Dr. J. White
October 18, 2011
Education: A Right or a Privilege?
In our society, when a controversial concern is at hand, an impassioned debate often arises. In the heat of a contentious debate, an arguer may apply a method of rhetorical persuasion with the intention to influence the audience’s perception. In a 1998 publication of author, Steve Fainaru’s article entitled, “Mexican Children Get Hard Lesson,” he discusses the effects of a legislative regulation which outlaws non-citizen children in New Mexican schools in Deming, New Mexico to receive an education from our school system. As a student myself, I was disheartened in learning that a young child’s right to an education and guidance toward a successful future can be completely revoked as a result of the child’s region of birth being outside of our country. A rhetorical fallacy is, in most cases, an incorrect argumentation in reasoning that results in a misconception. In this analysis, I will investigate both the favoring and the refusing interpretations of the argument regarding free education for immigrant children and I will identify the rhetorical fallacies portrayed by each view, used in attempt to defend their position. Fainaru’s article was originally published in the Boston Globe, a newspaper that is far removed from the debate in New Mexico. In his commentary, Fainaru illustrates the “A”, side, the “pro” side of this argument in this passage including a statement: “It’s a tragedy, like we’ve been hit by a killer earthquake,” said Phoebe Watson,…former principal of Columbus Elementary School, who started the cross-border education program in the 1950s. “People who thought that they were going to get an education have been told that they can’t, and that’s one of the worst things that you can imagine. Every child in the world deserves an education.” (p. 133-4) In her statement, Ms. Watson expresses deep regret that many children no longer have the...