After watching the statistics and frustration of Tulsa Police Chief Franklin on the morning news yesterday, it has really hit home about what he says regarding "officer involved shootings" and the amount of "black-on-black" homicides being committed in Tulsa. To quote Chief Franklin's tweet from July 26, 2021:

"More than 100 shots were fired in the City’s latest homicide on Saturday night. Last night more than 60 shots were fired at a shooting scene. Surely protesters are organizing against such violence!! Without much fanfare and limelight @TulsaPolice has been working the problem" (4:52 PM · Jul 26, 2021). 

To me, this seems consistant with the Black Lives Matter organizers spouting empassioned rhetoric concerning officer-involved shootings of persons of color, yet are conspicously absent and show how these same "Black Lives" do not seem to matter when the shootings are perpetuated by those same persons of color, or the innocents who are caught in the crossfire. Where are the community organizers and protestors who were so eager to riot against racism and abuse of authority? What are they doing now to help stem the flow of black blood in our city streets by other black lives?  Maybe Chief Franklin is correct when he says, "There is much black-on-black crime in Tulsa..., and nobody seems to care".

(Header image coutesy of The Tulsa World)

           What is Digital Rhetoric? Before starting this class and truly experiencing the question of digital rhetoric for myself, I would have probably been glib and explain it as any rhetoric (see print text) that is found online. However, this definition fails to define the term “rhetoric” sufficiently and does not account for the term “digital” actually including solo images, podcasts, videos, or graphics without print text that absolutely qualify them for this term. The reason I would answer this way is because my interpretation of “rhetoric” stems from the classical Greek definition and is one of a type of speech aimed to persuade certain audiences. To me, the classical canons of rhetoric are all based on a written text. It is for this reason that this paper is written: To explore some assignments in college-level, digital rhetorics class and attempt to discover a personal working description of the term that makes its meaning relevant to me.   


A video for my digital Rhetoric class: Transformation.


I did this assignment for this week in Digital Rhetorics on a class I'll be teaching this fall as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, or GTA. There's definitely room for improvement (especially with the narration).

Here is the transcript:

          Good morning and Welcome to English 0123, or Writing Enhancement – My name is John and I’m very glad you’re here. This is where we will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (three time a week) from 10:00 to 10:50 (for one hour) to work through the college level writing process. Many of you may wonder why you are here because you obviously know how to write. You assume you know how to write well enough to churn out a few prose and get through high school, right? Of course, and you would be right in this assumption. However, the question now becomes, are those same prose from high school good enough for college level academics? Since I am not familiar with your work as of yet, I cannot say one way or another. what I do know is that I am here to help those wanting to write better become better writers. I will assist you to the best of my ability in the journey to bring your writing skills up to the level they need to be for college and hopefully you will find out along the way that college writing is just another level of formal self-expression. College writing includes many of the same things high school writing does; it asks questions and attempts to answer others as well. In my opinion, academic, or college level writing is the highest form of self-expression one can aspire to. Writing succinctly, concisely, and above all, coherently – presenting ideas (or theories) is just another level of communication. However, within this upper-level communication are rules., styles, and formats that must be adhered to.

            A little history on writing: From the earliest forms of pre-language communication, human beings expressed their thoughts through images and gestures. The basics were there, but there was no way to express abstract concepts or ideas to others until language was developed. Once language evolved, most people could speak it but not everyone could read, much less write it. Reading and writing were reserved for the “elite” and wealthy – those of nobility, but not for the common people. In this way the wealthy could hold dominion over those who could not read or write. In essence, they had the power. For the common people, this lack of literacy gave rise to a rich oral tradition that would perpetuate cultural histories and family lineage for centuries. Cultural beliefs were handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth until they were eventually written down and record-keeping became the norm. Today there is such a focus on writing (especially at the college level), that not being able to perform this essential function can be a hindrance to a good paying job post-graduation.

            I want everyone to know that this class will be what you make of it. Yes, there will be certain essays that have to be written, and this will be to check overall progress throughout the course. There will be those in this class that find the work of creation within the contraints of academia not so challenging, and there will be those who will struggle. This is okay because my opportunity here is to assist each of you, regardless of your skill level. But please, those of you who are struggling, even though I will probably know who you are, there may be times that I may not. If this is the case, do not keep it a secret. In other words, don’t suffer in silence. I need to know what challenges you are facing to help you. Again, let me know if you need assistance or I cannot do my job. Do not feel discouraged and do nothing. This is a writing class, true but it is also one of communication and communication is a two-way street.

            Remember good and effective writing has its own energy and can be extremely powerful. Some say that knowledge is power, and I believe this. However, knowledge is useless unless it is put into action and writing is the catalyst that, combined with knowledge, can make great things happen. 




Works Cited

1995supra, “Why English is the Most Important Class in Any Curriculum”, Essay Forum,


Brickwall background,

Ehrenreich, Barbara ‘Humans were not centre stage’: how ancient cave art puts us in our place,

The Guardian (cave painting image)



 Hamrick, Patty. “World’s oldest cave paintings were probably made by Neanderthals,

Massive Science, Archaeology, New York University, December 13, 2018.

Patilpv25. Panel of the Rhinos, Chauvet Cave (Replica). 2017



Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Macbeth”,

Timoney, Brian. “Using Your Body and Voice”. 2014

Slasher Designs