“The Age of Protest,” by Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times. Published on January 13, 2016.
Thomas L. Friedman’s latest article, “The Age of Protest (2016),” argues that in the modern day world, the method in which we address issues that touch us has become more severe. Friedman supports his moralistic position through examples of the responses to modern day problems and a neutral tone. The purpose of the article is to reveal an unattractive habit of society to educate his audience on better ways of addressing issues. Judging from the exigency of the article, we can assume that Friedman’s audience is anybody in the general public who is loud about his or her own views.
The article begins as Friedman introduces the exigency of the article in the first paragraph, in which he had discovered that the famed English newspaper, The Guardian, had a “Protest” section. Friedman then reported that one of the articles stated that we “live in an age of protest.” To support this observation, Friedman provides logos through the reactions to recent comments and actions made by two public officials: the Chancellor of Germany (New Year’s Eve Sexual Assault Incidents) and President Obama (SOTU Moment on Gun Control). Friedman explains that there is much protest because of the multitude of problems currently taking place in the world. However, if the target audience is adults, young adults may not understand the references Friedman uses (“Moore’s Laws,” etc.) Finally, Friedman quotes an author who has valid credentials, yet an unknown name, to prove that the “moral outrage,” or acting on issues without fully thinking them through, creates more issues.
I do believe it is common nowadays for us to stomp over each other’s views. If you need a visual representation, check out the comments section for any type of YouTube video. I recently read an article that described how the founder of CampusPride, a LGBT college search for secondary school students, met with the CEO of Chick-fil-a after he made some anti-LGBT remarks that caused much controversy. However, both men were able to meet and discuss their anxieties face-to-face. What happened was that both of them came out of the conversation with an equal point of view, and the CEO of the fast-food chain tolerant and welcoming. What are ways that we can have sensitive and stable discussions?