Guy-Uriel Charles

Guy-Uriel Charles, the writer of the article, “Stop Calling Quake Victims Looters” claims that the use of the term looters against earthquake victims is a scornful making of moral judgment. The author argues that the term looter characterizes an individual as a criminal contrary to describing or defining the individual’s act. On the other hand, Brian Whitaker in his article, “The Definition of Terrorism” claims that the lack of an agreed definition of terrorism has led to increased difficulty in counterterrorism (254). Making counterterrorism laws and reaching a common goal towards these perceived hostilities has been near impossible due to the absence of an established definition of terrorism. Brian Whitaker and Guy-Uriel Charles illustrate how the society has grown confused simply because of misappropriated terms and inconsistent perceptions which are motivated by selfish interests There is much similarity in the authors view points and conflicts, as well as comparison in their illustrations. It is imperative that one looks at the whole picture prior to making rash assumption.
Guy-Uriel Charles’ “Stop Calling Quake Victims Looter” and Brian Whitaker’s “The Definition of Terrorism” spell out that the problems existing in the society and how they are rooted to the perspective in which every person holds. According to Guy-Uriel, it is stereotypical to term black victims of earthquakes as looters while labeling a white as “taking food” in the same scenario (244). The use of the word looting against a starving, thirsty, and miserable person simply because of the racial alignment is an ill display of misconceived perspective. Characterizing an individual as a looter is to criminalize that person without empathy or consideration of the suffering by the victim (Charles, 245). Similarly, Whitaker in “The Definition of Terrorism” illustrates how perception have led to sickening problems in the world (254). The law-making process against terrorism has been made difficult because an agreed meaning of terrorism is absent. Essentially, these disagreements have led to incorrect statistics and the impossibility in distinguishing between warfare and terrorism. The two authors, therefore, agree that the societal problems are rooted in misunderstood beliefs, immoral judgment and irresponsible institutions.
Brian Whitaker and Guy-Uriel Charles use accurate figures and reality checks as illustrations of their arguments. In describing the extent of the use of the term looters, Charles uses the incident of Hurricane Katrina. Accordingly, the term “looters” was used by news media to describe starving blacks of New Orleans while white residents engaging in the same act were said to be “taking things”. In another instance, Charles puts himself in the victim’s shoes. He contemplates a person who has been abandoned by his or her God, family, country and even International community. Out of desperation the human finds a way to survive, “you take and you run” (Charles 245). Whitaker uses figures and societal occurrences to spread the message of the essence of having an agreed definition of terrorism. In a particular instance, Whitaker outlines Middle East’s number of terrorism attacks to be at 16 in the year 2000 (252). The author goes on to say that the statistics are meaningless as there is no universal definition of the term terrorism. Ideally what can be considered terrorism in another country might not be the case in another.
The two articles reveal similar storylines while characters face related tragedies. “The Definition of Terrorism” is based in a world where by the countries, governments, and superior institutions make decisions which ultimately impact its citizens. Whitaker points out that everyone agrees that terrorism is a politically motivated subject. Furthermore, it is agreeable that terrorism exists. The failure to resolve to a common definition and laws against terrorism has, however, led to massive loss of lives, misuse of power by some states, and other challenges affecting particular persons in the society (Whitaker, 255). The war is therefore ignited by the politicians at the top while the citizens are at the receiving end. “Stop Calling Quake Victims Looters” similarly holds the media to be the root of the problem. News media have been cautioned to put a stop to terming suffering Haitians who are digesting the shock of loss and looking for survival as looters. Charles exhibits news media as the propellant of the problems emanating in the argument (245). The victims are black citizens who are discriminated against based on their race. Evidently, the two articles are similar in terms of storyline and characters used.
The authors of the two articles depict scornful attitude towards the subject matter of their stories. Charles is contemptuous towards racial discrimination. He implies that naming a person as a looter based on his skin color is criminalizing the individual. He alleges that looting is associated with African-Americans and not with the whites. Charles holds that, “answering the question of looting is racialized” (245). On the other hand, Whitaker disapprovingly blames the failure to counterterrorism on the lack of an agreed definition of terrorism. The inconsistencies of the laws are responsible for the increasing animosities and inhumane activities. Whitaker’s attitude is clearly disdainful as he claims that America’s meaning of terrorism is a reverse of the original definition of the term (255).
Contrary to Brian Whitaker’s educative article, Charles attempts to caution news media to stop characterizing blacks as looters. Whitaker uses the article to inform the readers on the concepts of terrorism. He discusses that terrorism exists and it is politically motivated. More so, it is purposed to destabilize the public welfare (Whitaker, 254-55). Whitaker gives various examples in effort to clarify the definition of terrorism and in the end sums up that terrorism is an aggression that is committed by persons not given approval. Charles is indifferent in his article as he cautions news media to refrain from referring black persons as looters (245). The author argues that taking a television is different from taking food hence putting matters in the right context is necessary. He concludes that, “institutions should wait for conviction before characterizing black people who are trying to stay alive” (Charles, 245).