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Lucy French

English Writing Skills: Analysing Argument

In response to the Victorian government talking down the issue of south Sudanese young crime gangs in Melbourne, Nelly Yoa has proposed in his article in The Age, that this issue is something that must be dealt with. Using demanding and assertive tones, the author calls on both the Victorian government and police department to wake up to the crimes committed by young South-Sudanese and African-Australians. Nelly Yoa uses the title “How to deal with youth gangs” as a ploy to catch the readers attention and almost feels like a direct call-out to the government and police in telling them how to do their jobs. By saying “how to deal” it inflicts on the audience that the police are not doing their job. Yoa explains his frustration towards the Victorian police and prompts those who have been victims of gang violence and Victorian citizens to be proactive and compel the government to prevent future crimes involving youth gangs.

Yoa begins his article with a critical and frustrated tone by saying that the cover up of Sudanese gangs in Melbourne is “upsetting and completely false”. He uses emotive language such as “immoral and inexplicable” and to further support his frustration. This quote has a negative connotation on the Victorian government and better fuels to the reputation they uphold of being unethical. It also collectively draws in the audience to criticise the work of the government and police. Yoa shifts his tone from frustrated to empathetic and rational when he explains that many Sudanese families in Melbourne have more than eight children and are being raised by a single parent so it is a large possibility that some parents are “not aware that their teens are in custody”.  He draws in the South Sudanese communities in Melbourne by contesting that South Sudanese people are “overrepresented in in crime statistics” and it is causing great harm and fear.

Yoa then goes on to speak on his personal experience when moving to Australia and being at the receiving end of their aggression. Yoa uses anecdotal evidence when talking about migrating to Australia “in hopes of a better life”. He also uses the term “the Australian way of living” as an appeal to patriotism and nationalism. This gives the readers a sense of pride in their country and implies that the stakeholders should too. Yoa calls on the government to “act swiftly” and uses inclusive language when he says that “Melbournians are sick and tired”. Yoa speaks on behalf of Melbourne citizens and implores them to feel the frustration that he is feeling and direct it to the relevant authorities.

Yoa maintains his criticising tone when he uses clichés by talking about being a “good Samaritan” and by saying things such as “enough is enough”. These cliché quotes further support his arguments of suggesting the African youth be law abiding and upstanding citizens. This implies that these “gangs” are out of control and that they are shameful Melbournians. By using these literary techniques Yoa’s argument is further supported and suggests that young Sudanese-Australians should do their part in demonstrating a patriotic behaviour.

Nelly Yoa uses powerful imagery including, a photograph of the aftermath of a riot in Werribee. The photo graph shows lots of debris such as broken rocks and a police car and officers standing behind police tape. The camera has focused on the mess on the road with the police officers in the blurred backround to demonstrate the actions of these “gangs” and the consequences standing behind them. This sets up a negative connotation on the actions of these youth gangs.

Nelly Yoa strongly believes that the African youth gang crisis in Melbourne is a problem that can no longer be swept under the rug. Some African-Australians would agree with Yoa but others can argue that Yoa is doing nothing to help with the racist narrative that is being painted about these communities. 

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