DISCUSS THE APPROACH MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND MALCOLM X TOOK TO PROTEST!
In this essay, I will be discussing Martin Luther King and Malcolm X’s methods of protest. I will also talk about which one I agree with and why. Lastly, I will discuss what I would protest for and how.
Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X were two people who wanted the same thing for African–Americans when segregation against black people was a horrendous and disgusting outrage. They were civil rights activists who wanted African-Americans to have freedom, but they had different ideas as to how the goal should be achieved and went about it in completely different ways.
Martin was a well educated pacifist. Martin wrote in his auto-biography that he first experienced discrimination when his neighbours who were white stopped him from playing with their sons who he had already been playing with for years. A few years later, Martin and his father were asked to move to the back of a shoe shop simply because of the colour of their skin. King’s father handled the situation with dignity and they left the shop without buying anything. Martin seeing his father act in such a respectful and peaceful way may have influenced how he acted when older.
Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to put an end to separation by integration. “I have a dream that …little black boys and girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and girls as brothers and sisters.” He chose to achieve this by peaceful protest as he was a pastor who believed in loving those who hate you. I would say that his faith definitely affected the way in which he chose to protest because the bible says in Romans 12: 17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”
Martin King and Henry Thoreau both write persuasive expositions that oppose majority ideals and justify their own causes. While this similarity is clear, the two essays, “Letters from Birmingham Jail” by King and “Civil Disobedience” by Thoreau, do have their fair share of differences. Primarily in the causes themselves, as King persuades white, southern clergy men that ...
Martin said, “If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, ‘There lived a great people—a black people—who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.’!”
He had a dream that his “four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
And so in contrast to the violent methods used by many whites, such as releasing attack dogs and using powerful water hoses to control crowds, King organized marches. He also organised a bus boycott. After the arrest of Rosa Parks, it was decided that black people in Montgomery would refuse to use the buses until passengers were completely integrated. King was arrested and his house was fire-bombed. Others involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott also suffered from harassment and intimidation, but the protest continued. For thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration and the boycott came to an end on 20th December, 1956. I think this was a huge achievement.
Martin was hugely influenced by Ghandi’s belief in nonviolence. King visited India and loved the fact that he did not witness anger while he was in India. After King talked to some of Gandhi’s followers, he was convinced that nonviolence was the strongest way to help people to freedom.
Malcolm X on the other hand believed the black man had to get his freedom and that it was to be done “by any means necessary!”
What is a Country to Do? In recent times, the throne of Scotland has been filled with very small men. Theses o-called sovereigns have abused their God given power to their own pitiful ends instead of using it the way it was meant to. They spend our taxes foolishly so that they can live in splendor, chase their enemies to the grave, and insure that the common man cannot rise against them. They live ...
Malcolm, whose name was originally Malcolm Little, had a difficult childhood as his father was murdered and several years later, his mother Louise suffered emotional breakdown and was committed to a mental institution. Her children – Malcolm and his brothers and sisters were split up amongst various foster homes and orphanages. Malcolm was a clever boy who wanted to become a lawyer but when a favourite teacher told Malcolm his dream was “no realistic goal for a nigger,” Malcolm lost interest in school. He dropped out and eventually became involved with drugs and crime resulting in him being arrested. As you can see he was already exposed to a lot of violence at a young age and he believed the white man was the cause of a lot of the problems black men had.
It was in prison that he became part of The Nation of Islam. He became a devoted follower with the new surname “X.” (He considered “Little” a slave name and chose the “X” to signify his lost tribal name.)He was appointed as a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm once said,
“If a dog is biting a black man, the black man should kill the dog, whether the dog is a police dog or a hound dog or any kind of dog. If a dog is fixed on a black man when that black man is doing nothing but trying to take advantage of what the government says is supposed to be his, then that black man should kill that dog or any two-legged dog who sets the dog on him…I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defence; I call it intelligence.”
He did not agree with Martin Luther King Jr’s idea of integration. This is what he once said. “…when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong, what do you do? You integrate it with cream… But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep!”
Malcolm also felt that King did not have a “dream but a nightmare and he was too dumb to know it”. He believed integration was a false solution to the problem.
Females change your selves, then males In Robert Sibleys essay, "Let Boys be Boys", he discusses how the feminist society tries to suppress the males masculinity because to them it seems violent. He also argues weather or not males are inherently violent. From observing the growth of any male from childhood and manhood, the fact appears to be that the male population is not inherently violent. ...
Malcolm believed that, “Anything you can think of that you want to change right now, the only way you can do it is with a ballot or a bullet.” “Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone lays a hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” These quotes show how willing he was to use violence as the answer if necessary.
X eventually left the organisation Nation of Islam due to tensions between Elijah Muhammad head of the Nation of Islam and himself. Malcolm decided to found his own religious organization, the Muslim Mosque, Inc.
On a number of opportunities, both men spoke against what the other person’s ideas were. Personally though feel that peaceful protest is much more honourable and generally more effective than the violent approach. I feel this because a friend of mine was in an argument with another girl and ended up thinking violence was the solution. They had a fight which in the end only caused more problems as it resulted in even bigger arguments. The other girl wanted to start a fight again but this time, my friend decided to tell her that she was being a pathetic bully and walked away. There were no more problems between the two of them after that. I know it’s not always as easy as that but it is one of the reasons I share Martin Luther King’s point of view rather than Malcolm X’s. I also share Martin’s view because I feel it is very easy to allow anger to take control and result to violence but extremely difficult, rewarding and respectable to forgive and react in a peaceful manner to those who wrong you. Peaceful protest is a civilized way for showing dissatisfaction. Someone might disagree by saying you can ignore a non violent approach with a non response whereas violence catches attention and cannot be ignored but I feel violent protests are more expensive in terms of how many lives can be lost through violence. Other people might take from what Malcolm X said “the price of freedom is death.”
I think Malcolm X was definitely 100% right in challenging the ridiculously unjust laws that African-Americans faced but not with violence because I feel that resulting to violence is being just as bad as those who discriminate against you with violence.
Representation 2 is the best representation in showing how effective peaceful protest was because it has the best accuracy since it’s a history book, for example “In 1961, 26 year old African-American teacher” this is an accurate report, moreover the source has good comprehensiveness and covers most of the events of the civil rights in the USA. However, Representation 1,2 and 3E all represent how ...
It was certainly important to highlight the issues and raise awareness. Someone might say that as long as you are getting some sort of result that it doesn’t matter whether you chose to use violence or non violence but I would disagree though since I feel the way in which you get results can influence and set examples for others.
Also, sometimes violence can hinder results. For instance – when women were fighting for the right to vote, there were suffragettes (violent protesters) and suffragists (peaceful protesters).
Males believed that women could not be trusted with the vote because they were too irrational and by violent protesters acting the way they did, they just proved this. Peaceful protesters were alternatively patient and gave logical arguments to prove they were completely worthy of the vote. Many people believe the violent protesters only made matters worse and delayed women from getting the vote quicker.
Violent protest has been successful many times though such as the French revolution which rid France of the monarchy that had ruled for centuries. Or the Irish revolt that resulted in the Republic of Ireland.
But peaceful protest has been successful with people like:
• Jesus of Nazareth also known as The “Prince of Peace” who challenged corruption and the political status quo and was completely committed to non-violence – “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.
• Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader who led the Indian independence movement and did many other things. “Hate the sin, Love the sinner.”
• Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet who advocated for Tibetan independence. Despite reports of Chinese us using violence in Tibet, the Dalai Lama kept peaceful. “The antidote to hatred in the heart, the source of violence, is tolerance. Well-developed tolerance makes you free from the compulsion to counterattack.”
• Or Mandela who didn’t start out as a peaceful protester. After 27 years of imprisonment, Mandela came out a man committed to peace and reconciliation. He proceeded to be the first black president of South Africa.
Something I have noticed though is that many protesters; violent or non-violent, have ended up being crucified, executed, arrested or assassinated. I think this is very sad.
Violence in Media: You Are What You Watch The rising tide of crime in North America exists primarily in the minds of the media. Television has created a perception that crime has multiplied, double or triple, in the past quarter-century due to violence. In fact, US Justice Department survey data shows, crime in the US has dropped 24 percent since 1971 and violent crime is down 2 percent. Crime ...
If I were brave and courageous enough to protest for something, it would have to be for an end to the war in Iraq because too many lives are being lost unnecessarily in my opinion. I would choose to protest peacefully by marches and petitions. The obvious reason for this would be because I am a Christian. Other reasons though are because I don’t think violence should be fought with violence. But the main motive is because I ALWAYS strife to make my parents proud and my mum always says let your words do the fighting, not your fist. So if I succeeded in protesting in a peaceful way, I know I would make her proud of me.
Eventually, Malcolm X’s opinion changed when he took a life changing pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia and came back as a new man. When he returned, Malcolm said he had met “blonde-haired, blued-eyed men I could call my brothers.” He had a new view on integration. This time when Malcolm spoke, instead of just preaching to African-Americans, he had a message for all races.
“Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth.”
In conclusion, we can see that both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. wanted the same thing. But their ideas by which they were to achieve it were no where near the same. King wanted to have a peaceful protest, to awaken the public; white or black and patiently get change whereas Malcolm X wanted to see change, and he wanted to see it there and then. He believed that violence should be used if necessary to change the world for the better.
Both Martin Luther king and Malcolm X both made a huge difference even though they took different approaches to protest. I feel that they were inspiring and brave. Also when they spoke, their words were filled with intelligence. They shared a hope that their people could be free from oppression and racism and have freedom, and they were courageous enough to go out and get what they wanted! They are both legends