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RKeshia Smith Rhetorical Analysis draft Equality On February 26, 2012 teenager, Trayvon Martin, was shot at killed

by neighborhood watch leader, George Zimmerman. Zimmerman reported that he shot Trayvon Martin out of selfdefense. A week after Zimmerman was pleaded not guilty of murder, President Obama gave a very sincere speech regarding the outcome of the George Zimmerman case. It is obvious that this speech was directed to the American people. His speech was about African-American males, and what we must do to help make the United States less violent. He explains that people have different ways of interpreting the case because there has been a history of racial differences in the criminal law. President Obama did not have to create any exigency in his speech because the American people wanted to hear what he had to say. The audience is curious about how the President feels about the outcome of the Zimmerman case. There are three rhetorical appeals that show up in this speech, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. These three appeals make the speech livelier and let the listener or reader connect with the speaker. In his speech Obama effectively convinces his audience that America needs to work on the issue of racism. Reading this speech the audience should realize president Obama does not give is opinion in the outcome if the case he mainly speaks on race and African-American males. To begin to analyze this argument one must first understand the authors background. This speech was given directly by President Barack Obama. This is important in developing ethos, and establishing credibility. By this speech being given by President Obama, it is obvious that he has knowledge on this case. This speech show that he is very crafty with his words and he

is careful about what he says because he doesnt give his opinion on the outcome of the case he mainly speaks on race and African- American males. The audience should know that they can trust what President Obama is saying is the truth because he is very passionate about fixing the world and making it a better place. During all of President Obamas speeches he tries to connect with the audience emotionally. It is a way for him to have a better connection with the audience. The president makes the first appeal to pathos in the middle of his speech by stating, You know, When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could he been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. He is making us realize that this tragedy could have happened to any of us. This is one of the few times Obama mentions anything about this tragedy. He also connect with the audience emotionally when he tells about some experiences African- American males have experienced, like being followed while shopping and hearing locks click on doors when they are walking by. He is showing that even though he is the President he has also gone through some of these experiences. This speech effects AfricanAmericans mainly emotionally. President Obama is showing that even though we are all supposed to be equal there is still some racism going on. He is trying to let us know that he is trying to make the world more equal. He is only connecting with the African American community because he is only speaking on issues of African-Americans. The speech would have reached a broader audience if he included other races as well. President Obama constructs the logical argument that America need to figure out how to help African- American men feel that theyre a full part of this society. This means that we need to put race behind us and make other paths to help African- American men successful. He also makes a claim that Trayvon Martin was more likely to be shot by a peer that he was by

somebody else. Black on black crime is rising because they are involved in more gang violence. Would it have made a difference if Trayvon Martin was killed by a black person? If Trayvon was killed by an African-American then it would not have been that big of a deal. America was looking at the case wrong; all they saw was a Hispanic man kill a black kid. President Obama makes another claim in his speech when he stated, And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white teen was involved in the same kind of scenario both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different. This is another way he explains that there still isnt equality. He is basically saying that if a white teen was shot and killed Zimmerman might have been guilty of murder. In conclusion, President Obama barely gives his opinion on the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. He makes his entire speech on African- Americans and make it a point that they need to have a bigger role in America. Obama makes it obvious that racism is still a problem in America. He gives different ways of helping this problem. He wants America to become a more perfect union. From this situation he ask the question of how we learn some lessons and move in a positive direction. There are a lot of kids who need help but they are getting negative reinforcement. Because President Obama is African-American he makes it a point in his speech to tell ways he is trying to make them feel involved. He only connects with African- Americans throughout his entire speech, and he only speaks of the issues of the AfricanAmerican community. Hi RKeshia, You have a good draft here. You demonstrate that you have a grasp of the rhetorical appeals, and it also seems clear that you understand how Obama uses that rhetoric to reach his audience. My marginal comments were mainly about your thesis, which is also what you asked me to comment on in your process log. What I noticed as I read this is that you dont start out

your paper by making an argument, but that one begins to emerge within your body paragraphs. You made a couple of strong claims here: Obamas speech is less effective than it should be because he only appeals to African American audiences Obama talks at length about the African American male experience, but fails to give his opinion on the outcome of the case

I think that either of these could be a guide for the rest of your paper. If you turn one of these (or another one, if you would rather) statements into your thesis and adjust the rest of your content so that it supports it, you will be making an argument and your paper will be more cohesive. Here are some questions to consider as you reread the speech: Do you feel that Obamas speech was less effective because it only appealed to African Americans? Do you feel like he actually used that perspective to broaden the minds of non-African Americans who are not used to hearing about those experiences? If you think one of those questions is interesting, and if you find that the content of his speech answers one of those questions, I would suggest turning it into your central argument and structuring your paper around it. Good job here. I think that you have a lot of good material to work with.