Rhetorical Situation for Robert F. Kennedy, “Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.” Robert F. Kennedy’s speech came shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, JR. Kennedy nor the police were prepared for the delivery of this speech. In fact, police were not able to provide the typical protection that is provided for political events. The occasion of this speech was in a ghetto in Indianapolis. Kennedy’s audience included, “…a mixed Negro and White crowd over 1000 persons” (Anatol and Bittner, “ Kennedy On King: The Rhetoric of Control”). According to Anatol and Bittner, a “...Negro band was playing on the speaker’s platform”. Kennedy did not have a lot of time to prepare for his speech. He wanted to provide a speech that addressed the assassination of MLK while also providing some type of comfort to his audience. During a racially tense time, he had to make sure his message was understood by both blacks and whites. The overall delivery of his speech was fitting for the occasion and audience. The audience was heterogeneous. It was a very diverse audience. I think that audience culture greatly affected Kennedy’s rhetorical choices. Kennedy’s race was a constraint to him as he was a white man speaking to mostly black people. The blacks in the audience may not have been as open to receive Kennedy’s message because they may have felt he doesn’t understand because he is not the same as them. Kennedy attempted to alleviate this barrier by stating, “For those of you who are black and are tempted to fill with -- be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white
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- Spring '08
- Comfort Women Cas 100c