Cont. Dev. in Criminal Justice
The Wilding of America Book Review
24 March 2012
The Wilding of America is Wilding by Charles Derber is an interesting novel into the wretched nature of American society, where the different form of wilding have become normalized. Wilding also exists outside of the American society. Derber begins to explain White Wilding vs. Black Wilding, by giving the reader an example of the Central Park Jogger story. The Central Park Jogger, which occurred on April 19, 1989, is now considered to be an infamous story. The story is of a white middle class woman, who was attacked by six black teenagers between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, while jogging in Central Park at night. The teenagers who were allegedly involved displayed signs of happiness, arrogance, and heartless feelings towards the incident; it is because of this that the teenagers received the maximum punishment towards their crimes, however it wasn’t until after a confession to that crime from Matias Reyes, in jail for murder and rape, the five teenage boys’ conviction was overturned. DNA was able to prove the guilt of Reyes and the innocence of the five convicted young black men. In this example of the “Central Park Jogger”, there was clearly “Black Wilding”. It was black teenagers who were incarcerated for the crime, but the sigma of “black wilding” describes how people are so afraid of the stereotypical black male committing a crime against them that they would do anything in order to keep society safe. In this case, they convicted 5 innocent black males, without the proper evidence. The prosecutors and all involved in convicting these 5 males were wilding when they pursued a conviction without complete and proper evidence. Colin Turnbull explains his experience with the IK people, or sometimes referred to as the Mountain People. They are described as loveless people with food and money as their only concern in life. They are also described as a dying society, since they have abandoned their own humanity. The IK people are an example of a “Wilding Culture”. Cultural Wilding is categorized as that, since people put aside both social and moral bonds that many families are expected to have. They committed the most awful and unthinkable act by a parent, murdering their own child. Turnbull uses an example of an IK family abandoning their six-year old daughter who is starved and locked in her hut by her parents to die. Once this child is dead, the parents take her decomposed remains and dump it to the side like a pile of garbage, without the care for a burial. This form of wilding is defined as being self-centered and acting out behavior, which harms others both directly and indirectly. Instrumental Wilding is the most connected with the American Dream, and has terrible effects on society. Instrumental Wilding is when people ambitiously seek personal gain through a lack of moral restrain. Oliver Stone connected this with the popular movie, “Wall Street”; the famous line of this film is “Greed is Good”. This speaks volumes to the views of American cultures and the lengths most people are willing to go to in order to achieve the American dream. A form of legal Wilding is exemplified by the businessman who climbs the ladder of success by stepping on his co-workers to get to the top. Petty Wilding could be compared to minor lying amongst friends and marriages, and political figures. This form of wilding is not illegal but although it could be classified as immoral. Derber wants to show his reader the effects of wilding acts, small and large scaled, and are a potential danger to America’s society. Derber feels that in its degraded form, Wilding encourages unrestrained and sociopathic self-interest.1 Wilding doesn’t have to be a criminal act or a civil act in which laws are broken, but acts in which behavior is not seen as correct and thus deviant to the norms of society. This...
Bibliography: Derber, Charles. (2011) The Wilding of America: Worth Publishers, New York, N.Y.
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