Wes Moore’s Short Story ‘The Saints And Roughnecks’ Essay

Some factors that lead the “bad” Wes Moore into the drug trade can be social immobility, national explanation of poverty, his has an older brother that is doing the same and statistics. Wes experiences social immobility throughout generations of his family. It is extremely hard for him and his mother to get out of poverty because overall the system is against them; his mother is raising her children by herself, she already had one bad child and they are african american, thus they are experiences bias from all ends of the spectrum.

The national explanation of poverty states that parents and older family members teach their young about finances incorrectly and destined them for failure. When poverty is so engraved into children they want to grow up and not have to live like they used to, thus making them find ways to get out of the lower class and many times it is selling drugs. Sadly for Wes he had an older brother, that he always looked up too, that was selling drugs to make fast money. Wes stated in the novel that he always wanted to be like his brother and never understood why he would get so mad when he got into the game of selling.

Finally the odds were never in Wes’ favor, five out of seven people are arrested for nonviolent drug offences. Also 78 percent of the poor are locked up, along with one third of every black men will spend time in prison and three fourths of inner city residents will spend time in prison. Wes was a “player,” he came into contact with many females and had unprotected sex. Wes’ life took a turn when he found out one of his girls was pregnant. This changes his life. It could have saved him and made him want to be there and help support his child but it only put more strain on his to make more money.

Wes pretty much dropped out of high school because of missing days and being held back, so with no high school diploma and a criminal record, he did not have many choices for work, thus making him go back to selling drugs. Which makes me think that Wes did want to try and be a decent father and support them more than he ever was. Sadly, I think Wes is going to become a lot like his father and not be around his child, whether if he wants to or not. Wes is stuck in a bad position where it seems like he is spiraling downwards. If Wes keeps going to prison, he is not going to be able to be a father.

Before Wes became a dad, he has another run in with the police. Wes was charged with attempt at murder of another boy, which caused his to spend time in prison which made it harder for him to finish school and could have lead to more interaction with negative people. Bad Wes faces racism when he was at a girls houses and when he was leaving someone makes the common, “what’re you doing coming out that n***a’s house? ”, which sets Wes off. When Wes was mad he shows masculinity. Wes decided that he was not going to back down and show his strength after getting his butt kicked. Which leads to Wes going to prison, like in chapter 6.

Wes has returned from his prison trip and is back to selling drugs. Wes is out having a normal day when someone new shows up asking for “rock”, this leads to Wes thinking that he is in with the cops because he just seemed off. Instead of trusting his gut instinct he tries to sell the man cocaine and ends us getting busted by the police again. Barish, and DuVernay (2016) stated that African Americans are still under attack. They explain that the War on Drugs is another way for the government to suppress a black man, which can be seen as true for the bad Wes Moore. It seemed like he was targeted at a young age for being a bad kid.

Wes was young when he started selling drugs and I think the court system could have really helped him pursue the right path if they would have gave him the guidance a white male would have received. Gallagher, C. (2011) explained that our nation has become color blind and does not discriminate against people of color, the bad Wes give us examples that make it not true. It shows that people still discrimination, which is seen when Wes was called a racial slur. It is also seen when portraying the facts that African Americans are still subjected to high prison rates and are more likely to be poor.

When good Wes came into contact with the police he was tagging a wall with his street name initials. He was caught running away from the police and they handcuffed him and placed him in the back of the squad car. The police gave Wes and his friend a stern talking to and then released them. Which one can relate this to the short story The Saints and Roughnecks. This Wes is definitely seen as a good kid that just messed up a few times which makes one believe that he is seen as a Saint. Just like the short story Wes was not charged with his crime because he is a good kid and does not deserve punishment.

When Wes’ mother got sick of his slacking off and being a bad kid she did not raise him to be she called the family together to give her money to send him to military school so they could straighten him out before he got to out of control. Lucky, Wes’ mother was able to pull this money together the other Wes was in lower poverty and could never have this opportunity to get his life straighten out. This was beneficial for Wes because was taking away from the bad influences, the poor neighborhoods and sent to a place that will discipline him better than family or school can do.

The consequences was that he left his good friends and family behind, he also caused major debt to his family. When Wes left his friends he was not able to help Justin with his sick mother or Shea with getting in trouble with the cops. Good Wes has been sheltered for most of his like and sees extreme racism for the first time when his is at military school. He was walking with a friend to go get a stromboli he was called the n-word and hit in the face with a bottle.

One can also say that Wes see prejudice and stereotyping the first day at school, his drill instructor screams in his face and makes him look stupid when he gives Wes the fake map out of campus. In chapter 6, good Wes takes a turn for the better, after he was called the n-word, Wes decides the better decision is to run back to campus instead of trying to fight the unknown boys in the car. This, in my eyes, is a very grownup decision. Though this situation Wes shows masculinity. He tries to protect his friend as much as possible when finding another way home.

Also he is showing it by not picking a fight with the nobodies that messed with him, it showed that he was more worried about his future and his friends safety than acting tough. Finally, I think the good Wes Moore shows the opposite of the Color Blind Privilege; that Gallagher was not completely correct but the world could be changing. I found that Wes did not face as many struggles with racism and everything as other color people have faced. Wes walked away from the police with just a slap on the wrist, he moved up in ranking in the military school, and he is over all doing well in life.