Blog Post #1
May 18, 2017
The Black Lives Matter Movement is currently a very popular contemporary social movement. This international activist movement, which originated in the African-American community, campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people. Their start began in 2013, after the acquittal of G. Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial. The group gained national recognition when they took to the streets in protesting the deaths of Michael Brown (in Ferguson) and Eric Garner (in New York City) in 2014.
Rhetorically, in this case the problem for these individuals would be the increasing violence and systemic racism toward black people recently. The group regularly holds protests due to the police killings of black people. As well as broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system. This prompted the founders of the movement to speak on the issue, and coin the hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” on twitter, this is the exigence Bitzer spoke of.
The intended audience here are those who maybe aren’t aware of what has been going on, and to enhance the knowledge of those who may be more familiar. Those reading the tweets, or attending the protests. The students here at UNL who attended the rally here on campus would be a part of the rhetorical audience. These individuals who can act as mediators of change in the issue.
As for the constraints involved, our current President, Donald J. Trump, has repeatedly expressed hostility toward the group and their movement during his campaign. As well as his potential cuts of DACA and the Affordable Care Act which would both heavily impact the black community. Law enforcement officials have also critiqued the group, calling them a terrorist group and questioning the statistics they publicize. They have been accused of racism, sexism, and negative influences. These actions limit decisions and actions that could have potentially made by the group.
The groups appeal to ethics comes from its three founders. Each woman being very established in their activism, and well educated on human rights. Their credibility in itself can be very persuasive. Pathos is emphasized throughout their entire campaign. The movement is to bring awareness to mistreatment, to a specific group of individuals. I believe that is how the movement is still functioning efficiently, because it generates such a strong emotional response. Logos works right along with that reasoning. It is logical to stand up against unfairness. It seems like the right thing to do for many of us who are actually effected by the reasons the movement even started. Each of these components works together to activate the processes of social change(s).