Web Rhetoric: Internet Users Respond to Constance McMillen

Youtube Video #3: [Day 32] Constance McMillen, I commend your bravery.

April 29th, 2010 · No Comments

I want to focus on something in this Youtube video that may seem a little obscure: the song played at the very end. It’s a song called “One Tribe,” by a currently very popular music group called Black Eyed Peas.

In video blogs, it is easy to forget that rhetoric involves more than just the words of the speaker. Choosing to play “One Tribe” at the end of this video was a purposeful choice. This song was selected uniquely for this one video. So why “One Tribe” for this topic in particular?

Well, first, check out the lyrics. This is the excerpt that Jacki chose for her video:

And I don’t wanna sound like a preacher
But we need to be one
One world, one love, one passion
One tribe, one understanding
Cause you and me can become one.

Jacki ends her blog saying, “At the same, as I said, I do hope that something good does come out of this,” then she switches to the song. This song has a message suggesting the importance of unity. It uses diction associated with acceptance: “one,” “love,” “understanding.” Jacki is suggesting that supporting Constance’s right to attend prom is choosing to be accepting of others. Interestingly, counter-arguments floating around on the web often suggest that people such as Jacki are actually, in fact, being UNaccepting of people with particular ideals or religious beliefs. This song is actually a contribution to what is an already ongoing conversation about what acceptance is, who is accepting, and who or what should be accepted.

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