On August 28, 2015, Harris County Deputy, Darren Goforth, was gunned down at a gas station while pumping gas into his patrol car. On September 22, 2015, two very different groups converged on the Texas State Capitol. Those two groups were a black lives matter group and a police lives matter group. They were on two different sides of the capitol but the black lives matter group observed moments of silence for the police lives matter group as they gathered on the steps of the capitol to pray and recite the pledge of allegiance. The protest had a recipe for disaster but both groups remained peaceful. Each group had speakers but the reason the protestors were there shadowed the speakers. Austin Police Chief, Art Acevedo, won applause when he told the pro-police crowd that most of the 800,000 police officers in the United States would finish their careers without ever firing a shot, but that would go unnoticed by the public. In the same breath he said, those officers who break the law must be held accountable.
The speakers showed the rhetorical strategy known as virtue. That means the speaker shares the same values as the group they are speaking to. By being peaceful, they showed good decorum. Decorum is when the audience expects you to act a certain way. With this being a hot topic right now, certain speakers can invoke pathos. These protestors are feeling a lot of different emotions. That is why they are out protesting for a cause they believe is right needs to change.
In Heinrich’s Thank You For Arguing (TYFA), he explains decorum as the audience expecting you to act a certain way. The audience is the United States and the speaker are the two groups that are protesting. This is a very heated topic in today’s society. It had all the makings to turn into a riot but it did not and that is what the country expected. Each group had their own agenda and that did not include violence. The police lives matter group gave out wristbands, blue heart shaped stickers, and held up signs that displayed the names of fallen officers from the past.
The black lives matter group held up signs such as "White Silence = Violence," "I Can't Breathe," "I'm Not Against Police Brutality, I'm Against Police." Some of the protestors covered their faces saying that “these fascists infiltrate these rallies and take pictures and that problems are created for the protestors." Two officers were under a tree on the black lives matter group side and the two officers said that they could not have been more pleased with how the protest was taking place. Austin Police Officer Scott Truho said, "The older I get the more tolerant I get, as long as nobody gets hurt. This is Austin. This is wonderful. This is democracy. I love it" .
The fact that it did not turn violent and that the protestors were able to use their first amendment right shows that this protest was a success and used good decorum. Heinrichs says that decorum is “do as I do and do as I do.” These two showed that you can protest without burning down buildings, looting, and hurting people.
Each speaker also used the strategy of virtue. They spoke for the cause they believe in. Police lives matter group had the Austin Police Chief speak along with some other important figures in the community. They handed out little goodies and held up signs. The black lives matter group did not have one particular speaker but they had drums and walked around with different signs. One mom brought her son and said she planned on taking her son to a “Justice Or Else” rally in Washington, DC" It's scary as a black parent. You teach your children to do all the right things when dealing with the police, and horrible things still happen," said the woman.
The woman declined to give her name. Heinrichs says that virtue is branch off of ethos. Ethos targets a person’s character and that is what both these movements do. It attacks a person’s character by saying you are okay with innocent African Americans getting killed by racist white police officers. The police lives matter movement uses it by saying you are okay with men with families that are just doing their jobs to be killed. That is why when people speak on these matters they have to care about them so that they can give a good speech and make the people believe in what they are protesting for. That is virtue.
Lastly, each group uses pathos to get to their audiences. They get specific speakers to invoke emotion to help their cause. Like for the police lives matter, they got the Austin Police Chief to speak along with retired officers. They held up signs, gave out little goodies, and untied under one color. The black lives matter protestors beat drums and marched chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Heinrichs says that pathos is mostly getting the audience to sympathize with you. A lot of different emotions can do that and with all that has gone on the past few years, there is a lot emotion running high. That is why each group gets people to ignite that emotion for their specific cause.
Although that these two topics can get heated, these two groups proved that you can do it peacefully to get your point across. They used multiple different rhetorical strategies to get their audience behind them. They showed good decorum by not erupting in a riot. Each speaker showed virtue by showing knowledge in the topic they are speaking and showing passion. The groups showed pathos by just showing up and representing a cause they felt was worthy. They took different approaches and they both succeeded in their mission. These two groups showed that just because you disagree with someone, which does not mean you have to disrespect them.
I think that this author hit it right on the head with covering this protest and giving both sides. He did not seem bias in my opinion. He used quotes from both sides and had pictures from both sides.