks were struggling and I love how you were able to discuss if something such as a “safe space” even existed for them.

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