Prevailing Argument – Rhetorical Analysis

Racism is a ubiquitous problem meaning that it appears to permeate and pervade almost every facet of life. This kind of hate and bigotry, I feel, is what prevents us from uniting and cultivating and fostering an atmosphere where is everyone feels comfortable, included, and cared for. Many blacks and other minorities have been subjected to a cynical and never-ending cycle of discrimination and degradation due to the distinguishable features that they possess, which supposedly makes them “different.” Tracy K Smith’s poem, which is known to us as the “Declaration,” is very short and minimal, but it provides a lot of value when bringing up the discussion of how blacks and other minorities have had their rights swindled and stripped. As you begin to analyze it and dissect it further, you begin to realize how it’s littered with compositional techniques and rhetorical devices that help her to grasp our attention and ultimately convince us that minorities and blacks will forever be persecuted as their pleas and petition for peace are always meat with some sort of abrasion and hostility.  I also watched a documentary called Greening the Ghetto, in which Majora Carter explains how erroneous and faulty urban policies negatively affect minorities. She is from the Bronx and currently resides there. Majora uses rhetorical devices and techniques like logos, ethos, and pathos to encourage people to join a movement to combat environmental racism and take action against power plants and waste facilities that have disrupted people’s lives. She analyzes statistics and other data to demonstrate how different pollutants emitted by these power plants make blacks and other minorities more susceptible to respiratory ailments. She also talks in this linguistic tone that draws out some sort of emotion, and she employs a specific set of phrases to convey genuine concern and sorrow. Majora starts to cry as she recalls growing up in a neglected and deplorable environment, illustrating a true sense of sadness.  She hated the idea that her people were being exploited for the benefit of others while also having to bear additional environmental burdens and responsibilities. She claims that a black person living in the United States is twice as likely as a white person to live in an environment where air pollution and fumes can pose and constitute a serious health risk. Majora also claims that she is five times more likely to live near a power plant that emits toxic contaminants and pollutants such as mercury and acid gases. Many blacks and minorities have to contend with the difficulties of living in an environment that is underserved and neglected. The air quality in that region is terrible, and they can’t do much about it. As a result, it’s up to us to take action and raise awareness about how they’re mistreated and devalued. These issues of racial discrimination and bigotry will never be met with the appropriate solutions; perhaps maybe there isn’t. Someone will always feel superior and better than others and harbor a smidgeon of hate. However, this doesn’t mean that we cannot continue to push for reforms that essentially protect and help minorities. To put an end to injustices, we must change and modify societal systems and enact regulations that preserve our fundamental rights and freedoms, but even then, people’s rights are still being infringed, as seen in the killing of Elijah McClain. Sadly this sparked many unneeded and unnecessary moments. These officers were never given a legitimate reason or incentive to search or interrogate them, and as a result, they violated the fourth amendment, but more importantly, they killed an innocent person. I believe that it’s important to bring awareness to how stereotypes can prevent us from seeing the truth. They are assumptions and serve as a way to automatically categorize people into groups, which is terrible.

3 thoughts on “Prevailing Argument – Rhetorical Analysis

  1. You have a very strong prevailing argument. The examples you used are very good pieces of evidence which can be very useful in your writing. Now what you should do is give two main reasons and use your evidence in your body paragraphs. Good job with the argument.

  2. This is such a strong opening and prevailing argument for your essay. I enjoyed how you went in-depth with your two artifacts and related them to one another from the get-go. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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