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William Lloyd Garrison Rhetorical Analysis

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William Lloyd Garrison was a white abolitionist in colonial America, and whose most well known exploit was running the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator. He was also one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Though Garrison’s abolitionist efforts were certainly admirable and impactful, much of the logic and rationale that he used when appealing to the white public for emancipation used the same racist beliefs about enslaved black people that led to their enslavement in the first place. Because of his arguments’ foundation in the basic racist belief in black inferiority, Garrison’s appeals for emancipation and his methods for inspiring the white public to abolitionism were unattractive to black abolitionists, and as a consequence,…show more content…
In the preface that he wrote to black abolitionist Frederick Douglass’s autobiography The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, he wrote how enslaved black people were subpar, and yet, as he stressed, they were ‘amazingly’ also capable of the same intellectual feats as white people, albeit with some assistance and effort. Garrison’s acceptance of these ideas about black inferiority appealed to the white anti slavery public and helped his cause for immediate emancipation, but predictably, this rhetoric did not sit well with anti racists, since his depiction of the slave as ignorant and barbarous was clearly bigoted. The racism that was the undercurrent of all of Garrison’s arguments was obvious enough to Douglass, who stopped participating in Garrison’s antislavery lecture tour, where he had more of the function of an exhibit rather than a voice and a platform for his own philosophy. Though they had once worked side by side, Douglass changed course to run his own abolitionist newspaper, The North Star, through which he argued for emancipation on anti racist terms, which he was unable to do when working with Garrison. Their estrangement meant that there was a less unified endeavor for emancipation and equality, leading to less effective efforts on both their
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