New Criticals

To return to the question of sympathy: with all of this background knowledge of the social, economic, political, and historical conditions that have led up to this moment, must we then excuse crime or, simply write it off as an unavoidable fact of our modern world? Does knowing Snoop's story soften our hardness towards her actions? Screams of, "What about the victim!? That criminal made her choice! You're asking me to have sympathy for that devil?" Interestingly, Snoop herself takes the liberal-bourgeois-individualistic line: "It ain't the neighborhood. It ain't like, 'Oh, you better get out here and sell drugs'—nah it's a choice. Everybody got to find their own way out."

Critiquing hyper-individualistic paradigms and emphasizing socio-historical elements hardly excuses the criminal. It only points the deep inadequacy of the dichotomy in the first place. In the same passage from Dewey quoted above, he continues: