A Rhetorical Analysis Of Speech By Stokely Carmichael

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Stokely Carmichael's speech made (makes?) lots of white people uncomfortable. With respect to his end goal, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Why?

What particularly struck me about Carmichael’s speech is how easily it demonstrates that the conversation and progress surrounding race relations in the United States has stalled. Certainly there has been a renewed focus on race as a prominent national issue, but it baffles me that Carmichael’s speech would effortlessly fit into the national dialogue that exists today. Some of the references to the Vietnam War and the leaders of the time such as Kennedy and Johnson date the piece, but it certainly isn’t hard to think of modern day analogues that could be easily substituted.

The fact that Carmichael’s speech seems to fit into our modern day national dialogue only suggests to me that it not only did it make many white people of the time uncomfortable, it most likely
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All of his points speak an undeniable truth about the founding of the United States and its divisive history with an incredible amount of clarity and depth for a single speech. However, I wonder whether some of the rhetoric he utilizes may have in fact been counter productive. Certainly his words are a rallying call for the Black community and helped to inspire generations to come out and lend their support to the cause of equality. However, I do wonder if this instead came at the cost of opening the minds of the white community. Perhaps extreme rhetoric instead pushed the white community away and reinforced their racist notions. I’m not sure that it would even be possible to write a speech that achieves such a goal, but I do know that people tend to act irrationally and close themselves off in response to a perceived threat. Perhaps in calling out the hypocrisy of the white community and dismantling it Carmichael instead strengthened it in the face of a common enemy and hardened their
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