Rhetorical Devices In The Ballot Or The Bullet

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In 1964, America was struggling with one of the largest and most controversial civil rights movements in the world. Malcolm X was an advocate for this movement and although he was a Muslim, he wanted people to look past religious differences in order to end segregation and racial discrimination in America. This is when he gave one of America’s greatest speeches named, “The Ballot or the Bullet.” Through examples of logical appeals, the redirection of anger, and forms of repetition, Malcolm X effectively convinces Black America to fight for racial, social, and economic equality by supporting the idea of Black Nationalism.
To begin, Malcolm X uses rhetorical devices such as repetition to show why Black America should push for racial and social
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One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. I 'm speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim.” Brother X uses the repetition of “America” and “victim” throughout the tenth paragraph of his speech. The reason he does this is to give the connection to Black Americans that they are victims in America. Victims of Americanism or the preconceived notion that in a democracy, everyone is socially equal. As he also uses the repetition of “22 million black people” to show his insight into black politics and his own credibility. Malcolm pushes his audience towards social equality by providing the ways black Americans are discriminated against. Malcolm X then says, “It was the black man 's vote that put the present administration in Washington, D.C. Your vote, your dumb vote, your ignorant vote, your wasted vote put in an administration in Washington, D.C., that has seen fit to pass every kind of legislation imaginable, saving you until last.” Malcolm X harshly blames black Americans for being so ignorant in the …show more content…
Malcolm X gives his own philosophy on the economy, “Why should white people be running the banks of our community? Why should the economy of our community be in the hands of the white man? Why?” This quote shows the use of rhetorical questions. By asking these questions he expects his audience to start believing in the idea that black Americans should have financial positions such as being bankers and shop-owners to support the black community. And to do this, Malcolm supports the re-education of black Americans so they can occupy higher paying jobs in the economy. The sentence structure of Malcolm X’s speech effectively involves his audience and this is seen through the use of rhetorical questions. Following his own philosophy on the economy, Malcolm X talks about the white man’s intentions, “They don 't try and eliminate an evil because it 's evil, or because it 's illegal, or because it 's immoral; they eliminate it only when it threatens their existence. So you 're wasting your time appealing to the moral conscience of a bankrupt man like Uncle Sam.” When talking about the white man’s intentions, Malcolm uses a repetition of adjectives to describe the white man’s intentions while also using allusion. The use of repetition in this quote discredits the white man for its actions against black America and characterizes them as

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