Kaepernick Protest: gestures speak

"Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem at a preseason game in San Diego. (CBS)"

“Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem at a preseason game in San Diego. (CBS)”

I appreciate this image of Colin Kaepernick’s initial “silent” protest especially given the image of people behind him with their hands on their hearts and the people in front of him in military uniform. The image seems to capture a good deal of the argument against Kaepernick. People claim that by kneeling during the anthem Kaepernick disrespects those who serve in the military. So the angle of photograph here is really poignant.

Kaepernick’s use of gesture as protest resonates with much of what we will talk about in class. The rhetorical situation is such that the speaker (Kaepernick) knows his audience (NFL fans) value loyalty and patriotism. By moving his body in a way that thwarts their expectations, he is communicating disagreement, disunity. Because we hear arguments against police shootings of black women and men all the time we’ve become rather deaf to them; they cease to create change. Kaepernick’s use of the gestural mode, given his popularity (by the way his jersey is selling out since he began his protest) and status as an entertainer/athlete, really kicks the conversation to a new level.

Kaepernick later iterated explicitly his reasons for protest: As relayed by NFL reporter, Steve Wyche, Kaepernick told the media, “‘I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color’…’To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.'”

What do you think about Kaepernick’s argument and the way he communicates his argument?

Rhetoric on the MARTA

As seen on the East-West Blue line...ad on MARTA

As seen on the East-West Blue line…ad on MARTA

I make America great? Me? Awwww shucks. Thanks, uh, Margaret Wang & Associates LLC. So nice of  you to say so.


She’s not talking to me. Or about me. Oh yeah…

Describe the rhetorical situation of this advertisement? What about its central slogan leans on kairos (context, place, time, occasion) in order to resonate meaningfully with its audience?

Door of House in Decatur Neighborhood

A main entryway door for a bungalow house in the neighborhood of Decatur, east of Atlanta.

A main entryway door for a bungalow house in the neighborhood of Decatur, east of Atlanta.

This image was collected with permission of the homeowner. The home is a “renovated bungalow.” It was renovated in 2010, according to the owner, who purchased the home in 2012. The renovation added nearly 300 square feet to the original house, though it still looks rather small compared to the other homes in the neighborhood, the new ones of which are all two-story at least.

Practice Research Questions

Photo by Leo Hidalgo (Flickr, cc)

Photo by Leo Hidalgo (Flickr, cc)

First we have to imagine an interesting question, a real emotional response to a question. This will inspire your research and your conversations about your research. Communicate. Talk to people about what you’re finding or not. If not, why not? Why would you want to answer these questions?

When was Lenox Mall built? how did it obtain its reputation? Does its popularity effect its prices?

Why is it that a majority of black people shop at flea markets? Do they shop at the flea markets in Atlanta?

How does the built environment of the “shopping plaza” attract people? which people? where? why?

Why are the residents of downtown Atlanta only 5.4% Hispanic? Does it have anything to do with the built environment?

Why are the residents of downtown only 8% married male, 11% married female, 88% single male/81% single female? And young (20-24)? (areavibes.com/atlanta-ga/demographics)

Given specific entertainment venues, what {design} strategies are taken to attract a certain crowd? Which? What artists/promotions are used/booked? when? How does the venue affect the price of tickets? Why? how does location affect the form of transportation someone chooses to get to the venue? Why? What do the venues have in common [design?]?

What is there in Atl other than “southern comfort” food?

Why are restaurants in ATL expensive? Are there any family run, authentic restaurants? how diverse are ATL restaurants? What are the demographics of people who eat at which restaurants?

Why are there so many potholes in the road? Why is the construction log as hell on the roads? Why does the roads downtown feel small compared to the suburbs? Why arent there many sidewalks in ATl? Why are the roads uneven in ATL?