Down At The Cross

In “Down at the Cross”, James Baldwin stresses the idea that regardless of race or culture, people are human beings and should be treated equally. Baldwin criticizes racial issues. Baldwin talks about how whites and blacks don’t understand each other because both have insecurities, fears, and prejudices within their own culture that they can’t understand each other. Baldwin proposes the idea that “people can renew themselves at the fountain of their own lives” (54). This process of renewal means that people of any culture or color may eventually find a path to understanding and cooperating with each by searching within themselves. In “Communication in a Global Village”, Dean Barnlund believes that there is problem with communication in society because people of different cultures can’t communicate with each other. Barnlund criticizes that people tend to attach and associate with their own kind and do not want to branch out to learn and communicate with people of other cultures. Barnlund believes that in order for society to flourish and succeed, people must appreciate other cultures and realize that expanding knowledge of other cultures will contribute to a wholesome life. Barnlund would say that the appreciation, interaction, and understanding of other cultures are the processes of “renewal”. Robert Bellah believes that people isolate themselves from others. Bellah expresses how people tend to separate their “private” and “public” lives. He believes that this is a problem because if people keep their private life separate from public life, they will not lead a fulfilling life. Bellah believes that as private and public lifestyles interact with each other, together they create the essence to a nourishing and productive life. Bellah takes different subjects and describes details from their lives about how they “renewed” themselves by relating their private life to their public life. All of the authors portray social criticisms, identify the problems, and propose solutions that find ways of renewal for an individual’s life.
Barnlund states,
Access to the world view and the communicative style of other cultures may not only enlarge our own way of experiencing the world but enable us to maintain constructive relationships with societies that operate a according to a different logic than our own. (66)
Barnlund believes that if people learn aspects of other cultures, people will be able to maintain associations and communications between different cultures within a society. The meaning of appreciation of other cultures is what Barnlund specifies as the survival of a global village. Barnlund would say that Baldwin’s process of renewal might work, because comprehension of other cultures will bring people together and revitalize the differences between people. This would help explain a solution for discrimination and communication complications between Blacks and Whites in Baldwin’s essay. I believe that acceptance and knowledge of cultures are essential in order for people to understand and respect each other.
Barnlund states,
What seems most critical is to find ways of gaining entrance into the assumptive world of another culture, to identify the norms that govern face-to-face relations, and to equip people to function within social systems that is foreign but no longer incomprehensible. Without this kind of insight people are condemned to remain outsiders. (63-64)
This passage from Barnlund’s essay reestablishes the fact that learning and understanding other people relieves the tension amongst how others cope. Baldwin would say that the path when whites begin to learn and understand Blacks, will eventually relieve the problems and intolerances between Blacks and Whites. I believe that if White or Blacks do not want to try to respect or learn from each other, then each race will become isolated and ignorant towards each other.
Bellah describes how people tend to isolate themselves by trying to separate their private and public lives. Bellah suggests that people should realize that their public and private lives interrelate with each other. Bellah writes about how each person eventually found a “renewal of their own lives” by correspondence of their public and private life in his essay. In the case of Les Newman, his life became renewed when he found his place in church. Bellah states, “His church community has helped Les Newman find a language and a set of practices that have strengthened his marriage, aided him in dealing with his work