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English 101 - Bias in Writing

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Kathryn Cucca

October 1, 2011

English 101 30754

Judy Leone

Bias in Writing

What does bias mean? Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially of a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment. Malcolm X and Michael Moore are two writers who show bias in their articles "Learning to Read" and "Idiot Nation". They prove that bias is evident in their writing by taking one side of a situation, manipulating reader's emotions, drawing unreasonable inference, and showing evident use of individual opinions.

Malcolm X proves bias in his writing by referring only to the black history. He became of disciple of Elijah Muhammad, who was the leader of the Nation of Islam, or the "Black Muslims". Elijah was also extremely "anti-white." By following his teachings and preaches, Malcolm X was enamored with Elijah's beliefs about black separatism, and began to read more about what took place in African American History. Malcolm X states that "I took special pains to hunt in the library for books that would inform me on details about black history" (213). By focusing on the black history, Malcolm was only exposed to the white man against coloreds. In his writings he infers that the books he read were "indisputable proof that the collective white man had acted like a devil in virtually every contact he had with the collective non-white man" (216). By not exposing himself to any other historical perspectives other than those portraying whites as "evil", Malcolm X reinforced his own biases to the point where his opinions were unchallenged in his own mind.

By drawing unreasonable inferences and manipulating his reader's emotions, Michael Moore proves bias in his article. In "Idiot Nation" Moore talks about the flaws and the condition of American Education. He believes that our nation is in a increasing state of stupidity. He states that "if you live in a country where forty-four million can't read - and perhaps close to another two hundred million can read but usually don't - well, friends, you and I are living in one very scary place" (129). Moore infers that the nation is to blame for an individuals illiteracy, as opposed to the responsibility of the individual to get themselves educated. There are many underlying factors other than the government officials as to why those forty-four million can't read. Moore also tries to interfere with his reader's emotions when talking about how George W. Bush became president. He states "the part where you also need an ex-President father, a brother as governor of a state with missing ballots, and a Supreme Court full of your dad's buddies



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