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On a mournful night on April 4, 1968, President Kennedy went to the podium and addressed the country announcing the death of one of the most iconic figures in United States civil rights history, Martin Luther King Jr. This speech told by Mr. Kennedy is significant as it was experienced in a tough moment for the public in the United States. Luther King led many civilians in a fight against racial prejudice, and he became really significant throughout the years. On the speech, President Kennedy wanted to create comfort and asks his public to continue the peace between races (black and white) Luther King had already established.
At the start of the speech, Kennedy prepares the audience to create awareness that he was about to inform some unfortunate news.
It is apparent that the audience in the speech are the mourners who are determined by the fact that the introduction of the speech talks about the sad news that they were to receive.
As I already said, these people were already prepared for the sad news they were about to receive. The demographics consisted of a really high population as Luther was really important and popular in the public. This population comprised of both blacks and whites whose Martin Luther King was fighting for their freedom. The culture of the people in America was racism in which the whites in the country discriminated the black people and how the black people were denied freedom (Paul, 2012). The demographics of the audience play a significant role in the rhetorical choices of Kennedy in the speech.
Kennedy would use the rhetorical choices using the population available. If the phrase is to address the whites on keeping peace and the blacks on accepting each other in the society, he would wisely choose the rhetoric.
The culture of the country was the discrimination of the white people which needed to be changed. This culture, therefore, needed Kennedy to have the right choice in rhetoric in convincing people on how to live without hatred and the mistrust that had built among the individuals in the society. The violence in society was meant to be replaced with love and compassion from the individuals. The speech of Kennedy had to address the issue on the culture that needed people to change the perspective (Paul, 2012). In his speech, he discussed how both whites and blacks should live together as one and each race to accept the culture of the other group. The psychology of the audience also plays a major role in the speech when Mr. Kennedy identifies what the people needed to hear. He identifies that his audience are expecting sad news and the eulogy, therefore, had to address what the deceased was doing before he died. He says, that the white and the black needed to live together and to improve the quality of life and justice to prevail just as Luther King wanted it to be.
In every speech that is given, especially on occasion like the one Kennedy Robert attended, time is very scarce, and it needs to be managed wisely. In his speech, Kennedy ensured that his time was well managed and that the message that he meant to deliver was delivered efficiently (Robert, 1968). However, the audience was left with no clear understanding of what message to accept from the speech given. They expected to hear a mourning message about the assassination, but instead, they were faced with a speech about peace and living together. Kennedy believes that the United States needs to live in harmony with all the people in the society living as one with love and compassion (Robert, 1968). According to him, Luther King was after peace, and so was Kennedy. It is evident what the message in the speech was, and that is that the country needed to live peacefully as one people.
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