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In his presentation for the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), Paul Blom speaks on Weidman’s use of a newborn’s death to comment on systemic forms of oppression that may lead a young black mother to discard her child down a trash shoot. Blom uses an article written by Weidman, where he narrates the newborn’s thoughts as the child is falling down the trash shoot. Along the way, he speaks on what perspectives and the fall. He also uses many other elements to talk about systematic oppression.

In his article, Weidman also links you to a different article reporting the news of the newborn being found in the garbage after being discarded down a trash shoot. By using narrating the newborn’s death and adding a separate report of the death, the reader quickly learns that there is a lot more behind every action than there is reported. The contrasting article with Weidman shares does not give the perspective of the mother of the child, but only speaks on the horror of the death. This also gives the reader both sides of the story, even though the mother is not actually speaking on the incident. As a journalism major, I understand the importance of reporting the full story on any occurrence, but to also investigate into every element that played a role in the story. Now, not saying that it wasn’t wrong to just throw the child down the trash shoot, but it should be important to investigate why this happened and not to just report the death to the world. Also, the importance of investigating the whole story should be stressed especially since there were eight other newborn deaths where the child was found in the garbage.

As the newborn is falling down the trash shoot, they describe the people on each floor of the building. This includes the practices of those in the building and their socioeconomic and racial identifications. Then newborn describes the black people in the building, sharing are abusive relationships and molestation, gambling addicts, drug dealers and user, and many others participating in criminal activity. Weidman then connects these traits to the drug war which targeted the black community and racially driven convictions to the illegal practices of the black community within the building.

The major point Weidman makes is the difficulty of the black community to receive adequate health care. This is the point which connects to the newborn being discarded down the trash shoot, as the mother may not have had access to proper health care in order to take care of the child. This is one of my major concerns for American society as a whole. There is not a good quality of life without access to healthcare. Without proper healthcare, people either lead an unhealthy life which entails many illnesses without proper treatment or having to live in dept due to high healthcare payments. This is not a quality of life I would wish upon anyone as it is uncomfortable and miserable.

This is a major change I would like to see in society. Now, that doesn’t mean to develop a public healthcare system like Canada, but to give resources and funds for those of low socioeconomic status in order to receive good healthcare without fear of payments or conditions.


Featured Image Source

“Statement/Resources Regarding Racism & Systemic Oppression.” MyUMBC, 4 June 2020,

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