Publics

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are constantly joining new publics and abandoning old ones when necessary. Publics allow people from different backgrounds (or not) to come together to construct a community with identical views on a specific topic. Publics allow people to feel as if they are apart of something bigger than themselves. We are constantly attempting to find ourselves and our identity. By public hopping, we are able to see what we like and what we feel strongly about. Publics and identities are constructed through the means of people communicating and finding things they have in common with someone else. The readings from this semester has helped me realize that whether you are part of the public or not, orators are always addressing a certain group in mind, whether it be a counterpublic or a public. Having the idea of publics and counterpublics in mind allows us to better communicate our ideas and our feelings for a certain topic. Because we find comfort in knowing that we belong to a certain group, publics allow us to have this feeling of belonging and needed. Not everyone is part of the same publics and counterpublics, so the diversity in backgrounds and publics helps us as a society grow and address issues we may not see otherwise. Overall, publics allow us the ability to communicate with our society on a deeper level as well as the ability to communicate what we find is important and worth talking about.

 

Coping with Stress in College: A book review

Every year, millions of high school graduates spend the summer before their fall semester of college, preparing to take on a new phase in their lives. Many must tract hundreds of miles away from home to get the education they want or find a job to help pay for the constantly raising tuition fee. With this new phase in life comes added stress of having to deal with a new environment with double the course load of high school classes and added responsibility. While many turn to friends and family for advice, others resort to reading books on the subject of stress and how one should deal with it when starting on their college journey.

Coping with Stress in College by Mark Rowh presents the idea of stress and provides strategies to help students eliminate unnecessary stress that occurs when starting a new chapter in one’s life. The author systematically approaches the topic by first addressing the definition of stress and then addressing how to overcome different forms of stress. In the Foreword of the book, David C. Spendlove, a professor at University of Utah School of Medicine, sums up Rowh’s purpose for writing the book. Because this is the “first real venture into the worlds of adults” for many high school graduates, “stress can cause serious problems.”  In today’s society, “success in college is widely seen as a requirement for a worthwhile career” and therefore, it’s necessary to address the issue of stress (Rowh, ix). By using quotations from qualified specialists and professors, Rowh establishes his credibility and authority over the subject. He uses dogmatism to convince his audience of high schoolers and possibly college students that stress is inevitable when it comes to college, and by using every day jargon to present his argument to his audience, he establishes a connection with his public. With more and more employers looking for better qualified employees, it’s no wonder that students today must deal with more stress than ever before. Rowh presents this subject in an organized way and uses references, dogmatism, and daily jargon to help his audience make a smoother transition in to college life.

Throughout the book, Rowh uses quotes from different professors from various universities and public colleges as well as popular newspapers and scholarly books as support for his stance on the topic of how one should deal with stress. The author states that regardless of which kinds of pressures you’ll feel when first starting your college career, “you are virtually certain to experience stress (3).” In the sentence that follows, Rowh uses a quote from Dr. Sharon Rubin, the dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury State University which reaffirms Rowh’s original statement about stress and therefore, increases his authenticity on the subject at hand.  Along with Dr. Sharon Rubin, he also refers to James Worsham, a journalism professor from West Virginia, Dr. Sue Bruning, a professor from Kent State University as well as Nancy Slater of Columbia College. Along with using professors from several schools of higher education, Rowh also refers to New York Times and Stress without Distress by Hans Seyle, a “noted physician and stress expert (16).” Using a popular newspaper that has already established its credibility and is known by most Americans, the author gains more credibility for his ideas and stance on stress. By drawing on the credibility of prominent professors and publications, Rowh is able to establish his ground and persuade his audience in a more effective way.

While addressing different subtopics in his book, Rowh uses dogmatism to build his argument for the book. When talking about the different personalities in the “Your Stress Profile,” Rowh states that only two types of personalities exist, Type A or Type B. Refusing to acknowledge that people may not fit into these two types of personalities, Rowh narrows his scope and addresses those who fit the profile he believes exist. Also, Rowh paints professors from different regions of the country and backgrounds with the same brush when stating what they are looking for in student papers. This strategy of reducing his range helps him better present his argument.  By using dogmatism, Rowh is able to better address his audience and allows them to use the information present to make decisions to help reduce stress.

Along with using references and dogmatism, Rowh also uses every day jargon to establish a connection with his teenaged audience. The author refrains from using 5 syllable words to ensure that he reaches a wide range of teenagers. By uses common every day words such as “pressure,” “higher achievers,” “failure,” and many others, he is able to institute a connection with his public. Because most high schools tend to focus less on increasing their range of vocabulary, Rowh makes the extra effort to guarantee that his audience is able to comprehend his argument as simple as it may be.  He also makes references to popular movies among the high school public such as “Friday the 13th” to connect with the audience. By using every day jargon, Rowh is able to “talk” to his audience about an important issue and is assured that they will be able to understand.

While stress is a subject that all age groups must deal with, college students are more susceptible to stress due to the sudden change in environment and responsibility. By using quotes throughout Coping with Stress in College from well-known professors and specialists, he is able to build his credibility and gain the trust of his audience. By presenting his argument using dogmatism, he narrows the board topic and addresses issue involving stress that most college student must deal with. Mark Rowh also presents the idea of stress in a simple manner by using commonplace verbiage to help teens deal with stress when committing themselves to a journey of hardships. Overall, Rowh’s use of references, dogmatism, and every day jargon helps convince the audience of his authority on the subject and ensures that his argument is well perceived by his adolescent audience.

Works Cited

Rowh, Mark. “Coping with Stress in College: Everything Students Need to Know to Manage the Pressures of College Life.” New York: The College Board, 1989. Print.

Protection and Lorde

In her essay, Lorde states that the master’s tool “may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change” and this is only threatening to women who find support only from their master (112). Because black women have for so long found homes in the homes of their master, it may be hard for them to actually bring about change because if something were to change that may be better in the future, it may also mean for them to lose the only shelther they know of. This need for protection from their master keeps them from fighting against the injustices they must deal with on a daily basis, and prevents any future change. Protection and speech which can be seen as a master’s tool are both used by the master as a way of showing that they care enough to provide them with tools, but at the same time, these tools are useless when it comes to changing their future. The master’s methodology may be useful for the master himself, but they do very little for the “slaves.” Master’s tools is used as a term to describe the various methods the master may use as well as the various tools of shelter he may provide, but when it comes to change, they are  nothing for the master’s servants.

 

Extra Credit 1: Why My Hijab Makes Me a Terrorist.

Like any college student, I walked into the local Starbucks like I had normally done to grab a cold coffee and study for the upcoming Biology exam. I made my way to the counter and stood there with a smile on my face, waiting for someone to acknowledge me and provide service. With at least five different people behind the counter, I expected to be greeted within the few seconds of me standing there waiting. As I looked around the cozy shop, one of the employees closest to me continued to do what he had been doing, refusing to acknowledge me. I found this rather strange. I had encountered him previously few weeks ago and had received similarly odd acknowledgement from him. Using terse words, he had addressed me as if I was nothing. As if I had done something to him when this was only the first time I had seen this person who had this cold, stern look on his face. I was greeted with this same behavior a second time as I stood there waiting. Having dealt with this ignorance before, I knew what the cause of this was. A fragile scarf I wore on my head every day for almost three years now, had gotten strange remarks such as “terrorist” and “towel head” as well as some comments such “Someone call security!” or “Go back to your country.” I continued to smile as if nothing was happening, as if my rights were not being violated.

7 scores and 9 years old, Abraham Lincoln stood in front of a grieving crowd and addressed the injustices that had inflicted a group of 4 million African American slaves whose rights are being abridged by a group of supremacists. By a group of people that thought they had the right to take a group’s God given rights away because they thought themselves superior. 2 scores and 7 years ago, an African American by the name of Martin Luther King Jr. in the name of non-violent direct action took a stand against this injustice again, and helped this group of 4 million gain back what was rightfully theirs. They were granted equal rights in the eyes of many. America, for the first time in years, made its way towards progress. 11 years ago, a group of radical extremists hijacked four planes in the name of my religion and my Creator because they felt that was their only option. Not only did they hijack these planes, but they hijacked my identity, they hijacked my religion, and most importantly, they hijacked my rights as a Muslim American. As I walk around campus, around my hometown, around shopping plazas, I am given hateful looks. I am blamed for what happened 11 years ago. I am used as a scapegoat for years of bottled up emotions that are ready to be unleashed. All progress made for equal rights was lost when innocent people were detained by the government because of their Muslim “terrorist-like” names. The word terrorist was redefined as “Muslim male with beard.” War was started against an invisible enemy known as “Terror” and millions of civilians lost lives to this enemy. The war continues on foreign land but what people don’t realize is that this war is taking over our country too. This war continues to eat away at the progress we had made in the name of “equal rights for all.” The words “American Muslim” are seen as a paradox and my rights as an American are abridged on a day to day basis. Would our founding fathers be proud of the values we hold dear to our hearts today such as “Equal rights for those who fit a certain profile” or “Hatred for all”? Would our founding fathers approve of this unconstitutional hate for people of other religions? It’s time for us to make a change. It’s time for us to accept our difference and move towards a better future in which our children can enjoy the liberties that this country was found on, liberties which have been taken away and given back to those who have been oppressed by hatred, in which we can walk into a Starbucks and expect the same treatment as someone of a different religion or color. In which, we can all, no matter our color, religion, socioeconomic status, enjoy the liberties granted by our Creator and reiterated by our founding fathers.

Malcolm X: Rhetoric for Black Nationalism

Malcolm X took the idiom “like father, like son” to  a whole new level with his devotion to the Black Nationalism Movement, by matching his father’s outspoken views about this revolutionary creed that strove to gain independence from the European society. At an early age, Malcolm X lost his father who, was assassinated by the Black Legion organization. His mom being emotional unfit was committed to a mental institution and Malcolm along with his siblings were split up and put into foster homes and orphanages (Biography). After a troublesome period in his life, Malcolm was introduced to the Nation of Islam organization by his brother and he begun to pursue his long journey of gaining equality for his race.

Malcolm X’s charismatic speeches were able to move many and helped the Black Revolution gain more support due to the plethora of rhetorical devices he used as well as the connection he was able to create with his audience. Using analogies, biblical allusions, and vivid adjectives to create a black and white world with only one interpretation of the events being carried out, he was able to inspire his audience to act against slavery and segregation. With the use of epideictic rhetoric, X was able to amplify the feelings of the black community and bring light to the oppression they were enduring by their white “superiors.”

While Malcolm X’s The Black Revolution and God’s Judgment of White America call for a more violent response from the African American community, The Ballot or The Bullet takes a less aggressive approach. This change in voice could be due to his change of heart towards Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam organization. In all three speeches, X makes analogies using the wolf to symbolize the White conservatives who “show their teeth in a snarl that keeps that Negro always aware of where he stands with them” and the fox to represent the White Liberals who “lure the Negro” with their smile and “as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the smiling fox (God’s Judgment of White America).” He also states that even though they are two different animals, they come from the same race  and therefore are the same (The Ballot or The Bullet). This image of the two vicious animals waiting for the Negros to fall into their trap symbolizes the harsh environment in which the African Americans are forced to live in, without the option to go back to their home country.

Setting up a scenario where it’s either “them or us,” Malcolm X attempts to persuade his people to act. Along with analogies, X also uses the biblical allusion of the shepherd and his sheep. In God’s Judgment of White America, he states that the African Americans are “referred to in the symbolism of the Scripture as the Lost Sheep” which makes a connection with the Christian African Americans in the audience with the Holy Book of God, the Bible. This connection helps Malcolm establish his authority on this issue and convinces the people that they are the “lost sheep” that the bible speaks of. He farther states that “God will separate his black sheep from the white goat” and “the goats are to be slaughtered (God’s Judgment of White America).”  Because God does not allow the sheep to integrate with the goat, how can the African Americans be expected to integrate with the wolf? Using this logical fallacy, he makes his point clear to his Christian audience that separation of the two races is a must; in fact, it is decreed by God. Using common Prophets from Judaism, Islam and Christianity, he makes his point by saying that in the Jewish, Islamic and Biblical past, the good have had to separate from the evil so that God could punish the evil and the same must be done so that “White America” is punished for her crimes against his race (Black Revolution). Using Prophets that are known by most if not all of his audience, he reaffirms a connection previously established with the Christian members of the audience to include everyone else.

Throughout The Black Revolution and God’s Judgment of White America, Malcolm X uses the phrase “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad” to amplify the beliefs of the Nation of Islam organization with the use of epideictic rhetoric. He does not claim to speak from his own mind, but just regurgitates what Elijah Muhammad, the president of Nation of Islam, believes to be true. He equates the president of this organization to a present-day Prophet here to free the African American people to establish his authenticity and Elijah Muhammad’s.

Along with biblical allusions and analogies, Malcolm X also uses vivid adjectives to create a black and white world.  Using words like “blood-thirsty wolf,” “childlike patriotism,” and “nonbelieving infidels,” X establishes a negative white America with a clear line between the Blacks, the good, and the Whites, the evil. With this clear image of the American population, Malcolm X attempts to convince this audience to act and gain freedom by separating from the White race. In The Ballot or The Bullet, he states that people for integration and separation have the “same objective.” These two groups of people have different ideas how to get freedom which unifies the whole African American population and well defines this separation between the blacks and the whites.

Malcolm has been credited for substantially increasing the size of the Nation of Islam several folds due to his charisma and inspiring speeches full of many rhetorical devices to persuade his audience to act against the oppression of the African American race. These speeches were able to help the Black Revolution gain the support of the African Americans and the White population that saw this injustice and struggled to gain equal rights for their fellow Americans.

 

 

Works Cited

“Biography.” Malcolmx.com. Malcolm X Offical Website. Web. 8 March 2012.

Malcolm X. “The Black Revolution.” Malcolm.x.org. Malcolm-x.org. Web. 8 March 2012.

Malcolm X. “God’s Judgement of White America (The Chickens Come Home to Roost).” Malcolm.org. Malcolm-x.org. Web 8 March 2012.

Malcolm X. “The Ballot or the Bullet (April 12, 1964).” Malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com. Malcolm X. Web. 8 March 2012.

 

Truth and Rhetoric

Lorde, Truth and Astor are feminists who attempt to get the message across that women and men should have equal rights. They focus of their life experiences to convince the audience of what needs to be done. For instances, Lorde talks about Russia, Astor about England and Truth about situations where she hasn’t been treated like a “lady.” Sojourner Truth attempts to convey to the public that both the African Americans and women of the north are talking about suffrage and the white men will have to cave sooner or later. She uses the phrase “Ain’t I a woman” multiple times when talking about instances where she has had to “man up” yet she is still denied the right to vote.

Truth and Rhetorical Devices in Her Speech:

  • Repeats the phrase “Ain’t I a woman?” to convey to the audience that not only does she not have certain unalienable rights, but she also isn’t treated like a woman.
  • Uses terms like “childern” and “honey” to establish her authority over the audience.
  • Uses biblical allusions by saying “women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman!” to establish a connection with the Christian public in the audience.

Booth and Warrants

As Booth states, “a warrant is a statement that connects a reason to a claim(152).” Warrants are used to establish the author’s credibility and his knowledge and background on the subject at hand. An author is required to predict the possible questions that the reader might ask and attempt to answer them beforehand to help establish his validity. Because readers may question the truth as well as its relevance, the author should attempt to make the connections between the claim and the reason for the claim clear so that his credibility is not questioned but strengthened. If the reason does not match up with the claim, the author may be questioned and lose his ability to persuade his readers. For instance, Tim Bardin states that because it’s “hard for male, non-reg Aggies to be elected yell leader,” it’s impossible for a “female, non-reg Aggie” to win the election. Though Bardin states a warrant, he does not provide a solid reason for his claim. Many may question the relationship between the two and how one affects the other. Because he doesn’t provide a clear connection, his authenticity is hurt. As one scrolls down to the comments, we see that many question his reasoning for the claim. Why would it be difficult for a female, non-reg Aggie to win the election? Is Bardin saying that because traditionally, males in the reg have won in the past, no one else stands a chance? Could males regs winning in the past be solely because of their personality or does it really have to do with being in the Core of Cadets and having a Y chromosome? Questions like these can really hurt one’s credibility if the reasonings behind the claim are not addressed.