Post-9/11 presidential rhetoric and the ongoing reality of racism in the United States

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alan Wray (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Beth Huber

Abstract: There is little question that the tragedy of September 11, 2001 has significantly impacted 21st century life in the United States. On a rhetorical level, 9/11 seems to have triggered a distinct shift in how many Americans understand their political and social environment. In this paper Alan Wray connects a seemingly increased tolerance for discrimination and racially motivated violence with the post-9/11 presidential rhetoric of G.W. Bush—addressing concerns about the type of shift the tragedy precipitated. Identifying specific discursive choices and analyzing their implications, Wray argues for an explicit correlation between Bush’s language and the perpetuation of cycles of violence. Through an investigation of Bush’s first public speeches in the wake of September 11, Wray discusses the former president’s commitment to authoritarian tactics and categorical rejection of opposing views. By highlighting the logical and practical consequences of Bush administration ideology and tracing this impact into President Obama’s first term, Wray argues for the ongoing need to identify and push back against rhetorical tactics that impede the manifestation of nonviolence in our society.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
9/11, Bush, Nonviolence, Politics, Racism, Rhetoric
Bush, George W. (George Walker), 1946- -- Oratory
Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 21st century
Communication in politics -- United States -- History -- 21st century
Political oratory -- United States -- History -- 21st century
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 -- Influence
Racism -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 21st century

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