er Website; Beer Summit II. Wordpress websites, published January 12, 2010.

Accessed February 4, 20 Ritts 1 Melissa Ritts Professor Ashlee Brand ENG 101H-CRN-14991 4 February 2010 Obama’s Beer Summit, Revisited

Attempt to persuade? Yes, I believe this piece does attempt to persuade in several different ways. I believe in this time of everything coming out of our mouths having to be politically correct, plays a large part in squelching honesty and free speech. We call Harry Reid’s statement “ignorant”, however, African-Americans themselves acknowledge they are split between how they talk with their black friends and family and how they talk when in a

professional work environment. Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Karen Hunter wrote, “Most blacks who are in corporate America or who work and live around whites are able to talk in unaccented English and carry themselves in a different way than they do around their black family and friends. It’s second nature for some of us.” (Hunter) There are a huge number of elements in this drawing to analyze. The facial expression of Reid and President Obama say a lot about their mood in regards to Biden’s comments. The dark trees with no leaves, the colorless and overgrown grass, and the small round table all speak to the overall feeling of the piece. I will speak more about the different elements I see later in my analysis. I don’t know much about the artist that created this drawing, but I did read his “about me” section of his website. I found his background very interesting and impressive in terms of awards for his work and in the variety of work that he has done; from children’s books to column illustrations for other writers. He is an Ohioan, graduating from the University of Ohio in Dayton and currently residing in Akron, Ohio. I did not know this about him until after I had completed my analysis of his work, but I find it marvelous! I believe his audience is anyone who was amused, irritated, or down right ticked off about the “beer summit” the President had for his friend, Henry Louis Jr., a Harvard professor and race relations expert, and Sergeant James Cowely, the Cambridge police officer who arrested Professor Louis at his own home. Within this drawing, I see two annoyed men; President Obama and Harry Reid, begrudgingly listening to a clueless Joe Biden. Biden believes his comments in regard to the President were less offensive then those made by Reid. However, I feel that Biden’s comment gave the entire African-American population a black eye by stating that Obama was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice guy.” To me,

Ritts 3 this statement says that mainstream African-Americans all over the United States are not articulate, bright, clean, or good looking. I personally know this to be untrue! The look on President Obama’s face, the scowl of the mouth and the squint of the oversized eyes coupled with the fact that he is looking at the reader instead of Biden, all go to accentuate his annoyance with what Biden is saying to Reid. Likewise, the droopy jowls of Reid’s face bring his thin lipped frown to the forefront of his expression. He too, is looking at the reader with narrowed eyes and furrowed eyebrows instead of at Biden. The fact that the trees have no leaves and are very dark in color, add to the overall mood and setting of the scene. If one were to take into account the idea of “The Tree of Knowledge” from the Garden of Eden, the fact that there is no life in the trees add to the idea of ignorance running ramped through out this drawing. If the tree or trees in this case, are dead, they have no knowledge to share and those who sit under them will be just as ignorant when they leave as they were when they sat down. Because the overgrown grass and other items in “nature” in the drawing have no color at all, seems to suggest that there is significance to the trees. Rhetorical appeals in this image are a little challenging to pinpoint. I think the attempt of Biden to be the “authority” on what to say falls extremely short. However, I believe this is the artist’s intent. By looking at the definition of ethos, one could say that the character of the speaker sets the tone. Since in this case the character of Biden seems to be ignorant and oblivious, perhaps that is exactly the ethos the artist was looking for. If oblivion is bliss according to this drawing, Biden should be in heaven! Persuasion through logical appeal doesn’t seem to be the goal of the artist either. So that leaves us with pathos. This piece drips with emotional appeal. It doesn’t matter what a person’s emotional response is to this drawing, the beer summit, or the remarks made by either Reid or

Biden, the artist has addressed it here in this cartoon. I believe for the reader, this piece will help to strengthen or feed whatever feelings they have about the situation or situations going on here.

Ritts 5 Notes Hunter, Karen. “Harry Reid: No Apology Necessary.” The Defenders Online. The Editors, January 11, 2010, web, February 4, 2010. <>