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Rhetorical Analysis Paper

1133 words - 5 pages

Howard 2Cali HowardDr. HoviousEnglish Comp 012September 12, 2014Rhetorical Analysis PaperCarol Anderson's "Ferguson isn't about black rage against cops. It's white rage against progress." was published to the Washington Post on August 29, 2014. In light of the protests and riots in Ferguson, MO after the murder of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown at the hands of armed Caucasian police officer, Darren Wilson, Anderson provides a new point of view on the topic by employing visual tools, historical references, ethos, and pathos. These and more work together to culminate into a thought provoking, powerful article.The first thing you see is a photo capturing the silhouettes of Ferguson police clad in riot gear, gas masks, and shields. The main problem in Ferguson is the extreme police brutality, illustrated no better than with that image at the front and center. A very dramatic photo, it is not one that we as American citizens would expect to see taken of our police forces on our soil. This is not the norm, and we all know it. The article is prefaced with credibility establishment of Anderson, stating she's an associate professor of African American studies and history, and the author of Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960. She begins by alluding to the awful treatment of the black citizens of Ferguson, with "white rage doesn't have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard" (Anderson) because "white rage carries an aura of respectability" (Anderson) that "black rage" (Anderson) does not. She is successfully applying her thesis, clearly stated in the title of the article, not only here, but throughout the entire piece.This article is littered with a plethora of historical references from times of old and modern days that Anderson effectively uses to build her case. Sarcastically referring to "the good ol' days of black subjugation" (Anderson), she mentions how the Civil War did not make much of anything better for black America. Rather, it inspired Southern legislatures to do everything in their power to bring back the pre-Civil War legitimacy of white supremacy by creating "Black Codes" (Anderson) and the crumbling of the federal promise of 40 acres to black Americans from the American traitors.She then references the familiar court case of Brown v. Board of Education, adequately employing ethos when she says Southern states, yet again, paved ways around a Supreme Court decision by banning segregation in schools. In this same paragraph she uses pathos, with "Bricks and mobs at school doors were only the most obvious signs." (Anderson), stating that all these children wanted was an education, denied to them by institutionalized racism, leaving "Black children were left to rot with no viable option." (Anderson). Education is a right that every American citizen has, regardless of race, and one that many can't imagine being denied in modern day America. Many would (hopefully)...

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