A Community of Memory: President Obama

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Image via WhiteHouse

Politics and race….oh boy! Two of the most touchiest topics. Unfortunately in 2008, I was not old enough to vote. However, I was able to witness the world changing due to the presidential election.

Communication Ethics Literacy Dialogue and Differences states a community of memory is a live engagement with the meaningfulness of a given organization, institution, or community (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 147). What I witness in 2008 was a lot of upset people. People were upset because of a rhetorical interruption. For decades and decades, the United States of America have always had  a Caucasian president. In 2008, Barack Obama, an African-American man was elected as president. A community of memory works as a conscience or guide, not as a dictate it responds to changing circumstances within an organization or risks becoming simply a dead tradition (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 146). When President Obama was elected, most people thought it was a start to a new trend….African-American presidents. I remember people saying “Obama is not my president” or using the “N” word when we referring to him, all because they were afraid of change. Racism is very much real and some people could not stand seeing an African-American man in control. It was not about his beliefs….but about the color of his skin.

A community of memory is  both a collection of the past and an engagement with the future (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 147). Growing up, most people were raised as their memory being an Caucasian man should always be in control. If not, their world was in jeopardy. That was their collection of the past, their engagement of future was dealing with what they would assume would be consequences from having an African-American president.

 

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Image via Daily News

A community of memory connects us to others who contribute to that community of memory (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 146). Which means if one believes, all may believe. Therefore, I strongly believe that in order to migrate the interruption, persuasion and research should be conducted. People should research President Obama’s beliefs and find the good within him. Then, persuade others to do the same.

In my opinion, one day change will become a new community of memory.

 

Undue Confidence and Unsubstantiated Opinion

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Image via cpfer

Have you ever read an article and didn’t comment on the article? Have you ever read an article, then read through the comments? Well, I have! This week, I had a chance to sit down and read an article from Fox News titled “Obama to anti-Trump protestors: March on.” The article discussed how President Obama had a press conference in Germany. During President Obama’s conference, he spoke on anti-Trump protestors to not stay quiet. What stood out to me in the article is when it is quoted that President Obama said “I suspect that there’s not a president in our history that hasn’t been subject to these protests. So, I would not advise people who feel strongly or who are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised during the course of the campaign, I wouldn’t advise them to be silent.” (Fox News, 2016).

I did not find anything wrong with President Obama’s choices of words, however when I read through the comments, multiple people did. What I found in the comments were undue confidence and unsubstantiated opinions. The textbook,  Communication Ethics Literacy Dialogue and Difference states the public arena is the place that protects and promotes discernment among diverse ideas. Public arena lives and prospers when public space for conversation, not one’s own opinion, is the ultimate good (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 103). The comments I read were anything but conversational. They were all opinions…..bias and ignorant opinions, if I must add. Some of the comments stated “I guess I can’t expect too much out of Obama, he is the worst president in modern history.” “Obama you need to start packing.” The comments did not have anything to do the message, but all about the person delivering the message.

Undue confidence and unsubstantiated opinions influences the public arena as a “scared space.” Public discourse ethics assumes that the public arena is a “scared space”- a space to be protected, a space that is honored and valued (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 109). Most people justify their comments by freedom of speech. Since they can say whatever they like, it is acceptable and they feel conformable. However, we have to try to keep the public domain safe for difference (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 109). In my opinion, difference matters, but only when it is actual facts and not a biased opinion.

Informed moderators, such as Lester Holt and Chris Wallace could enhance the dialogue that could take place on public space of public comment sites by asking informative questions to engage readers minds. The public arena does not offer the final answer, it is a place where one takes a grounded stance, engages the grounded stances of others, and make a decision  (Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J., 2009, p. 103). If moderators ask questions engaging readers minds, those questions could force someone to see the other person’s side and have a new point of view.

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Image via WERA

Overall, comments under public articles are freedom of speech. However, we have to learn to justify our answers, instead of posting undue confidence and unsubstantiated opinions.

References

Arnett, R., Bell, L., & Fritz, J. (2009). Communication Ethics Literacy (10th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. (ISBN-13: 978-1412942140).

Fox New. (2016, November 17). Obama to anti-Trump protestors: March on. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/17/obama-to-anti-trump-protesters-march-on.html

 

The Difference Between Public and Private Space

For my Communication Mindfully course, I completed a Vlog that focused on the differentiation of public and private space. The topic of public and private space came from Chapter 6 of the textbook, Communication Ethics Literacy Dialogue and Difference.

In my Vlog, I discussed the textbook description of public/private space. I also provided a clip from one of my favorite movies, The Best Man Holiday and how the clip applies to the differentiating of public and private space. By me adding a scholarly peer-reviewed article journal that discussed public and private space in a workplace, it helped to bring a better idea to the subject. Check out my Vlog below: