Comparing Speeches of Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez

Comparing Speeches of Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez

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Both of the speeches, Martin Luther King's and Cesar Chavez', are powerful peices and communicate one vision: equality. King and Chavez have two very different styles of writing but the message from both is simmilar. for example both king and chavez discuss how their people are discriminated against because of their skin color, and how their people have neither the right to vote in the the south, nor the will to vote in the north , and in Chavez' situation, to have their vote counted. however similar their message's may be, their writing styles are different. Chavez talks about statistics, about why and how his people are treated. king held that the atrocitys commited against his people were self evident and as such did not need to be proved to anyone. kings message was meant to encompass the entire Uninted States while Chavez' was directed primarily at California.
Throught the history of the uninted states it has been plagued with racism and prejudice. M.L.K and C.C were the two most outspoken opponents to the injustice that they saw on a daily basis. mlk said that it was "time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood". both ceasar and martin recognized a need for change and were brave enough to seek change. indeed in 1968 Dr. King sent a message to Chavez which said "Our separate struggles are really one. A struggle for freedom, for dignity, and for humanity." These mens cause was one and the same. these men were intamently connected, in fact chavez said that they were "Dr. King's disciples". you could no more have chavez without king than you could have ghandi without the imperialism. both men felt that their people were being robbed of there dignity. cesar chavez said that the most important thing to him was the "recognition of workers' dignity". "We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only"." was how mlk stated their dissatisfaction with the inequality.
Even though their message was incredibly similar, their writing style was vastly different. for example, Chavez talked in a especially concrete sense. he gave specific examples and statistics to support his opinion wihle mlk spoke on a very idealistic level with no real support in his speech. this difference might be because of there different backgrounds.

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one would assume from cesar chavez' background as the son of a shopowner turned migrant farmer that he would be a fairly practical person which would explain why he would feel it necessary to put some many examples in his adress. Dr. King, on the other hand, was the son of a baptist minister , and was a minister himself he naturally talked on a more post-conventional level with the thrust of his speech to get people to do the right thing because it was right. not because of past or present events.another significant difference between them was the scope of their visions. mlk envisioned a change for the whole of the country. king spoke to the disenfrachised blacks in the north and the south, in Alabama and California, in Tennessee and Colorado. Chavez only adressed the people in California. the problem that cesar percieved was one that he did not adress in his speech as a widespread problem but as a much more local one.
The tone of the speeches is very different as well. chavez has more condesencion in his address. even though his speech is very well written he seems ungrateful for all that he has recieved when compared to mlk. chavez said that he dosn't want people to do the right thing because its the right thing but because they have to for political reasons. it seems that he dosn't appriciate all of the people who helped his cause. mlk on the other hand says in his speech that he is gratful for the "white brothers" who are supporting equality and freedom.
In conclusion, both mlk and Cesar Chavez wrote amazing speeches about freedom, equality, and justice. their work has changed the Uninted States and has given people what both men wanted the most. Dignity.




Bibliography
King, M.L, Jr. (1968, August 28). I Have a Dream. speech given at the Civil Rights Rally, Washington DC. retrieved March 26 2008, from http://www.usconstitution.net/dream.html
Chavez, Cesar. (1984, November 9). Not Title. Speech given to the Commonwealth Club California, San Francisco, CA. retrieved April 6 2008, from http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/20thcentury/84- 11chavez-speech.html
Chavez, Cesar. (1984, November 9). Not Title. interview given at the Commonwealth Club California, San Francisco, CA. retrieved April 6 2008, from http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/20thcentury/84- 11chavez-qa.html
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