Essay Civil Rights By Martin Luther King Jr.

Essay Civil Rights By Martin Luther King Jr.

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Civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr, says “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”
Martin Luther King Jr. firmly believed in going against a law, if one’s conscience thought it was unjust, but he was not where the mindset originated from. American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, came up with the concept that a person can deliberately not follow certain laws, as a form of protest, if the law goes against what their conscience views as just. The term for this concept is called civil disobedience. Thoreau had some serious problems with the way the United States was run. He was an outspoken opponent of slavery and bitterly opposed the Mexican – American War, which he viewed as an act of American aggression. In protest, Thoreau refused to pay his poll taxes. He spent a night in jail for this offense in 1848, and was released the next morning when a friend (against his wishes) paid the tax for him. The following year his essay on the topic, “Civil Disobedience,” was published. (Henry)
In the essay, “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau’s logical thoughts play a huge part in how he felt that law should be handled. He felt that if a law goes against personal and moral belief, then as a person there is a moral obligation to stand up against the injustice in a civilized way. Logically speaking he felt that if a law was wrong, do not follow it. How civil disobedience is planned and put into action plays a big part in determining if it will fail or succeed, when brought to the public view.
The first principle is to maintain res...


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... anything to jeopardize what is being fought for. They will do whatever it takes, and go through anything for the progression of justice. Civil disobedience is fighting, without the physicality aspect. In civil disobedience, fighting is peaceful protesting and standing up against oppression, regardless of the outcome.
In conclusion, when trying to carry out a successful civil disobedience plan, the key is understanding how to say and do things to change the public reaction to the movement. Civil disobedience teaches how to stand up, and think with their conscience, in a structured and orderly way. A lot of times people go about things the wrong way, and even if they are right, people are not receptive to it because of how they went about it. This just goes to show that, it is not what is being said or done, but in reality it is all about how things are said and done!

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