Lea Bordeos Ms. Antonette P. Talaue 10713565 HUMALIT July 1, 2010 Quiz 1: Crackling Day If I were to decide whether Uncle Sam did the right thing or not when he “punished” Lee, I would say that he did the right thing. This is because taking their (South Africans) situation in consideration, he did not have much choice. If Uncle Sam did not follow what the Baas wanted, they would probably be thrown out of their house since the land belongs to the Baas. Uncle Sam, being older and wiser, chose the option which was “less evil”.
He chose not to go against the will of the Baas since he knows that they (the Whites) are the means to their survival, which is very practical. He probably thought that whipping Lee, and continuing life as they know it, is better than living a life with no idea where to go or how to survive, and I agree with him. His decision was not only for his benefit but what he did was actually for the good of the three of them. He probably did not want his family to suffer more than what they are already experiencing. Some may argue that Uncle Sam should have stood up and fought against the Baas rather than hurting his nephew.
That way, he could express his aversion on the way Whites treat them and somewhat send a signal to other Blacks to do the same, and actually make a difference. They would argue that Uncle Sam should have done an act of heroism for the benefit of the majority. But if you come to think of it, they are already treated as slaves and they have been treated that way for a long time. It is impossible that in that span of time, no single Black stood up against the Whites. And obviously, that did not have any effect on how things were.
Even Uncle Sam, possibly, has felt the desire to go against the Whites during his younger years so he knows that it is not really worth it. A death of an individual, or even a group, would not ignite the hearts of the others to fight. On the contrary, they would probably be scared to oppose since they already know their fate if they do. Even those who live in Johannesburg who believes in equality does not have a better situation. Some may also say that since the Blacks outnumbered the Whites, they can easily defeat them. I beg to disagree. I believe that victory does ot lie on the number of people but on their capacity to fight. And even if the Blacks are many, they are not united enough to battle with the Whites. Uncle Sam did not want to whip or hurt Lee, that is for sure. He even lied to the Baas when he said that he already did a “hiding he won’t forget soon”. When he was whipping Lee, he bitterly told Lee not to lift a hand on a white person. And when the Whites already left, he felt very guilty and he was almost, if not certain, mad at himself for hurting his nephew. These situations make it obvious that he did not enjoy what he did and he even seems to feel guilty.
Even though Uncle Sam did not fight against the Baas, he obviously tried to protect Lee from the very start. So the care of Uncle Sam for Lee is out of the question, which means that everything he did was out of concern and love. Although this would not fully justify to all the readers that what he did was right, it would also not justify that what he did was wrong. I think that there is no absolute answer to the question whether Uncle Sam is right or not. The rightness or wrongness depends on how the reader perceives the situation and on the external factors affecting the reader’s decision.