Links to rhetorical tools:

Here are links to the rhetorical tools used in this class:

Schemes & Tropes -- Perelman & Olbrechts-Tyteca -- Fallacies

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blm Final Paper

Is The BLM movement Becoming PETA
For this Analysis of the Black Lives Matter movement, I will be using three sources to create the argument. My argument is that the black lives matter movement is only operating as it was originally intended to operate when there is a death of an innocent African American. And between the time that a Black life is taken and the next incident, when the dust settles and the Black lives matter movement has stagnated and the Black Lives Matter movement focuses more on black empowerment by using art to illustrate African American empowerment and keep the Black Lives matter community engaged to keep the movement semi relevant.  But between these events, this movement changes into an artistic movement, and this shows a lack of goal in the movement. Also, the lack of unity in this movement will also contribute to the demise of this movement. But there is a possibility that this movement will never die. I say this because, as long as there is case where an innocent black life is taken by a police. the Black Lives Matter movement will be there to make police brutality an issue in main stream media the same way Peta did with Cecil the Lion case and the Harambe case a few years back. And I would even go as far as saying that the Black Lives Matter movement will soon operate in the same way that Peta does. In the sense that they will remain relevant as long that there is an animal being mistreated but with Black Lives matter it remain as long as there is racism in the united states. And Maybe Black Lives Matter will become an organization like the NAACP and shift its focus from art to help the African American community. To create this argument, I have observed the Black Lives Matter Instagram page, A National Public Radio interview with the founders of the Black Lives matter movement and a you tube video of the famous rapper Lil Wayne and his views on the movement.
            The first piece of media that I will analyses is an interview the Grammy winning, world famous Hip-Hop/Rap Artist Dewayne Carter AKA Lil Wayne. In this specific interview, Lil Wayne Stated that he as a black Hip Hop artist does not connect with Black Lives Matter Movement. After this interview was released Lil Wayne immediately received a lot of back lash from the African American Community along with a lot of other Artist in the industry and this created a lot of buzz in the media. I believe that the media and the African American community responded the way that they did was because Lil Wayne is an influential artist. And to have someone in that position to discredit a Movement that is so meaningful to people like Lil Wayne makes a huge statement about the movement itself. In a way, it is like Mark Hammel liking the Star Wars prequels more than the original trilogy. In a way, I see this as the Black lives matter movement losing a spokesperson. Because believe it or not any famous hip hop artist does have a lot of influence in the African American youth as well as Caucasian youth and Latino youth. And to have someone as powerful as Lil Wayne say that he does not affiliate with the Black Lives matter movement is a major blow to the movement as a whole. Because the Black Lives Matter movement does not have an official spokesperson, the people look to African Amaerican celebrities with power and influence to endorse the movement. In movies, people look for protagonist or heroes, in the civil rights the hero was Dr. King. But for the Black Lives Matter Movement, there is no Hero so the people look where ever they can to find a person with celebrity status and influence to lead them. I do not think the Black Lives matter movement was looking for Wayne to be a spokesperson but they were looking for him to endorse the movement otherwise the journalist would have never asked for is opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement. To be specific Lil Wayne’s Argument is very vague and unconvincing. But there is can be an analysis that can on both sides of the interview. In a way media, does feed the Black Lives Matter movement. And this interview video clip is edited to make Lil Wayne look like a villain because he does not support the Black Lives Matter Movement. A main argument that the video makes is that Lil Wayne celebrity has made Lil Wayne blind to racism. And I quote “ His celebrity status has clearly shaped his perspective.” Then the Video shows Lil Wayne on ESPN saying that he does not see racism. The video starts by introducing Wayne as a rapper. It is as if they assume that the audience does not already know who lil Wayne is. Then the video starts attacking the rapper by calling him out on the negative messages in his music, talking about the time that he spent in jail, exposing his relationship with drugs and finally showing his true feeling about racism in America. Then when Lil Wayne is fed up with the media attacking him he ends the interview and the host of the show makes fun of Wayne saying that “Really, A man who makes his living using offensive language, is offended by a question?” I don’t know why the media took this approach in this interview. But there is a possibility that they were trying to discredit Lil Wayne so that his opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement is not as valuable. To me, it seems like abc Nightline is making a red hearing argument. By showing a lot of information about Wayne’s nontraditional life style this distracts us from the real reason for the interview ( to discusses the Black Lives Matter Movement. Because the majority of wat is shown in this interview is not about the black Lives matter, but about Lil Wayne’s personal life and his music. And by attacking him on those subjects rather than his opinion on Black Lives Matter does reflect the stray man fallacy.  I would say that this attack on Wayne’s life can also fall under the ad Hominem because they are saying that Lil Wayne’s opinion does not matter because he uses explicate lyrics in his music. To the other side of the of the Interview Lil Wayne main argument to where as to why he does not affiliate with the Black Live Matter Movement is because he has white fans. And I quote” I thought that clearly was a message that there is no such thing as racism” he also says later in the clip “ apparently young black rich nigga, if that don’t let you know that American understand Black lives matter these days, I don’t know what it is” I say that this is an hasty generalization because just because you have white fans does not mean that racism is a dead also in this argument he says the he represents every black person but in reality not every African American  is as blessed. I would also say that Lil wayne falls under the appeal to ignorance fallacy because It seems like Wayne did not want to acknowledge racism because he lives his lavish lifestyle because of white people. Also, there is a red herring when he says his allegiance is to his flag. By doing this he is distracting the whole interview away from this topic that he is not interested in.

The next piece of media I will analyses is a national public radio segment with the NPR staff member and the three founders of the Black Lives Matter Movement. This interview takes place pretty much immediately after the Dallas shooting that took place last summer. The agenda for this NPR is to basically issue a statemen on the nature of the Black Lives Matter movement. Immediately after the shooting, there were some people calling it a terrorist movement because a man took the lives of police in the name of Black Lives Matter movement. And this event without a doubt shaped the movement at the time. From his interview, it seems that the three leaders are not tainted by the recent event of the killing of the five police officers. Instead, they focus on the positive aspects of the movement, Like the fact that people were still marching in the name of Black Lives Matter movement. When ask about how the Black Lives Matter movement is hostel towards police offices she used a red herring argument to shift the attention of the question towards the hostility in black communities. To me, it seems like she is justifying the events in Dallas because of other events that have happened using a Post Hoc fallacy. I would not say that this is a good argument because the killing of the five police officers was a pre-meditated event and the events that happened in Ferguson were not. All three founders agree that what happened in Dallas was a tragedy. She says “I speak for all three of us” but her teammate right before her in response to her collogues Post Hoc argument. The next set of question focuses mostly on how the movement has changed culturally and the policies of the united states. And the response to this is that the cultural has change the most both in the united states and globally. And they say the cultural change is equally as important as the policies change. The next question is very interesting because NPR ask them to respond to all lives matter.  they responded that the all lives matter is a aspiration of movement that will be a result from black lives matter. I would say that they are redefining to phrase so that if fit s into their movement. This falls under the No True Scotsman Fallacy because to people outside the Black Live Matter movement this phrase is not an aspiration but a reality of the world. The last question is the most jarring because it says a lot about the leadership of the movement. They are asked what is one tangible thing that they would like to see. And each of the founders has a different answer. This show me that there is no common interest in this movement. One of the founders wanted to defund a police department and the other wanted a more cultural movement. From this interview, it seems that this movement does not have any real direction. I would say that the founders of this movement are more fall under leaders as organizers because they maintain the social media aspect of the movement. Which is totally fine because social media is where voices are heard in this era of social movements. I would say that a key component to this movement is its ability to adapt to events. In this NPR report, this was just days after the Dallas shooting. And with the Black Lives Matter Movement, there is no unified goal it makes it really easy to adapt to events because there is no agenda. Also, there is no mix of leadership attributes in this movement. From this dialogue between the leaders, there was no one person who identified themselves as the leader and they all had pretty much the same characteristics. So if I had any influence in this movement I would find a Katniss Everdeen for the Black Lives Matter movement and put a face to the BLM movement. This would add the leader as a symbol to this movement that the people have been looking for. Just like Dr. King was to the civil rights movement or like Malcome X was to the black Panthers.  Also, I would not wait around for a tragedy to happen to become relevant. If this movement is to succeed there has to be a constant plan to reach their goals. But to do that they first have to identify a common goal or there will never be any this accomplished.  A main topic of this article was the paradigm shift. And the founders talk about how the Dallas shooting does change the movement but it seem that it does not change there goals for the Black Lives Matter Movement. And to me, this is another effect of lack of ability to adapt. Because to me, it seemed that the only thing the founders got out of the event was that it was bad but they praised the fact that people are still marching. To me, they should have totally condemned the actions that took place and changed the goals of the movement as a whole to have a more peaceful plan to get what they want. So If there are no changes to this movement the movement will become Peta and only be relevant when a Harambe or Cecil incident happens. In fact, Peta can be a good role model for the Black Lives Matter movement because at least Peta has a common goal, they have major influence in the animal rights movement and they are still a powerful force in the media.
The last piece of media I will be observing is the Black Lives Matter Instagram page. Instagram is an interesting outlet because you can only post pictures to Instagram. And there is only few ways of user engagement in this platform. You can either like, comment or share a photo. This platform is used for only used to engage it the Instagram users who actively fallow the page, from what I see on this page there is a lot of are pieces that reflect black excellence. It comes to no surprise that this is how the page operates. The rest of the contents on this page are still pictures of how people all over the county are participating in the movement, From marching to going to brazil to study how black youth are marginalized. To analyze the Instagram page I will chose three different pictures that contrast and see if there is any implicit messages that they the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to create. The first Image I will analyze is an image of protester with a shit that say “Love Is Love & Water is Life & Black Lives Mater & No Muslim Registry & Trans is beautiful & Immigrants make America Great And Woman’s Right” the rest of the shirts text is not in the photograph. But form what we can see in the image there is a lot of parallelism between each of the phrase. Basically, this shirt has all the liberal ideologies that democrats stand up for socially. The print is in a bold block text as if the shirt is trying to make a statement. Also, the print is white on a black cloth I’m sure this was done to make a statement. This image is meant to look very candid as if we are in the moment. And in the image, there are surprisingly no black people only Latino and Caucasian. Maybe an argument can be made that the Black Lives Matter Movement is not just a movement for the African American community. The next picture is an illustration of a statue of a fist being built. This fist is a symbol for black empowerment and was made famous by the Black Panthers in the 1960’s. The is a large contrast between the colors on in the composition. The Fist is Brown on a whit back grown. I would say that the fist and the people building the fist are the two man subjects of this piece. The people building the fist are all African American. This was defiantly done intentionally. Unlike the last picture, this piece is very black because the workers building the fist are black. To me, this picture is telling me that the Black Community has to rise up and build what they want in the future. Also, there is text in this composition it read “#BlacklivesMatter”. The text is very similar to Times New Roman. All the letters are capitalized, there are no spaces and the text is very small. This was done by the artist to not distract from the rest of the piece of art. The Last image I would like to analyze is actually a group of images that are all essentially the same. These images were the first images that the movement very posted on the Instagram. These images were all taken in the wake of the death of Michael Brown. This is probably the only time where all the images on the Instagram page had a common theme. These images were all about the Ferguson community uniting. Most of these photos are of people protesting some of them are of memorial services to honor Michael Brown. All these photos are candid and taken on sight. To me, this shows a dramatic shift in the use of social media. When the platform was first used it was used only as a outlet to show what was happening in Ferguson ten it evolved in to something totally different as time passed. From this, you can see how the movement was just about social injustice and now you see a wave of expressionism that coexist with original intentions of the movement. There is now a Black Lives Matter Culture that has swept social media. Like what one of the founders said the culture aspect of the movement is just as important as the policies to this movement.
  If I can make an argument from the Mash up articles and the BLM movement. This movement can learn a lot for the mash up assignment written about the Mothers in south America protested to get their children back from the Government. Even though all the mothers know that their children were did they still protested to make a point and that is what the BLM movement is  trying to do with their movement. They are just trying to make a point. One of the main differences between this movement and the BLM movement is that the mothers were actively perusing their agenda and also their movement was a lot more linear in the way that there was not an artistic shift in the movement.
So from these three pieces of media, I have concluded that The Black Lives Matter movement will operate and function the same way that peta does now. Simply because there is no common realistic goal. For Peta, their goal is to stop all animal brutality, which will never happen. For the Black Lives Matter movement, their goal is to stop racism and police brutality. There are too many similarities between the two movements to say otherwise. The both have an artistic movement for peta they have stage like demonstrations and for Black Lives Matter, there is an online artistic movement. They both become super active in the wake of a tragedy. They make the victims of each tragedy a symbol for a movement. For peta, there was Harambe and Cecil. For the Black Lives Matter movement, there is Travon Martin and Michael Brown. Both there Instagram pages operate basically the same. They both make money for selling merchandise and through donations. Even if in the future the Black Lives Matter Movement does operate the same as peta I would say that the Black Lives Matter will be successful. The only this that Peta does better than the Black Lives Matter movement is in regards of leadership. But I do think in time that the Black Lives Matter will get there.

                                                                               Work Cited

ABCNews. "Lil Wayne on Black Lives Matter | FULL INTERVIEW | Nightline." YouTube. YouTube, 02 Nov. 2016. Web. 10 May 2017.
Staff, NPR. "Black Lives Matter Founders Describe 'Paradigm Shift' In The Movement." NPR. NPR, 13 July 2016. Web. 10 May 2017.
 "Black Lives Matter (@blklivesmatter) • Instagram Photos and Videos." Instagram. BLM, n.d. Web. 10 May 2017.

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