Cover photo is from this article.

This is my latest assignment for the class Rhetoric and Public Life.

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The assignment was concerned about writing with Topos, which for the assignment meant laying down two opposing view points and elaborating on them while still utilizing tropes, schemes, and figures of speech to explain commonplace pharses, characterization, multiple narratives, and ideologies. I got a C on this assignment and my professor noted that I was probably using the false choice, hasty generalization, or the tautology fallacies. Then he went on to note that by just naming ideologies and then demonizing them I was not explaining a side of the argument, and he believes that this is a form of bullying. Next he wrote that I don’t have enough evidence to support these claims and that he would need more evidence of the harm caused by the DEA before he could accept such a negative characterization of them. He was also not sure enslaving was the right metaphor asking, “How do they create human property out of youth by taking away their supply of drugs?” He concludes by noting, “Try researching a little more to show us just how misguided our attempts have been to control drugs. Show some empathy to folks who worry about addiction. Explain why the libertarian approach would be more ethical and economical.” I agree with him and I’m happy to get a C after reading his notes, but he is a hard professor to read and get to know what he wants out of you. In the future I will be sure to pick a topic I am not passionate about so I can make less emotional arguments. It was cool to perform this speech, and if I knew I could have fit more into the 5 minutes I had, then I would have definitely elaborated more. This 3 minute performance had the whole classroom in shock and complete confusion, but I think the point of good rhetoric is to make people uncomfortable so they have to address the beliefs they hold. C’s get degrees, and once I got his notes back I’m happy I didn’t fail this one.
I hope you enjoyed it.

Transcription:

Stop selling slavery to our youth! This cry of antidrug utilitarianism echoes throughout generations to become the slogans “Just say no,” “D.A.R.E.,” and “You use, you lose.” They believe that by labeling drugs contraband, and by disrupting its distribution we will see less people use drugs to ruin their lives and the lives of others. The anti-drug warrior thinks people will be deterred from drug use if threatened with fines and arrest, because they have instituted drug prohibitions. Learning nothing from alcohol prohibition, we see fresh black markets flourish, and crime increase without them making any connection or taking any responsibility for their actions. Should I say it, or is it just assumed, no I’ll say it; to end the slavery of our youth stop enslaving our youth. Youth is not something that should be institutionalized. Yes, we want children that know how to be adults, but let’s also remove the barriers imposed on that freedom. The next generation in this domestic terror state knows all too well that drugs are illegal. However, what they don’t know is how to cope with the influence of drugs. It’s not that drugs that should be banned, but the ignorance of drugs that should be. The institution’s practice of fear mongering is not just harmful, it is suicidal. The youth will smoke and snort, pop and mainline. But you know what they won’t do? Do you?

They won’t voluntarily spend the best years of their lives in a cage, and would you want them to? The Narcs have invaded our schools and have successfully tricked a mentally ill child to forfeit his freedom. At the time this young man didn’t even want cash for the stash. He just thought he was helping out a friend; some friend alright. Men in black, shotguns, submachine guns, riot shields and battering rams just sit in vans waiting for the go ahead. These are the slavers of our youth and they are essential to this system’s form of democratic enslavement. Ask not what you can do to resist the police state, but how it can lose resistance. This is the pragmatic and institutional theft of our time, our space, our youth, and ultimately our freedom. It is not for your freedom that they must take this freedom from you. We should all be happy that the bullets in this war fly toward those who dare to flaunt this insidious liberty. If we are progressive we can clip the wings of these jail birds in the hopes of not seeing them through police barrels once again. Freedom and protection are two points on a binary, similar to optimism and pessimism. So are our actions in this drug war made out of fear or bravery? Is it of what is, or what could be? I think was is, is terrifying, but then again who votes libertarian? The war on drugs is a war on people. With it comes unintended consequences and blowback for both sides.

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