The “I Have a Dream” Scheme

Few speeches in history are more commonly known than Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech. Non-profit group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) utilized this popular notion of Dr. Kings “dream” in a recent political ad condemning President Obama’s recent executive action that would grant amnesty to a large amount of illegal immigrants. Within the ad they claim that this action is taking away jobs from American citizens which destroys Dr. King’s true “dream” of equality, as it is giving priority to immigrant workers.

At first glance, this ad seems to reach to make a connection between Dr. King’s ideas and today’s immigration issues. However, the ad utilizes Aristotle’s appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos. Using the “I Have a Dream” speech, CAPS appeals to Dr. King’s authority.  Logos can be seen in the stats and reports shown on the images that depict struggling Americans – a direct appeal to emotion or pathos.

Joe Guzzardi, National Media Director for CAPS, suggests that President Obama is going against the equal treatment for all Americans that Martin Luther King Jr. worked so hard to promote. Last week, the House seemed to agree with Guzzardi when they voted “236-191 to pass a bill that would block funding for Obama’s immigration executive orders.”

Did this ad impact you in any way that would affect your opinion on the situation?

-Nick Bolick, Olivia Sadler, Patrick Wagner

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2 thoughts on “The “I Have a Dream” Scheme

  1. I feel that this ad had a lot of impact on my opinion on the situation it is addressing. It definitely appeals to your senses and your ethos, logos and pathos like you said. The music playing in the background helps set a mood and tone that is quite serious and melancholy. The ad also emphasis it’s message by showing the statistics run across the screen while at the same time telling you the facts. Also the fact that it is taking a present situation and connecting it with Martin Luther King Jr. who was a very highly known and honorable person, you can’t help but think that it is a important situation and something needs to be done to change it.

  2. This ad did not affect my opinion on illegal immigration. Personally I do not have a problem with people coming into this country to try to change their lives for the better and provide for their family in a way they cannot do wherever they are from. I believe America has a problem with unemployment, but I do not think illegal immigration is a huge reason for this. From my experience, many people who are against illegal “aliens” are also a bit racist. When people think of illegal aliens they typically think of Mexicans – and I mean, the word “alien” literally dehumanizes them. Because I believe a lot of opinions on illegal immigration are rooted in racism, I absolutely do not believe Dr. King would’ve approved the advertisers to use his speech in this manner, and I don’t think it was right for them to do so either.

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