??take a position on the debate: is Bill Cosby’s criticism justified or, as William Ryan might ask, is he blaming the victim?” My response to this question was to formulate the essay as a rhetorical argument, and took the stance that all writing is persuasive writing. As a result, the responses to the arguments in the reading set were structured using the same logic Cosby, West, Dyson, and Ryan used; this means that rhetorical flourishes were used instead of the strict argumentative form that would be found in legal writing. You will notice that Cosby, West, Dyson, and even Ryan are guilty of using rhetoric to establish their arguments. Indeed, Dyson even refers to Cosby’s argument as, “classist, elitist, and rooted in generational warfare.” Furthermore, by referring to William Ryan’s ‘blaming the victim’ in the essay prompt, I took the statement ‘blaming the victim’ to be indicative of not only Ryan’s argument, but of the entire reading set that opposed Cosby.
When considering the Cosby argument, one grader noted that the essay did not fully grasp Cosby’s arguments. I must respectfully disagree and point the grader’s attention to the Boondocks comic in which the boy’s father chastises him for needing to pull up his pants and refers to the boy as ‘dirty laundry’. This comic is a satire on those that would take Cosby’s argument literally. In the essay, I set out to defend Cosby’s argument on the grounds that, “Cosby is not a social scientist and his message is not meant to be judged by these standards; rather, he is a respected and influential leader whose statements need to be understood for their rhetorical efficacy. In attacking Cosby, Dyson is willfully committing a socially irresponsible form of ignorance. While this example may seem a fairly basic formulation of a complex social problem…Cosby’s comments aren’t meant to be interpreted as the literal proscriptive formulation of a policy maker, but as a rhetorically