The myth that “all men are equal” has created false hopes for the people of color, who continually seek opportunities to excel, that just aren’t there. They have been led to believe that intelligence and ambitions are key contributors to one’s success. Even if they do possess ambition and intelligence, the dominant majority of the white population oppresses them. This type of oppression points out that new methods of struggle are needed, such as whose employed by Martin Luther King, Jr., Franz Fanon and W.E.B. Du Bois. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated nonviolence to suppress oppression in his essay, “The Power of Nonviolent Action.” King's factual and reasoned approach is intended to win his adversaries over by appealing to their consciences. King realized that the best strategy to liberate African-Americans and gain them justice was to use nonviolent forms of resistance. He wanted to eliminate the use of violence as a means to manage and establish cooperative ways of interacting. Moreover, King states that the “oppressed people must organize themselves into a militant and nonviolent mass movement” in order to achieve the goal of integration. The oppressed must “convince the oppressors that all he seeks is justice, for both himself and the white man” (King, 345). Furthermore, King agreed with Gandhi that if a law is unjust, it is the duty of the oppressed to break the law, and do what they believe to be right. Once a law is broken, the person must be willing to accept the ...
Non-violent direct action and respectful disagreement are a form of civil disobedience. Martin Luther King, Jr. defines “civil disobedience” as a way to show others what to do when a law is unjust and unreasonable. King is most famous for his role in leading the African American Civil Rights Movement and using non-violent civil disobedience to promote his beliefs. King also firmly believed that civil disobedience was the way to defeat racial segregation against African Americans. While leading a protest march on the streets, King was arrested and sent to jail. In response to his imprisonment and an article he read while there, King wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail, explaining that an injustice affects everyone and listed his own criteria for
The main goal of the Civil Rights Movement was to instate equality under the law. King was a figurehead for the Civil Rights Movement. King’s ability to organize factions into a force that was unaffected by violence greatly contributed to the success of the Civil Rights Movement. In a letter he wrote from a Birmingham jail, King describes the four steps to non-violent protest. The first step is “collection of the facts to determine whether an injustice exists.”i This relates to Thoreau’s critique of an unjust government. Thoreau believed that every machine had friction, yet “when the friction comes to have its machine…let us not have such a machine any longer.”ii In the case of civil rights, the government has the friction of racial inequalities. That friction had several machines which enables whites to prevail over African Americans. King’s second step was negation. Thoreau lived during a time when negotiation was non-existent. He met the government “once a year--no more--in the person of its tax-gatherer; this is the only mode in which a man situated as I am necessarily meets it.”iii In the case of Thoreau and King, their struggle could not be resolved by simple negotiation. The third step, as King calls it, was self purification.
Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay “Love, Law, and Civil Disobedience” has two main features. The first feature of King’s essay is a call for action; action to bring about change. The second feature, the more easily viewed feature of this essay is a call for a specific type of action to bring about a specific type of change. The change King wishes to bring about is a peace and equality brought about through non-violent actions.
(Ansbro, 231) instead of promoting love and violence among all races. King’s purpose in promoting nonviolence direct action was to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiations. He felt that practicing nonviolence would portray his followers as moral beings while making apparent the brutality of the segregationists. King’s preaching of nonviolence was monumental in succeeding in demonstrations such as the Montgomery bus boycott and the desegregation of public schools. King’s reaching of nonviolent direct action furthers the arguments that King is the most influential person of the twentieth century.
King's resolution to fighting oppression is nonviolent resistance. It "seeks to reconcile the truths of the two opposites- acquiescence and violence- while avoiding the extremes and immoralities of both," (282). He communicates that nonviolent resistance agrees with the acquiesces who believe one should not resort to violence while also confirming with the violent individual that believes evil cannot be condoned or ignored.
King believed that the way to secure civil rights for African Americans was through a nonviolent approach. In his speech “Where Do We Go From Here?” King expresses that nonviolence “is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for justice…through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder…darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.” King wants his listeners to believe that violence and hatred will not provide relief from years of oppression. It is only through love and nonviolence (light) that we can overcome hatred (darkness). King understood the frust...
The twentieth century saw the rise and fall of three pivotal figures in the ongoing movement for equality and justice for all peoples. Mahatma Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King, Jr. all addressed the immoral and unjust actions of drastically different societies, yet all were to enact some degree of social change that would eventually result in an increased quality of life for oppressed members of their nations. A key strategy in their movements was nonviolent resistance, actively resisting unjust laws and practices and largely using only peaceful and non-harmful means to achieve their ends. This begs the question: What makes a nonviolent movement so powerful? Gandhi used nonviolence to change the minds of the British Empire,
According to Martin Luther King, there are three ways that oppressed people cope with oppression; Acquiescence, basically where the oppressed get used to being oppressed. Resort to physical violence and corroding hatred, which would bring momentary solutions and establish additional and more complex problems. Nonviolent resistance, that seeks to create a balance between the acquiescence and violence by preventing the extremes and immoralities of both. In the text “Nonviolence” the term is explained as “a set of assumptions about morality, power and conflict that lead its proponents to reject the use of violence in efforts to attain social and political goals.” (p.1) As King implies, those assumptions does not imply a battle between people but a opposition between justice and injustice and by the help of nonviolent resistance the Negro can fight for equality. The hint is to create effective tactics and considering political and cultural conditions, and develop a better plan or strategy.
also highlights the importance of action in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Just as Thoreau before, King is frustrated at this point with certain parts of the Civil Rights Movement. King stresses the importance of peaceful demonstration and he recognizes that after centuries of oppression, a race held back will yearn for freedom, and they will express that yearning in whichever way authorities choose - peaceful or violent. Speaking of African American demonstrators, King urges the public and authorities to "let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence." King knows that with or without peaceful demonstration, change will come. The change could come with scars and pain or with love and understanding, as changes will take place when they are long yearned. The good impacts of civil disobedience come into play here, showing that without a peaceful outlet, violent demonstration will overcome with possibly devastating impact. King also explains what he considers a divide in his own race, stating that he has "tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist." Echoing the thoughts of Thoreau before him, King too expresses his frustration with both complacent people who stand by and watch, feeling they have no duty, and true extremists who escalate situations and make them violent. Peaceful resistance is once again successful in the situation of Civil Rights; even though there were violent bursts from both sides, nonviolent demonstrations saved everyone from destructive
Although he commends the efforts that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had achieved, he is upset that their efforts are slow and victories are few and far between. King also condemns those who call for violent revolution, claiming that blood will be shed and will only result in more hatred King advocates that a nonviolent tactic is the only alternative. King uses historical examples to illustrate nonviolent revolutions. He uses the example of the economic boycotts during the American Revolutionary war and also to Mohandas K. Gandhi’s leadership against British rule when they occupied India. These examples of nonviolence tactics was proven effective in the past. Historical evidence does not explain the reasoning for the successful nonviolent protest. King states that nonviolence works because moral authority overcomes power that brutality and physical attacks lack. King upholds that nonviolence will be effective in civil rights for African Americans because it will bring a moral understanding of the wrongs of the brutal and unjust behaviors practiced by those who opposed to racial segregation. For over three centuries, African Americans have lived a life of fear of violence. By bringing unjust practices into the streets where news cameras and newspaper reporters can see, nonviolent protesters will gain the support of other Americans who are in favor of an end to racial discrimination. Nonviolence also conveys various benefits to the community such as a union of the community with the individual who wants change. King claims that a nonviolent movement is an unstoppable
Throughout his education, Martin Luther King Jr. tried to find a way to demonstrate his belief of racial equality with the most effective means possible. He quickly realized that the best strategy to end segregation was to use nonviolent forms of protest. At Crozer, Morehouse and Boston University, he studied the teaching of Mohandas Gandhi, who used nonviolent methods to help India claim its independence from Britain. King read several books on the ideas of Gandhi, and eventually became convinced that his methods could be employed by African Americans to obtain equality in America. King knew that any violence on the part of African Americans would lead to violent responses from segregationists, which would lead to injury or maybe even death for his followers. He had to teach his followers not to respond violently to cruel attacks from segregationists. King decided to sponsor workshops to train African Americans in nonviolent beh...
In the essay Dr Martin Luther King talks about oppression and different ways to fight it and that violence is never the right way. He also goes on to say. “If the American negro and other victims of oppression succumb to the temptation of violence in the struggle for freedom, future generations will be the recipients of desolate night of bitterness, and our chief to them will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos” King: pg.469
The non-violent philosophy was not a movement of pacifism to Martin Luther King, it was one of action. Absolute strength was apparent in its practice, but how? The student movement caused many of its’ participants to be severely beaten, chastised, and arrested, only to continue while never fighting back. Why were they doing this? King felt the answer was that through their actions they would awaken not only the majority, but more importantly the minority to the need for equal rights. Apathy had set in among both groups causing them to accept the current state of affairs, and like the great “gadfly” Socrates, King and the students were forcing both groups to wake up and open their eyes.
April 16, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King writes from Birmingham Jail states "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.". From "The Letter from a Birmingham Jail" Dr.King expresses fighting for equality in one area it has to be fought in a other areas as well. In order to start a non-violent protest society as a whole would have to come together to impact the justified system we all live under. Dr.King was determined to build a campaign using non violence when during the time there was a great amount of brutality happening. As Dr. King states " Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly". A resistance can make a impact if communities are all one accord.
Racial Oppression Today, a serious problem exists all over the world. Racial oppression takes place in the poorest and the richest countries, including America. Racial oppression is characterized by the majority, or the ruling race, imposing its beliefs, values, and laws on the minority, or the ruling race. In most areas, the ruling race is upper class whites that run the “system”, and have a disproportionate amount of power. In other areas, it may not be the white race, but it is still the race that comprises the majority, makes the laws, or has the most money.