This image exemplifies the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) but truly raises question behind what really happened. The President was murdered and still to this day the facts do not quite make sense. Shortly before the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination this image was posted in hopes to raise more controversy. At first look it is a bold image with a strong statement that portrays the fiftieth anniversary. When further pondered it restimulates all of the question the public was left with after that controversial day. From the vibrant use of red, to the striking hole in his head, to the bold choice of words, they all symbolize a crucial part of the JFK assassination.
On November 22, 1963, an eerie haze was set over America as President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while participating in a presidential campaign in Dallas, Texas (Brooks). Times often people associate feelings with colors, bright being happy and dark being gloomy. The lack of color in this image does a good job of representing the “grey” day in history. The words in white are the persuasion aspect of the image, what they want out of it, so the contrast in the mainly black photo makes it catch the eye. Also, red being the vibrant choice of color not only shows that the day was not as simple as black and white, but also raises the most important question ‘who has the blood on their hands.’ Brooks said, “Eighty-five percent of the American public do not accept the Warren Commission Report’s conclusion that Oswald was the sole assassin, to this day” (39). There are many different theories as to where the Warren Commission went wrong but one thing that is for sure, after further evidence was evaluated many facts do not amass.
Besides the red in this image, the large hole in his head is the most prominent aspect for a few reasons. One is, all of JFK’s wounds were non-fatal until the gruesome head shot. Also, the evidence from the video image captured that day, contradicts with the Warren Commission Report. Report states, “The bullet entered in the back of the head and went out on the right side of his skull ... he was shot from above and behind,” (86). Although, in the video, making it seem as if he was shot from the front, his head jerks backwards along with the piece of skull that the bullet removed. The Report speaks solely about the shots fired in chapter three and is easily where the main controversy arises. It left many people with unanswered questions they were hoping to have solved on the fiftieth anniversary.
The use of clear, plain font makes the reader focus on what the words say. Most Americans would just like the government’s candor. On the fiftieth anniversary, in 2013, there was hope they would release the 1,171 files that are still classified, but that was not the case (Nicholson). In Nicholson’s article, Jim Lesar, the man who requested the files, indicates, “In 1992, Congress unanimously passed legislation that was designed to get all of the JFK assassination-related records released. There was supposed to be only a very few records whose release could be postponed for periods of time including up until the year 2017, but basically everything was supposed to be released well before then." The effort to keep information hidden from the public does not sit well with many. While Brooks finds that eighty-five percent of Americans do not believe that Oswald was the sole shooter, Cloward points that to seventy percent (Cloward). He then furthered his studies to find seventy-five percent of Americans do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin, seventy percent suspect that there was a broader plot in the assassination, sixty-six percent think there was a conspiracy, and seventy-four percent think there was a cover-up (Cloward). However it is considered, there is no question that most of America has their doubts.
Media always played a large role in the presidency of JFK. During his short three years in office he used the media to project a good image of himself. White wrote, “Kennedy was obsessed with how the press reported on him, spending a sizeable chunk of every day devouring the major newspapers. A journalist reporting on Kennedy with anything less than gleeful admiration would invariably find himself or herself cold-shouldered,” (238). Some say that he had a large role in how the media is used today, persuading and warping people into beliefs. He would have been appreciative to see the use of media to resurface this topic.
The lack of trust of the Warren Commission Report is one key element that lead more and more people in America to distrust the government, start to question reality, and become conspiracy theorists. Once the public lost the earned for trust, it made them question what else they could be hiding. Just about every major tragedy since has had many conspiracy theories made about it. Regardless of the theories and what did and did not happen that day, we do know that President John F. Kennedy was killed and it is a day most will never forget. This image is up to deliberation on how one interprets it. However, one thing that can not be deliberated is the use of contrasting colors, stand out shapes and bold words, make it captivating.