On March 16, 1969, Chisholm, Shirley, the first African-American woman elected to Congress made the famous speech titled “People and Peace, Not Profits and War.” The speech to Congress came at a time that America as a nation was facing, many social issues at home and yet chose to engage in the Vietnam War that was costing the country billions of dollars. She used her position to bring out her strong opposition to the increased military spending in facilitating the Vietnam War yet America was facing some domestic social issues that they had to forego to finance the war. She articulates her arguments in a concise and informed way that convinces me that the money spent on the war could be better devoted to social programs such as education.
Chisholm uses an ethos appeal to bring out the fact that the social programs were of more importance to the ordinary people than the war. She starts by referring to herself as a teacher and a woman, which makes her more credible to argue her case in support of education over the war. According to her, from the perspective of a teacher and a woman, she did not see the value in spending billions to facilitate buying of unnecessary weapons yet the disadvantaged children got nothing (Chisholl, 1969).
It is also illogical for the country to spend billions in engaging in external affairs yet there is no budget to spend more on the education of American children. Chisholm cites a case where Robert Finch the secretary of health, education, and welfare articulated the need to spend more on education but then, America could not afford it until the war in Vietnam is solved.
It beats all logic to have a country sideline social programs for taxpayers for a war with a foreign nation. The people being the taxpayers need to have the priority and not the other way round as America did in the Vietnam War. I am, therefore, convinced by Chisholm's speech against the war.
Chisholm S. (1969). "People and Peace, Not Profits and War." Retrieved from Torricelli S. R.
& Carroll A. (1999). In Our Own Words:Extraordinary Speeches of the American
Century. New York: Washington Square Press Publication. Pp. 279.
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