Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blog Post on "A More Perfect Union" and "Ally's Choice"

           The author of the first reading, “A More Perfect Union” is Barrack Obama who is very well known for the way that he presents himself and the way in which he speaks. President Obama presents himself in a relatable manner in that he makes himself seem like an average American. He goes farther describing his personal life story as “my own American story” hinting at the idea that he has story that is truly American much like all  of our stories. His decision to include the remake that “out of many, we are truly one” immediately following his story convinces the reader that he is not above anyone else; rather he creates a sense of unity between himself and his fellow Americans.
            Obama’s constant reminder that he has “unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people” shows that he is trustworthy. By exclaiming that he is not there to nag on America for doing this and not doing, convinces the reader that he is commenting on the American dream, not to disenchant his spectators, but to rescue it from its demise. He makes and counterarguments and concessions which make him seem intelligent. He offers a counterargument to both Reverend Wright as well as to those who would condemn Obama for not condemning Wright. His concession and acknowledgement of white people concerns about jobs and crime show that he is well informed and open minded. Too often, people will completely dismiss those arguments as entirely foolish. The fact that he acknowledges everyone’s concerns shows that is fair and considerate.

            I had a harder time finding ways to describe the author of “Ally’s Choice” considering how I’m not exactly sure who I should view as the author. The producers of the podcast spend a considerable amount of time editing and fine tuning the podcast which I suppose shows how much they care about the listener’s auditory experience. However, if I were to view the people that they interviewed as being the author, they seemed (to me at least) to be fairly uneducated, misinformed, and backwards; though that could just be my perception of how strange the situation that they were in was. If I were to view the authors as being the hosts, I would argue that they presented the information in such a confusing way that it makes them seem inconsiderate of their audience. 


  1. These two texts are very powerful in the use of emotions to convey their message. In the podcast, Ally’s Choice, it is about the difference of race seen by two towns East Jackson and Waverly, Ohio. In Waverly, anyone who lived in East Jackson would be considered as black. This was because Waverly was 96% white, and those in East Jackson had a mixtures of races intermingling and marrying. Ally decided to become white, because it was easy for her to pass for white because of her light complexion, and she was done with being bullied for being white. It created the emotion of sadness that one cannot go to school without being bullied and called horrible things, and that it took changing her race to white to ensure an easy time in high school. This podcast also established the animosity between the family members and how it has affected their relationships, because she started saying she was white and not black. In “A More Perfect Union” by Barack Obama, his message to create a united front and equality among everyone was apparent. When reading this passage, I felt that he tried to create some nationalism among us to make it apparent that we need to treat each other equally in order to become a united front. He also uses the anger from others in the black community, and how they view how the nation treats those that aren’t white. It is an effective reading because he uses his own personal experiences to translate his ideas.

  2. Both the passage about Obama, “A More Perfect Union” and the podcast “Ally’s Choice” employ the use of pathos to draw in their audience
    In “A More perfect union, they begin by subtly contrasting ideas. For example, they describe the United States constitution as being a nation of people, determined to be equal for all. Then they contrast this with Obama’s story and his hardships, particularly being on the campaign trail. By doing this, the author is able to draw out feelings of sympathy from the readers who undoubtedly begin to understand his plight. Additionally much of the essay delves back into racism over the past few decades, bring up Jim Crow Laws, Martin Luther King, and pulling it back to Reverend Jerimiah Wright, the Reverend of Obama’s church. By pulling in these discussions, the author is able to ignite a tinge of anger or frustration, at the suffering of others for years, and consequently empathy to Obama’s story and the challenges he has had to overcome simply because of the color of his skin.
    In “Ally’s Choice,” podcasters discuss the fate of baby Veronica as the Supreme Court attempts to sort out who should get custody of the girl, whether it be her biological father, or grandparents, or another family. Because this podcast is heard rather than read, they use tone to imply the seriousness of the case. They take many pauses, and talk in a calm, low voices, to show the delicacy of the situation. The guests on the other hand, all well-spoken, take a more serious tone, almost as that an enraged newscaster, to emphasize the want to settle this case for the sake of the child. They go one to talk about a story of Caucasians adamantly declaring they are Negro despite their appearance. Again they invoke the use of tone, this time by the subject who sounds particularly stubborn about it.

  3. The first entry is Ally's Choice. The story tellers are a mom who is a proud negro, and two sisters that aren't very close. The three of them talk on a podcast that explains their story of growing up in a small rural area where one city called Waverley is a white town and that town considers any other race beneath white and other races are all black. This being a podcast it is really easy to pick up on emotions that played a roll into their story. One sister, Ally, decides to abandon her heritage of African American descent while the other sister, Carlotta, does not. Carlotta told us through high school that she would say "that's my sister," while pointing out Ally. Well Ally didn't want anyone to realize her big secret that she was black so she would explain that she has no clue what she is talking about and could get away with it because she was so pale skinned. While Carlotta told the story she was crying and you could really feel how upset it made her that her sister disowned her even to this day it upsets her and they went to high school in the 90's. The mom on the other hand would tell Ally during the podcast that she is black and she should be proud of it. Ally would in turn get furious with her snapping back saying "No, I've been white since 12, since I was old enough to say I'm white I've been white." Ally also says at the end of the podcast in a scared way "As long as I can pass for white, I am going too. And if something would to happen to my mother I would pack up my kids and stuff and never think about this area again." She says it in a way that she almost knows something could happen to her and there is a real sense of fear in her voice. This is just a few examples of how emotion affected this podcast there are many different ways that it did, and listening to the whole thing definitely makes the listener feel a sort of way for this family.
    The second entry "A More Perfect Union," by Barack Obama is a bit harder to pick up on emotion simply because it is in the form of text. However, from the beginning you can feel Barack talking about the change from when the constitution was written till now. He explains how proud he is of America for getting this far in obtaining "a more perfect union." He also tells readers about why he decided to run in this era of time for president. He explains his faith for the American people and you can really feel that he believes in us.

  4. In Allys choice podcast the mother who identifies as a negro uses emotions to let you know how she really feels about the way people see her and the way she identifies with her family. Because this is a podcast you are able to hear in her voice that she’s angry at the way society looks at them because we are quick to assume. By looking at her you see her as a white woman even though her background and birth certificate prove that she is in fact black. It goes on to see her daughter’s perspectives and one agrees but the other does not. Ally the oldest daughter is very closed about the fact that she is black because she doesn’t look like everyone else, she used physical abuse to try and quit the verbal abuse in grade school and the way everyone treated her is ridiculous and you can tell it took a toll on her by the way she speaks. She got to the point where she decided to change and identify as white because of this she felt like she finally was able to fit in when she played the role that she acted. Her own family has already been broken by the racial difference seeing as her son sees his father becoming racist as they’ve been separated and ally’s sister feels that it will be just like ally and her because of the fights they got into over racial differences. In Obamas speech "A More perfect union" you can't pick up the true emotion just from reading it. I took it upon myself to look it up on YouTube and listen to the way he speaks. He uses emotion by talking about his own experiences and by him doing this it makes him seem more appealing to the viewers by making him seem like he’s just like everyone else no matter where he comes from or what race he is. He inputs emotion of anger to talk about the way people see blacks for example talking of the church and he ties the church to his race and how he loves his black pastor just as much as he loves his white grandmother showing that he himself is diverse and thinks things should change.

  5. Ally’s choice was very interesting to me. Personally I have meet people who appeared to be completely Caucasian but identified themselves as African Americans. Just like the podcast there are people who are ashamed of being a certain race or identifying themselves as black if they are partially so. Ally’s choice angered me, but I understood the struggle that this family went through. Growing up kids can be very cruel and everyone wants to fit in. Nobody wants to be bullied or made fun of every single day. Especially for something like the color of your skin. Though I would have never done what Ally did to her sister to my own. I understand that her choice to choose white originated from insecurity about herself. A lot of mix raced people struggle everyday with what race to consider as their own. In today’s society the majority of the world is not just a pure bread of anything. This podcast helped me reflect on my own struggles and sympathize with the struggles other may be experiencing.