Remarks Against Violence From Another Assassinated Man

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was gunned down in Memphis. 450 miles north, than U.S. Senator –and presidential hopeful– Robert Kennedy took to a podium mounted atop the back of a flatbed truck, and broke the news of King’s death to the 5,000 democratic supporters who gathered there for Senator Kennedy’s campaign rally. He spoke for less than five minutes, his words were ad-libbed and they were riveting. Indianapolis didn’t contribute to the anger that every other major city in America was raging for.

Riots and repentance. Kennedy and his political machine traveled overnight from Indianapolis to his next campaign stop in Cleveland. The very next morning he waived the politicality associated with his rally there.

Instead he gave a Ten-minute speech entitled On the Mindless Menace of Violence. It was illustrious. Journalist, David Halberstam, considered it ‘perhaps the best speech of the campaign, perhaps the best speech of his life.” Kennedy used a powerful dialogue and alluring voice to castigate violence in society.

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His usage of the Rhetorical triangle –the appeal(s) to ethics, logic, and emotion– made it one of the greatest speeches in American History. It’s ashamed he was murdered Sixty-Three days later. Ethos is the appeal to reason, and is used as a means of convincing the audience that the author is persuasive and has credibility, Mr. Kennedy does this in a variety of ways.

Chief amongst them is his rhetorical allusions to the past, ‘Among free men,’ said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.

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’ Here Kennedy is appealing to protestors, rioters, and the status quo whites, to call upon themselves to move forward toward the next logical step of peace. He brings to the table credibility in word choice, as he choose quotations from President Lincoln in an effort to calm the swelling seas of division and hatred across America. Another aspect that history will overlook is that Kennedy opens by dismissing his own political position and ambition as a presidential candidate and emphasizing the situation at hand. “This is a time of shame and sorrow.

It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity to speak briefly to you about this mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.” In waiving the political reasoning why they are there, Kennedy is free to continue speaking on the Violence in America and protects himself from criticisms that could claim he was only speaking to advance his chances toward the presidency. Upon the completion of the speech, Kennedy made good on his promise to keep it short, and retired to his hotel room having only spoke out against violence and not for himself. Pathos or the emotional appeal in convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response to an impassioned plea or a convincing story.

“We seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity… We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non violence abroad fail to practice it here at home.” Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them. (Kennedy) This rhetoric encourages personal responsibility and self reflection toward all Americans regardless of color or creed. It reaffirms the necessities of peace and discourages acting out just to boost oneself. The call goes out to any American whom will listen.

Logos or the appeal logic is the way of persuading in audience through facts and reasoning, already Kennedy has persuaded with emotional appeal, however there are particular moments where the appeals go even deeper. Where they flow logically into the reasoning(s) behind all things. “For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.”

This ebb and flow of conversation allows for the majority of listeners to be painted a logical picture and empathize within their own minds the living situations of Millions of everyday Americans. It allows for people to come together in great understanding over why the times are so troubling. The usage of a powerful dialogue and gave way to one of the greatest speeches in American history. Kennedy perfectly utilized all elements of the Rhetorical triangle appealing to ethics, logic, and emotion. The challenges before us are great. So is our capacity to address them.

To do so, we must reject false distinctions that separate us from those with whom we share this brief moment of life. Moreover, we must learn, in Kennedy’s words, “to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all.” Doing so imperative. As the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others”  Robert Kennedy looked inward to give strength and guidance in a perfectional usage of rhetoric on April 5, 1968. Sixty-three days later upon winning the California democratic primary Kennedy was gunned down by a palestinian national on his way through a hotel kitchen to reach his limousine. America again lost its voice of logical reasoning and astoundingly astute rhetoric.

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Remarks Against Violence From Another Assassinated Man. (2022, Jan 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/remarks-against-violence-from-another-assassinated-man-essay

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