Essays to Reflect Upon Literacy from this semester in Composition 1

A selection of articles of mine from this semester, categorized from the oldest to the most recent, is displayed below for your viewing pleasures. I hope you can see for yourself how I have expanded my knowledge and have grown as a writer.

Short Academic Response #1

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

15 March 2017

Short Academic Response #1

College degrees have always been the subject of great controversy. From the inflation of college tuition, to the rise of online courses and private universities; people bury themselves in the world of college academics. Having never stopped to think about how they got those “A”s they “earned” or how prepared they will actually be in the work force upon completing graduation. America’s academic system is slowly failing our future corporations by handing out “A”s to students who would otherwise have earned a “C” or failed altogether. All in order to continue to obtain decent enrollment numbers, make money, and give the demanding students and parents “what they think of as their money’s worth”. (Staples 1067) They have given the students to much power and influence over their grades and have rendered the professors powerless.

The degree that I am obtaining has the potential to help me stand out in the business sector, all while challenging my intellectual creativity and helping me use academics to make an impact within the workforce. If given the choice between two colleges who are the same across the board with only the standards that they hold their students to being the differing factor, I would without a doubt choose the college with the reputation for having rigorous academic standards over the college with the subpar free “A”, thanks for attending type of reputation. My reasons for such a decision are based off personal experience in the work force. I have personally worked alongside individuals with Bachelor’s degrees from major universities such as Notre Dame and Penn State who had no idea what they were doing with the exception of being able to make a power point and create an excel sheet. It’s very surprising to me how students can go through four years of college and graduate not even remotely prepared for the work force that lies ahead of them. Brent Staples made some very powerful statements and has some very influential view points, and I agree with every single one of them. I believe that if I am paying thousands of dollars for a degree that is suppose to enhance my career and propel me further, I expect my professors to make me earn it. I expect my professors and the curriculum that they teach to set me up for success and not leave me in debt in the future wondering why I attended college in the first place and being no further along in my career that I was before I began that journey. Brent Staples said “diplomas will become weaker and more ornamental as the years go by” (Staples 1067) Given the state of our universities and the culture within them, if vast changes aren’t made and standards aren’t raised, America’s workforce is in trouble.

Cites Worked

Staples, Brent. “Why Colleges Shower Their Students With A’s”. Everyone’s An Author,

2nd Edition, W.W. Norton and Company, 2017, New York and London.

Short Academic Response #2

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

21 March 2017

Electronic Relationships

Could you face someone you’ve never met and spark up a random conversation? How about connecting with a long lost cousin by dialing a number and calling them up on the phone? According to Sherry Turkle, that is an art form that is becoming more scarce by the second thanks to the world of technology and the internet. Peoples’ opinions of the internet can vary based on the demographic, location, culture and purpose of the citizens using it.

As with any great authors’ stance on a subject, you likewise need other authors to question and challenge the findings so we the reader, can come away with a better understanding of what the book truly meant. In 1995, Turkle wrote a book titled “Life on the Screen” and explained how she was optimistic concerning everything the internet and technology stood for and what it could potentially offer us. As time went by and the web grew into the chaos it is today, it seems her opinions on the matter have changed drastically. Jonah Lehrer elaborated on this when he wrote his article “We, Robots”. Lehrer dissected Turkles’ book “Alone Together” and offered insight into the vast majority of view-points in regards to the internet and technology itself. Turkle feels the internet is responsible for the destruction of the intimate form of communication amongst face to face individuals, while Lehrer presents a mixture of being neutral and disagreeing with her findings. His comment of “her ethnographic portraits would have benefited from a more probing investigation of such questions” (3) supports these claims.

Jonah Lehrer presented himself as someone that believes you shouldn’t draw a conclusion without first having investigated both sides of the picture. He accomplished this by not only providing a fair assessment of Turkles’ work by thoroughly elaborating on her findings, but by also communicating in detail, references from her own book. For instance, the quote from Turkles’ book, “invented ways of being with people that turn them into something close to robots” (2) suggests she dislikes “robots” altogether. Only upon doing so did he offer up his criterion for challenging her view point towards the web. He accomplished this by referencing a study from Michigan State University that claimed that the internet and sites such as Facebook and Tumbler benefited relationships more than it hurt them. He stated that it helped with self-esteem issues, intimacy, and friendships. A vast difference from Turkles’ views.

The internet in its entirety is a necessary evil that when used responsibly can enhance and blossom an individuals’ knowledge and relationships. However, on the other end of that spectrum, it has the power to destroy ones’ life through theft, isolation, negativity such as comments, addictive and inappropriate items, among many other aspects. Turkle and Lehrer made many valid points supplementing one another’s work, showing us that the internet and robots are gifts afforded to us through human kinds genius, yet in the wrong hands can cause irreversible devastation.

Works Cited

Lehrer, Jonah, “We, Robots”, New York Times, New York Times Company, New York, NY.,


Turkle, Sherry, “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from

Eachother”, Basic Books, New York, NY., 2011

Short Academic Response #3

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

3 April 2017

The Real Story of Fitness

The worlds concept of fitness and what is attractive in terms of body size is as volatile and ever changing as the weather on the coast of Texas. Since the 1800’s, body size and the opinions as to what is deemed desired has changed dramatically and for some, not for the better. In the report ‘The Inner Corset’, written by Laura Frasier, the explanation of what image used to mean in the late 1800’s compared to today’s standards is outlined and explained in a well thought out, and sufficiently supported article. Frasier’s style of writing and using the history of the woman’s body type, their ideals of what is wanted by men, and what makes them feel beautiful, allows her to come across non-bias in her report and allow readers a more detailed depiction of what it was like before present day society. When utilizing the facts of various writers, magazines, and pictures, readers are given the chance to better understand things from both sides of the spectrum.

Everyone knows when writing a report on a controversial subject matter, it pays to do the research and obtain information from reputable sources. Laura Frasier achieved such an informative and educational article on the topic of body image by doing just that in the form of six different sources. Her integration of all the information she presents to readers, is done so by providing some background facts on that specific subject line, sharing a story, or an experience to set the audience up to better understand the quotes due to be given within the article from those sources. “While often pictured as a veritable Frankenstein, born of and breeding disease, sure to ride its processor to death sooner and later, is really a most harmless, healthful, innocent tissue” (Hutchinson, 1894, P.395), is just one of the quotes utilized by Frasier within her report. Frasier goes on to explain that contrary to growing popular belief; fat is not something to be ashamed of and is relatively common among vast majorities of women. (Frasier P. 776) Furthermore, she quotes Hutchinson again stating “The fat man tends to remain fat, the thin woman to stay thin-and both in perfect health-in spite of everything they can do”. Forcing the ideal that Hutchinson felt strongly about the fact that despite all efforts to be thin, only a small percent of diet will affect the individuals body size. As you embark further into her text, you find other sources such as notes from Margaret Mackenzie, an anthropologist, that states “the status symbols flipped, it became chic to be thin and all to ordinary to be overweight”, as well as quotes from authors Susan Sontag and Lord Byron. After presenting the two quotes, “For snobs and parvenus and social climbers, TB was the one index of being genteel, delicate, and sensitive.” written by Susan Sontag in her book ‘Illness as Metaphor’, and the quote from Lord Byron stating “A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be a lobster salad and champagne, the only truly feminine and becoming viands” (Schwartz, 1986, P. 38), the reader gets a bigger and clearer mental outline of both sides of the conversation and how vastly different many people felt about body image. Frasier’s integration was smooth and her resources very enlightening. Upon completion of reading Frasier’s article, the reader should have a better understanding of image, beauty and how far forward, or back, depending on the individuals outlook on it, that society has come.

Cites Worked

Frasier, Laura, “The Inner Corset”, : America’s Obsession with Weight and the Industry That

Feeds on It, New York, Dutton, 1997

Hutchinson, W., “Fat and Fashion”, The Saturday Evening Post, 1926, August 21

Schwartz, H., “Never Satisfied: A Culture History of Diets, Fantasies, and Fat”,

New York: The Free Press, 1986

Sontag, Susan, “Illness as Metaphor”, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1977

Short Academic Response #4

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

18 April 2017

Rhetorical Decisions

For the assignment pertaining to the Visual Rhetorical Analysis, I have chosen to complete my paper on the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union picture. Slavery is the ugliest part of the history of this great nation. The only topic to come in at a close second is the hatred and discrimination the African American’s endured following their “freedom” in 1863 with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King Jr. knew this and tattooed himself into the history books and the hearts of all African American’s with his “I Have a Dream” speech given on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.. Unfortunately, even within present day society, racism and stereotyping occurs on a daily basis by a wide range of people, up to and including the police officers of this great nation. I have chosen the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union picture because it signifies more than just the color of people’s skin. It signifies everything that the blacks have gone through to gain the freedom and rights that they have today. It offers intriguing insight into how African Americans still feel today as it pertains to the police and how they have been treated over the course of many decades by law enforcement. I find it worthy of analysis because this isn’t describing a problem that can be fixed by changing the design of car, or how a song is played, or even how big a young woman’s butt is in a Nike ad. This is a description of a problem that negatively alters good peoples’ lives daily, and has been known to historically create situations where African Americans lose their lives. The belief that blacks are more likely to commit a crime and should be stopped or investigated simply because of the color of their skin must change. What immediately jumped out at me from the ad was the familiar face of Martin Luther King Jr.. He is an icon in African American history and made a stand for every man, woman, and child whose skin was too dark for society to accept. Martin Luther King Jr. depicted next to the face of mass murderer Charles Manson is legitimate clarification that it is not what is visible on the outside that matters, it is what is inside that makes a person. For the purposes of my Visual Rhetorical Analysis essay I will be including a preliminary thesis statement for instructor approval immediately following this sentence. The contrasting faces of a black Martin Luther King Jr. and a white Charles Manson, coupled with the two men’s histories and the straight forward words at the bottom of the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union ad, communicates to audiences about the ongoing problems associated with the profiling of African Americans by police officers in the United States.

Harvesting Hate

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

31 March 2017

Harvesting Hate

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele’s report on Monsato’s history is an informative article that educates the reader on who the company of Monsanto is, the past from which they were built upon, and how they operate as a company. Some educative examples from the article that shed some light on the history of Monsanto are those relating to the original owner, the year of its creation, and how the original owner managed to create such a large company. Without Barlett and Steeles’ report, many people interested in the company would have otherwise never known that “Monsanto was founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear), that Monsanto was his “wife’s maiden name” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear), or that the one company that helped keep the original Monsanto in business by purchasing its goods was, “a new company out of Georgia named Coca-Cola” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear). Information such as those small details help interested readers get a sense of how far Monsanto has come within the industry and where the article is heading.

For some writers, it can be extremely difficult to keep readers’ attention when covering a dry subject such as agriculture or chemical plants. However, utilizing various stories of those directly influenced or affected by Monsanto, it keeps the audience engaged, learning, and leaves them feeling as if they have obtained new knowledge that they did not have prior to reading the report. The case of Nitro, a small town in West Virginia where an explosion of one of Monsanto’s chemical plants left a town covered in Dioxin and many citizens injured, is one example of how Barlett and Steele managed to keep readers engrossed within the article. That story of Nitro, along with the case of the PCB polluted waters and soil in Anniston, Alabama, and the case of the “Milk Wars” (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear) involving Jeff Kleinpeter, all help to keep the reader informed and interested in the topic of conversation. The most interesting of the previously mentioned subjects is that of the “Milk Wars” and how ruthless the milk industry is. The constant lawsuits and threats, coupled with the unrelenting attention focused on what is written on the outside of a milk carton, presents itself as baffling and over the top to any reader who takes the time to read the report.

Reports also need to corroborate the statements made within by the backing of evidence and to ensure the evidence given is convincing to the audience to whom they are writing to. Barlett and Steele achieved this by providing exact names, cities, dates, pictures, and even quoting witnesses themselves. Even without the assistance of graphs to relay certain information, the report still manages to inform and educate the readers from start to finish. However, by including graphs, Barlett and Steele could have illustrated the percentages of people affected by the pollution from Monsanto’s plants, or the number of people injured or diagnosed with cancer compared to today’s numbers from today’s chemical plants. This would have assisted in showing the severity of the accusations against Monsanto. They also could have shown the affects or differences between Kleinpeter and Monsanto as it pertains to milk sales and how the writing on the cartons influenced the numbers directly. Monsanto’s accusations on the subject could have had some clarity given the use of graphs. Clarity on subjects such as these can often sway readers into supporting one narrative or another.

Upon reading the article, readers will likely begin to pay closer attention to who produces the product or food and what is in it. Everyone wants to be cognizant about what they bring into their homes. Reading labels, and place of origin on all the products we consume as food or use as cleaners is a good place to start. The continued use of chemicals to process milk, meat, and vegetables, along with the genetic modification of many of the seeds used by farmers today, has prompted myself and many others to closely track what is put in the basket while at the local grocery store. Although, the evidence suggested by the FDA states there are no health concerns with the use of growth hormones, it is hard to trust the opinions of a foundation run by individuals that use to work with or for Monsanto. The saying “better safe than sorry”, applies here more so than any other situation. When it comes to your health, your children’s health, and the longevity and quality of life that is desired, throwing caution to the wind could potentially be a recipe for disaster.

Cites Worked

Donald L. Barlett & James B. Steele, “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear”,

Everyone’s an Author, 2nd Edition, W. W. NORTON AND COMPANY,

New York & London, 2016

Report Project

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

8 April 2017

Controversial Police Work

Since the 1970’s, the ideals of community policing have been evolving and actively implemented within departments across the U.S. and abroad. With tensions between police and citizens on the rise, departments were frantic to find a solution and engage the public on a more personal level in an effort to reduce the issues associated with the publics lack of trust for the police. “The proactive nature of community policing encourages officers to interact with citizens to address the needs and concerns of the community and find long term solutions to crime problems” (Glaser and Parker). The question as to whether or not it actually makes a positive impact within the relationships between the police and the general public still remains to be completely unanswered and continues to be the topic of many controversial conversations.

With the implementation of community policing gaining momentum into departments across the U.S., more and more studies are being performed to gain insight into the specific areas where community policing has had the most success, how it works, and why. The concept of community policing requires a more proactive approach from the officers themselves. Mark A. Glaser and Lee E. Parker stated that, “the proactive nature of community policing encourage officers to interact with citizens to address the needs and concerns of the community and find long term solutions to crime problems” (164). This means that officers would have to vacate the solitude of the police cruiser, and walk among, and visit with, the citizens they are sworn to protect. By building rapport with the numerous individuals they encounter on a day to day basis, the trust and confidence in the police from the public is expected to grow and prosper. Since the inception of community policing, data from the “Uniformed Crime Report (UCR)” has shown a decrease in crime on a national basis since the early 90’s (Glaser and Parker / FBI). It is said that community policing has had a profound impact on the fear of crime and the citizens’ overall happiness and trust of the police services. However, on the contrary, some professionals would lead you to believe that it would be impossible to ascertain that the decrease in crime was due to community policing alone. Research suggests that economic factors, jobs, and a recovering financial system within the country was to blame for the decrease in crime. “Generally, community policing without a clear focus on specific problems has not been found to be effective in preventing crime” (Sozer and Merlo). “These studies lacked a valid and reliable measure of program implementation and outcomes, and they consistently failed to address competing explanations for observed effect” (Sozer and Merlo). With research studies such as these remaining inconclusive, it leaves room for more intensive studies to be performed in the future as community policing continues to gain popularity across the nation.

Another aspect in need of consideration to gauge the effectiveness of community policing is that of time and money. Every city across the U.S. has budgets, and every budget has a specific allocation of the funds within it for not only manpower, but for equipment and extras as well. Community policing, although arguably effective, comes with costs that strain departments of resources and funding. With the present economy in shambles and still in recovery mode, many departments have downsized to cut costs. These types of cutbacks encompass the use of older equipment, longer shift hours, and dissatisfied, over worked, and unhappy officers. The more unhappy the officers on the street are, the less apt they will be to be fair in their decisions, and the eagerness to engage the public to build relationships will fade over time. These types of outlooks from the officers and citizens can and will cause turmoil within the community. Distrust and suspicion of the police has created multiple use of force situations and officer involved shootings that otherwise would not have happened had the citizen felt safer in the presence of the officer with whom they dealt. Andy Bain, Bryan K. Robinson, and Jim Conser noted that “people are far more likely to comply with local law enforcement agencies when they perceive the local service as legitimate and fair” (271). In order for the departments to justify allocating resources to engage the public on personal levels and see positive results, they must first ensure that the officers they are sending out to do the job of bridging that gap are in the correct frame of mind to do so.

Although the satisfaction among citizens with the police officers within their community has seen a rise with the implementation of the community policing ideals and philosophies, the data does not show it to have any effect on crime prevention in and of itself. Even though community policing variables from LEMAS data are, at best, a weak indicator of community policing, they are the only available national-level data on this issue (M.A. Sozer and A.V. Merlo). The research data shows community policing to in fact have no positive effect in lowering property and violent crime rates. Consequently, the more prevalent face to face contact between officers and the public becomes, the higher the chance of crimes being reported directly to the officer. That unfortunately is a catch 22 situation. On one side of the spectrum officers are building trusting and lasting relationships between law enforcement and the public. Yet on the opposite end of that, the percentage of crime goes up due to the newly revived willingness of the citizen to engage the officer and report those crimes. This makes the numbers contradict what many suggest about the data decreasing due to community policing. In contrast to the crime reduction expectation, community policing appears to be associated with higher crime rates (M.A. Sozer and A.V. Merlo). Given the information provided, the effect of community policing on crime rates has shown to be inconclusive.

Cites Worked

Bain, Andy, et al. "Perceptions of Policing: Improving Communication in Local Communities." International Journal of Police Science & Management, vol. 16, no. 4, Winter2014, pp. 267-276. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1350/ijps.2014.16.4.345.

Glaser, Mark A. and Lee E. Parker. "The Thin Blue Line Meets the Bottom Line of Community Policing." International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior (Marcel Dekker), vol. 4, no. 1/2, Feb. 2001, p. 163. EBSCOhost,

Sozer, Mehmet Alper and Alida V. Merlo. "The Impact of Community Policing on Crime Rates: Does the Effect of Community Policing Differ in Large and Small Law Enforcement Agencies?." Police Practice & Research, vol. 14, no. 6, Dec. 2013, pp. 506-521. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/15614263.2012.661151.

Review Project

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

26 March 2017

Logan’s Legacy

From the original X-Men (2000) to the X-Men Apocalypse (2016), and the other 6 in between, they all have one perfect piece of the puzzle that keeps them intertwined as suspenseful, action packed, imaginative super hero movies. Logan the Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) is one of the only X-Men to star in every installment of the series to date. His ability to condescendingly and humorously avoid confrontation, yet savagely remind anyone who dared challenge him exactly why he is not to be taken lightly, is what has captivated audiences for 17 years. The curiosity as to where exactly the inventive minds behind the X-Men saga plan to take us within the latest installment ‘Logan’, beckons us to take a closer look into the movie itself, and what it has to offer viewers.

The newly released ‘Logan’, stars Hugh Jackman in his most challenging and violently heart felt Wolverine storyline thus far. The movie boasts both original and classic characters such as a sickly Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) to new and mysterious additions such as Laura also known as X-23 (Dafne Keen, Set in a remote area on the Mexican border in the year 2029, ‘Logan’ showcases a much older and physically deteriorating Wolverine than viewers have ever witnessed before. His age and rough life is truly beginning to show and he has all but gone underground to stay concealed from his past, avoid conflict and to care for a sick Charles Xavier. Unlike previous X-Men movies which portrayed a confident, boisterous Wolverine, viewers will likely be surprised at his willingness to remain quiet, subdued, and non-violent. In the opening scene, it is not until being shot and trampled does he lose control and transform into the Logan that fans all know from history. Slicing and dicing his way through a posse of gang members, showing audiences that although he may be older and grayer, he is still very much the same Wolverine. Laura (Dafne Keen) is portrayed as a young girl who after being viciously and forcefully mutated, escapes and is being pursued by the monsters that created her. Her calmness in the face of danger and ferociousness when battling the dark forces that she continuously eludes, makes you forget just how young she is and leaves you eager to see more of her violent side. Dafne Keen, although a new actor personified her character to the extreme and with amazing confidence on screen sends a message to the viewer that she is here to stay. The introduction of Laura X-23 couldn’t have come at a better time. Her existence in the movie not only adds new elements of violence but forces viewers to see things from different perspectives.

Another characteristic seen in the newly released ‘Logan’ is the Wolverine’s definitive love for Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his gradual warming up to Laura X-23 (Dafne Keen). Movie goers are going to get a true sense of who the Wolverine always has been, beautifully blended with emotions from a side of him audiences have yet to experience. Amy Nicholson, the Chief Film critic for MTV News, stated, “Logan is a rare action flick in which the quiet moments are as compelling as any of the fights.” Logan’s desire to fight for the what he believes in and for who he cares about without any regard for his own safety is on full display for viewers to take in. With corrupt scientists and hitmen hot on his trail to take back the escaped Laura X-23, ‘Logan’ demands your attention with every scene and every line. Manhola Dargis, a film critic with The New York Times, wrote, “an old-school meets new-school pulp filled with intimations of mortality, and raw, ugly violence.” In other words, the history of Wolverine as we know him, will meet new threats, new feelings, new environments and is guaranteed to satisfy any X-Men enthusiasts cravings.

James Mangold’s ‘Logan’ (Director) is a suspenseful, keep you on the edge of your seat, gorgeously convincing super hero movie that will change the way you forever see the Wolverine. Bursting at the seams with sarcastic humor, gruesome, adrenaline filled, and unpredictable fight scenes, ‘Logan’ will set itself apart from all X-Men movies that have come before and likely any that come after. The data has shown already that ‘Logan’ has won several awards such as the #1 most discussed movie of 2017, (, #1 most shared movie of 2017 (, and the #20 best movie of 2017 ( Details such as those show that ‘Logan’ has already established itself as a film worth every penny spent to go see. “’Logan’ is good enough that you might forget that it’s a comic-book movie.” (Manohla Dargis / The New York Times) Whether you are a die-hard comic-book fan prone to watching every X-Men movie ever made on repeat, or a just a movie goer looking for a good movie to spend a date night with your significant other watching; one thing is for certain. ‘Logan’ will not only make you question why you have not seen every other previous X-Men movie, it will leave audiences yearning for more and excited for what’s next.

Works Cited

Amy Nicholson, “Logan Brings Heart and Horror To X-Men”,, Viacom Inc., New York, NY., 2017

Manhola Dargis, “In ‘Logan’, A Comic-Book Stalwart Turns Noirish Western”,

The New York Times, The New York Times Company, New York, NY., 2017,

CBS Interactive Inc., IMDb, New York, NY., 2017

Visual Rhetorical Essay

Chad Capehart

Professor Moore

English 1301

25 April 2017

The Darkside of Law Enforcement

The American Civil Liberties Union displayed an ad back in 2000 that not only stirred the controversy within the epidemic that is racism, but sparked life back into the campaign against profiling of African American men and women by the police. At first glance, it is not the blunt words, the large bold capital letters, or the style in which it presents itself that catches the attention of the viewer. It is the familiar face of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that commands the audience’s attention and ignites passion and hope inside all African American people. The contrasting faces of a black Martin Luther King Jr. side by side with a white Charles Manson, coupled together with the two men’s elaborate histories, and the deliberate, meaningful words at the bottom of the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union ad, communicates to audiences about the ongoing problems associated with the profiling of African Americans by police officers in the United States.

The skin colors of the two men in the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union ad along with the text argues the notion that decisions are continuously made by police due to skin color alone. The man on the left is an African American that secured his place in the history books in the fight for equality for all black people. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life in hopes that one day all African Americans would be looked at in the same light as whites. The picture on the right is that of a white man named Charles Manson. Charles Manson tattooed his himself in the history books for the evil that dwelled within him. More profoundly known for the orchestration of the Tate-La Bianca killings, Manson lived his “free” life in a different way than Martin Luther King. Manson took for granted the freedom afforded to him as a white man and was a man prone to display and communicate evil ideas and coordinate barbaric actions. King on the other hand, considered the freedoms he lived his life fighting for to be so precious that he died for them. One man killed for his beliefs, the other man killed because of his beliefs. However, when a white Manson’s picture is placed next to the picture of the black Martin Luther King, without knowing the histories of the two men, a racist would only see the color on the outside, and not what lives within. Both men are pictured to be deep in thought, gazing out into the distance, which in turn encourages the reader to wonder what exactly was going through the minds of these two intellectually different men.

The worn, tattered and discolored edges and corners of the paper on which the ad is printed on communicates the message of time and history. The blacks, whites, and browns intermingling with the greys showcase a weathered poster that illustrates time. These types of details intend to help the viewer envision the long history and hard fought journey the African Americans have endeavored to achieve the success that they have achieved thus far. A lot of individuals with black skin can relate to the message within the ad. The feeling of being treated differently, viewed negatively, or singled out by their peers, elders, strangers, and even the police simply for the color of their skin, is an ugly reality for many. The poster is presented in an old western style “wanted” manner, prompting readers to take a closer look at the words, the pictures, and the subject matter. Grabbing the viewers’ attention in this manner helps to draw them in and make them feel needed or “wanted” for the cause of defending African Americans rights from the unreasonable searches and seizures by non-minority groups and law enforcement.

The bold text at the top, along with the smaller text at the bottom of the ad, argues the ideals that police are more inclined to pull over people of color based strictly on the color of their skin. The ad opens with the bold statement, “The man on the left is 75 times more likely to be stopped by police while driving than the man on the right” (2000 American Civil Liberties Union), and goes on to elaborate on the facts of police stopping drivers more for the color of their skin than their actual driving. The placement of the text at the top, coupled with the bold letters, convey to the viewer the urgency and magnitude of the issues at hand. Throughout the history books, blacks have always been treated worse by police. The preconceived notion that blacks are more inclined to commit a crime is only one of the many reasons that unlawful traffic stops such as those communicated here, often happen. “The ability for all citizens to move about freely in public space unfettered by undue laws, restrictions, or impediments, whether imposed by the state, social custom, or private citizens, is an inherent value embedded within America’s founding principles” (Case Western Reserve Law Review 959). The American Civil Liberties Union wants the viewer to think and consider the facts and the historical accuracy of its claims. By influencing the audience to investigate further into the subject matter, people of all races can and will step up and provide their support. The smaller text at the bottom forces audiences to engage the ad more intimately to read what is written down, thereby causing the viewer to stop, spend more time truly considering what is presented and assist in gaining the understanding of the person reading it.

The final request presented to the audience through the sentence “Help us defend your rights. Support your ACLU” communicates to the audience that without their help, the American Civil Liberties Union could not continue to help those in need. By placing these sentences at the end of the text, communicating in a direct and urgent manner, helps beckon the viewers to educate themselves on who the A.C.L.U. is, what they stand for, and the goals they have set for themselves as it pertains to assisting African Americans combat and win against racial profiling at the hands of law enforcement. Bruce J. Ennis, stated in his American Bar Association Journal that, “For 60 years at every level – from small claims courts to the Supreme Court – volunteer lawyers have been the backbone of the A.C.L.U. legal program” (A.C.L.U. 60 years of Volunteer Lawyering). Bruce J. Ennis’ insight into the origin of the American Civil Liberties Union helps to expand the audiences’ knowledge of the organization behind the controversial ad being discussed.

With the conveyance of urgency through bold text, perfect word placement, and contrasting pictures of an influential, courageous, and intellectually gifted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., next to a murderous and persuasively evil Charles Manson; the ideology behind the American Civil Liberties Union, their goals, and the assistance they need from the audience to continue to provide volunteer legal support for those who dearly need it becomes crystal clear. Racial profiling is a deadly epidemic for so many, and through controversial ads such as the 2000 American Civil Liberties Union ad elaborated on here, the fight for equality will continue to head in the right direction.

Work Cited

Ennis, Bruce J. "A.C.L.U.: 60 Years of Volunteer Lawyering." American Bar Association Journal, vol. 66, no. 9, Sept. 1980, p. 1080. EBSCOhost,

Dunn, Ronnie A. "Racial Profiling: A Persistent Civil Rights Challenge Even in the Twenty- FirstCentury." Case Western Reserve Law Review, vol. 66, no. 4, Summer2016, p. 957. EBSCOhost, ite=ehost-live.

If you have made it this far into the page then thank you for sticking around and I hope you have enjoyed the literature I have just blessed you with. If your eyes haven't failed you yet and you are craving something else to read, feel free to check out my reflective essay on the next page. It covers from my point of view how I feel I have excelled over the course of the semester not only as a writer but also as a thinker and analyzer on an academic level.


Created with images by Pexels - "forest lake landscape" • WerbeFabrik - "leave communication filler" • Magnascan - "mother board electronics computer" • simmons.kevin4208 - "Fitness" • skeeze - "martin luther king jr i have a" • UnitedSoybeanBoard - "Soybean Harvest" • ROOKIE23 - "police handcuffs arrest" • Fibonacci Blue - "Rally to call for prosecution of police in the death of Terrance Franklin"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.