Black Lives Matter Research Essay Example

Rioting and protesting have been known to be extremely controversial topics throughout history, however, when forming an opinion on the issue, all sides need to be taken into consideration. In Glenn Beck’s article, Empathy for Black Lives Matter, Beck speaks about the Black Lives Matter protests and relates them to the importance of understanding and empathizing with one another. He explains that we have much more that unites us than divides us, and we must come together and stand as a whole nation, in light of our current division. Glenn Beck effectively forms a persuading argument in his article through the appropriate use of rhetorical devices, such as diction and rhetorical questions, as well as the rhetorical appeals, Ethos and Pathos.

Glenn Beck successfully uses rhetorical devices—including diction, and rhetorical questions— throughout his article, to persuade his audience. Beck introduces his article by summarizing a speech he delivered about acknowledging each side of the Black Lives Matter protests; the public negatively reacted to this idea. He writes, “I thought this was a simple idea, but the criticism was immediate and sharp” (Beck 1). Beck provides strong, loaded diction by using words like “criticism”, “immediate”, and “sharp” to emphasize and accurately convey the public’s harsh backlash. This also helps the author support his argument that we currently have a significant division between each other, due to our incapability to understand each other’s beliefs, making for an effective use of diction. Beck includes another strong use of diction when describing the Black Lives Matter believers he had met. He expresses, “These individuals are decent, hardworking, patriotic Americans” (Beck 9). The author adequately utilizes diction to create a positive view of Black Lives Matter supporters by choosing the words “decent”, “hardworking”, and “patriotic” to illustrate them. Because this choice of diction paints them in a positive light with many admirable, American ideals, it also helps support Beck’s idea of relating to and understanding one another. An additional rhetorical device the author includes is the rhetorical question. When discussing the problematic divide between Americans, Beck poses a rhetorical question. He asks, “We don’t agree on everything, certainly not on politics; but are we not more than politics?” (Beck 9). By asking the reader a question, it requires deeper thinking and engagement. To add, this also aids the author, as the rhetoric of the question allows for control of the reader’s thoughts and opinions, which is extremely effective for deliberate persuasion. 

Apart from rhetorical devices, Glenn Beck successfully uses rhetorical appeals throughout his article, primarily focusing on Ethos and Pathos. When reflecting on the many Black Lives Matter believers he had personally met and interviewed, Glenn efficiently combines both Ethos and Pathos appeals to appeal to the reader and persuade them of his argument. He states, “They are black Americans who feel disenfranchised and aggrieved; they are believers; they are my neighbors and my fellow citizens” (Beck 9). Beck includes a Pathos appeal by describing black Americans as feeling “disenfranchised and aggrieved”. These specific words are deliberately chosen to evoke emotion and empathy in the reader, therefore making this an effective use of the Pathos rhetorical appeal. The second half of the quote includes an Ethos appeal. When Beck says black Americans are “my neighbors and my fellow citizens”, he creates a sense of community and relation to the reader, making for sufficient use of an Ethos appeal. Beck continues using appeals when discussing the meaning and importance of empathy. He explains, “Empathy is acknowledging someone else’s pain and anger while feeling for them as human beings — even, and maybe especially, when we don’t necessarily agree or understand them” (Beck 10). Beck successfully uses a Pathos appeal to accentuate his point of understanding one another, by appealing to the reader’s emotion and humanity. He focuses on emotions like pain and anger— universal, negative emotions— and uses these evoked feelings to display the similarities we have among each other as people, further supporting his argument. Approaching the end of his article, Beck uses an Ethos appeal a final time. He expresses, “America, and the world, has one path to “united we stand and divided we fall” (Beck 13). By using the pronoun “we”, a sense of connection between the reader, the author, and every American is created. In light of the quote’s content, by doing so, the reader is able to understand the importance of unity, which is one of the author’s main goals. 

After analyzing Glenn Beck’s article, one can conclude it is extremely important to use rhetorical devices and appeals when constructing an effective, persuasive argument. By using rhetorical appeals, like Ethos and Pathos, authors are able to personally connect with the reader and his or her emotions, aiding the author’s persuasion. Additionally, including rhetorical devices, such as diction and rhetorical questions, have also proven to be effective ways of persuasion, considering the author can control an aspect of the reader’s thoughts and opinions. Comprehensively, Glenn Beck utilizes a variety of rhetorical devices in his article, Empathy for Black Lives Matter, which has resulted in a successful, persuasive argument.


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