Ruben Genao


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Ruben Genao – Response to “The Urgency of Intersectionality” by Kimberlé Crenshaw

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In the video “The Urgency of Intersectionality,” Kimberle Crenshaw discusses the importance of Intersectionality and why it’s important. At the start of her talk, she called the names of multiple black men who fell victim to police brutality such as Eric Garner while asking the audience to remain standing if they knew the names and most people remained standing, when asked about female black women who suffered the same fate all but four people sat down. The concept she explains in her talk is Intersectionality, an idea that identifies how social and political discrimination overlaps with gender, sexual orientation etc. To bring across her point she mentioned the case of Emma DeGraffenreid, an African-American woman who sued a manufacturing company for not hiring her on the basis of race and gender. The judge dismissed her case since the particular company had black people in the company all of which were men, and women all of which were white. She then goes into depth on how this case relates to intersectionality and what we should do about it. After this point, her talk gets rather emotional as she talks about the say her name movement while showing pictures of women who all fell victim to police brutality, and in this way, she demonstrated the range of the problem. She finally shows a video of various women while encouraging the listeners to say their names in support of the movement. Overall I think Crenshaw did a good job of implementing a mixture of pathos and ethos into her speech in a way to gain support for the cause.

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Ruben Genao – “Moving Beyond Pain”

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In the analysis “Moving Beyond Pain” the author points out a criticizes the grows and glows of Beyonce’s album Lemonade. In the analysis the author points out one of the glows of the video,  “Obviously Lemonade positively exploits images of black female bodies—placing them at the center, making them the norm. In this visual narrative, there are diverse representations (black female bodies come in all sizes, shapes, and textures with all manner of big hair). Portraits of ordinary everyday black women are spotlighted, poised as though they are royalty.” the author also points out how Beyoncé is wearing rather casual clothing than the other women in the video. At first, this confused me but then I realized it was a clever way to draw attention away from her and more into the image of the black body. In the analysis, the author also states how the video constructs black female sisterhood and changes how we see the female black body “it shifts the gaze of white mainstream culture. It challenges us all to look at a new radical revision of how we see the black female body”. The author also points out cons of the music video stating “Even though Beyoncé and her creative collaborators daringly offer multidimensional images of black female life, much of the album stays within a conventional stereotypical framework, where the black woman is always a victim. “. In the video a scene of a character smashing cars after being betrayed by her man portraying all black females to be this way. The author responds to this by saying “Contrary to misguided notions of gender equality, women do not and will not seize power and create self-love and self-esteem through violent acts”.

One point I agree with in the analysis is when she said “Female violence is no more liberatory than male violence. And when violence is made to look sexy and eroticized, as in the Lemonade sexy-dress street scene, it does not serve to undercut the prevailing cultural sentiment that it is acceptable to use violence to reinforce domination, especially in relations between men and women. Violence does not create positive change”. Violence should never be an option in a relationship no matter if it’s done by a man or women, in all cases it is wrong.

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Ruben Genao: ‘Black Panther’ Is Not the Movie We Deserve

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“‘Black Panther’ is Not the Movie We Deserve” by Christopher Lebron covers the positives and negatives of the movie the black panther. One con mentioned in the article is the portrayal of warmonger as a villain in the movie. This brings us to the backstory of his father N’Jobu who set off on a conquest to get vibranium to arm black people around the world after he saw how black people were discriminated against, he was then assassinated leaving warmonger as a poor orphan. Warmonger wants to follow the footsteps of his father in eliminating discrimination but he is eventually killed in the movie too. According to Lebron ” This is precisely N’Jobu’s problem. In the United States, he learns of the racism black Americans face, including mass incarceration and police brutality. He soon understands that his people have the power to help all black people, and he plots to develop weapons using vibranium to even the odds for black Americans.” (Lebron). Villainizing a character that works for equality is one of the major downsides of the movie. One pro discussed in the movie is the portrayal of the black women in the movie as courageous, smart, independent etc. Lebron states “They are the film’s brightest spot: the black women of Wakandan descent are uniformly independent, strong, courageous, brilliant, inventive, resourceful, and ethically determined. I take it that a good deal of this is owed to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s success at elevating the series’ women to central characters with influence and power that turns more on their minds and integrity than their bodies.” One quote that interested me was when LeBron stated: “Even in a comic-book movie, black American men are relegated to the lowest rung of political regard.” after analyzing the movie further I noticed that this quote holds true since the hero is a white man that works in the CIA. This hero almost supports the idea that white men are at the top and solve the problems of the lesser people.

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Ruben Genao – “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” by James Baldwin – Response

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In “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What is?”, James Baldwin explains the importance of language and how language is not exclusively for communication, it can be used to classify people with different social backgrounds and class, making it a tool to judge people based on their accents. Baldwin writes “There have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language could be dangerous, even fatal. Or, one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one’s antecedents are revealed, or (one hopes) hidden. This is true in France, and is absolutely true in England: The range (and reign) of accents on that damp little island make England coherent for the English and totally incomprehensible for everyone else. To open your mouth in England is (if I may use black English) to “put your business in the street”: You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and, alas, your future”. Baldwin also explains the importance of language by saying the white rule over slaves would never have lasted as long as it did if the slaves didn’t have a language barrier, he states “A language comes into existence by means of brutal necessity, and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey”. Black English came into existence because of the dispersion of black people from different tribes, its creation helped the slaves to form a community and to combat tough times.

What stood out to me the most was when Baldwin said “A language comes into existence by means of brutal necessity, and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey” This sentence makes me think of human history relating to the river valley civilizations and how language was a necessity in order to survive in their environment, leading to slavery in the United States and how Black English only came to existence because of the need to communicate that came with the adversity of slavery.

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Ruben Genao – “The Rhetorical Situation” Response

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 In “The Rhetorical Situation,” Lloyd Bitzer describes what a rhetorical situation is and explains the components or elements of one. He states “it functions ultimately to produce action or change in the world; it performs’ some task” (Bitzer 3-4).  Bitzer’s definition of rhetorical revolves around three elements exigence, audience, and constraints. An exigence is essentially an issue in the world that must be responded to, Bitzer writes “Any exigence is an imperfection marked by urgency; it is a defect, an obstacle, something waiting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be” (Bitzer 6). An audience is a group of people that can be persuaded or motivated to take action, and constraints which can be used to influence an audience. According to Bitzer “its made up of persons, events, objects, and relations which are parts of the situation because they have the power to constrain decision and action needed to modify the exigence.

One idea that intrigued me was the first characteristic. Bitzer states”  Rhetorical discourse is called into existence by situation;
the situation which the rlietor perceives amounts to an. invitation to create and present discourse” (Bitzer 9). I interpreted this as Bitzer saying that you cannot fix a problem and provoke change if the issue doesn’t exist. I found this to be relatable to our world and real-life issues such as gun laws and immigration. Major protests only occur when recent school shootings happen, or in the case of immigration when info came to light about the cold-hearted treatment of migrant children in shelters.

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