President Obama’s Speech in Selma

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President Obama has been one of the most eloquent orators that the United States has ever had. President Obama's speech in Selma, Alabama was once filled with rhetoric appeals and the major one that was estimated in the speech was an epideictic one. President Obama's speech in Selma was to commemorate the activists that staged a protest from Selma to Montgomery. This was the fiftieth anniversary of the attack on the African-American activists who were fighting for the workout of the democratic right to vote that was being infringed.
The former president notes that the events of one younger man known as John Lewis who was determined to ensure that he addressed the injustice that the African-Americans were going through at the time. The president refers to John Lewis as his hero and states that Lewis would not have imagined that there would ever come a point in time where people would be gathered to celebrate some of the heroic activities that he took part in. President Obama continues to honor the veterans who fought for their democratic rights through rhetorical appeals. Rhetorical appeals are strategies that are employed by an orator or an author that are used to persuade their audience. The conventional appeals include logos, ethos, and pathos.

Obama’s first rhetorical strategy is the ethical appeal or what is referred to as ethos. His narration of the manner with which the likes of John Lewis marched in protest of the violation of the African-American right to vote is a true narration of the state of affairs that was experienced 50 years ago. One cannot cast any aspersions into the credit worthiness of his account since as a reader you are inclined to feel that he held no bias on any particular side. The manner with which Obama gave his account of the events clearly drew a mental picture at the back of the audiences’ minds. The audience can actually feel the manner with which the people suffered in a bid to exercise their rights. This is clearly seen when the former president stated that “A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear” (President Barrack Obama, 2015). He continues to describe how the march was and gives the verses of the hymns that the veterans sang to give each other the morale to keep on with the fight. Obama seems to have a good mastery of his subject matter and this is seen from the manner in which he expresses his concerns.

The second persuasive strategy that is employed by him is the use of logos. He came to a conclusion that indeed the various leaders that led the protests on the voting rights discrimination were courageous and labeled the as heroes in America. President Obama said made the following statement in a bid to portray the courage depicted, “We gather here to celebrate them. We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching toward justice” (President Barrack Obama, 2015). Logos is also employed when he comes to a conclusion that the government of the day during the march was racist and criticizes it vehemently. Obama states that "[the government] robs boys the chance to become men, rob the nation of men that could be good dads, and workers, and neighbors” (President Barrack Obama, 2015). This was the sacrifice that the civil right protesters had to sacrifice their families, their livelihoods for the good of the rest of the society.

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In conclusion, the speech clearly speaks to the heart of everyone within the state of Alabama. It served to show the struggles that the African-Americans had to go through in a bid to attain equal status in the early nineteenth century. They had to contend with losing lives, torture, inhumane treatment and being imprisoned in order to attain certain basic rights. The speech was a systematic journey of the gains that the United States had made progressively since a gathering of that kind would not have been imagined about 50 years ago.

July 24, 2021

Sociology Government

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