The Civil Rights Movement: Civil Disobedience vs. Violence

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The Civil Rights Movement was a series of actions that really peaked in the 1960's. These political actions were aimed at gaining rights for African Americans. However, there were two ways of going about the movement. There were ones who protested peacefully, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and others who wanted a more pro-active way of fighting, like the black-rights activist Malcolm X. However, which way was more proactive? Even though both had great intentions, Dr. Martin Luther King had a better way of trying to achieve rights for the African American community. There's a saying that you can't fight fire with fire. If violence is fought back with aggression, then all you do is end up getting burnt, and the problem intensifies. That is the view of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Hate can not drive out hate: only love can do that” (Doc. A) This quote rings true, because if the African Americans were to become violent against the whites, then it would just shine more bad light on them. They are already looked down upon as “animals” and people who aren't worthy of the same “privileges” as blacks. If the oppressed turn violent, then that violence will become another thing that the whites can accuse them of. This can be used as another excuse for the whites to hate African Americans and be ten times as violent back. Malcolm X says that the African Americans should stand up and fight for their rights, as opposed to take Martin Luther King Jr.'s route of non-violent protests. He says that the government has failed the African Americans and that nobody is going to help the African Americans but themselves, and that's why they need to take actions into their own hands. (Doc. B) However, this can backfire. Since the government isn't o... ... middle of paper ... ...he South were. This became an international embarrassment, which urged the President to act immediately. In 1958, the Supreme Court declared that separate wasn't equal, and that school were to be desegregated. This is a prime example of how peaceful protest got things done. The kids who tried to go to school were acting very passive and didn't show aggression towards the crowd that threatened them. In the issue of Civil Rights, civil disobedience is a better way to go that aggression. When the African Americans were passive, they were able to achieve more civil rights. People saw that these African Americans were regular people struggling to get rights that they had been deprived of for hundreds of years. Martin Luther King Jr.'s mark on history still is seen today, while Malcolm X was just a spark of anger, blown out by the reciprocation of violent responses.

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