Rhetorical Analysis Of Carl Hart's The Real Opioid Emergency '

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In Carl L. Hart’s “The Real Opioid Emergency,” Hart points out to his readers an important issue connected to opioid abuse and treatment. In light of rising awareness of opioid abuse, Hart expresses in a The New York Times article that there has historically been racism in the difference white and black drug abusers are treated. Carl Hart is speaking from multiple positions of experience. He is an African-American professor of neuroscience and psychology at Columbia University, where he is known for his research in drug abuse and drug addictions. Additionally, Hart speaks from second-hand experience, which he is quick to point out in the article. Within the first paragraph, he speaks of his “90-minute
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He gives heavy claims and statistics throughout his article, using the rhetorical appeal logos. Hart claims that in the late 1980’s the “majority of crack users were white” and “most drug users buy their drugs from dealers within their own racial group.” While Hart certainly expresses these statements confidently, he does not support them with statistics or sources. It is difficult to believe that the majority of drug users in the crack epidemic of the late 1980’s were white when this issue was felt by numerous black individuals in the inner cities. Hart hopes to persuade his audience to believe him with these passionate, strong statements but fails to provide support for these claims. However, there are points that Hart gives specific statistics and numbers. For example, Hart states “more than 80 percent of those convicted of heroin trafficking are black or Latino, although all racial groups buy drugs at roughly the same rate” (Hart). Yes, this is a convincing statement that supports Hart’s argument, however, there are no sources to rearticulate it. There are multiple instances of this being the case, unfortunately, the only evidence to back his statements is a link within his article to another publication. As a result, while Hart’s use of logos may appear strong at first, it is difficult to check his facts and see the depth of his…show more content…
Who better to speak on this issue than a very intelligent African-American professor at a nationally acclaimed university who also devotes his time to speak with individuals at a correctional facility about drug and behavior course. Unfortunately, I was not satisfied with the credibility he portrayed. Outside of the first and last paragraphs, Hart does not mention his personal connection to the issue, so his audience is left to believe that the information he lays out is based on research. However, Hart does not cite multiple and fails to prove himself as an entirely believable author. After further investigation, one can learn Hart’s impressive credentials, but is a professor of neuroscience and psychology necessarily qualified to be outlining the apparent racism attached to drug abuse? I felt this was a definite weakness in his article. I personally wanted to agree with him and felt compelled to through his claims, statistics, and passionate rhetoric, but his lack of sources and support certainly weaken his argument. Especially in an article where some of his claims seem spotty, Hart should feel pushed to give effective evidence. The only reason I can think for the lack of sources is that Hart wanted to make his article more personal, instead of just another statistical, history sheet. If this was the case, I would feel further persuaded if he could have expressed himself and actually
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