What is an “unjust law”? Though described differently by many an “unjust law” could be said to be a law that is right legally and not morally. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry Thoreau both have dealings with the government due to their disagreement with laws that they saw as unjust. Both men were sent to jail for not complying with the laws put in place by the government. They do so however in ways that do not subtract from the overall point they are trying to prove. Though they handle their situations differently they ultimately strive for the same goal in making those who are of higher power and those who are everyday people see their wrong doings in following these laws. Thoreau said, “Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?” These men want people to realize that just because “majority rules” does not mean majority is right.
Both Dr.King and Henry Thoreau were protesting against similar things. Both men were working towards the equal treatment of all people. Thoreau refused to pay his taxes because he felt it supported the Mexican-American war and the expansion of slavery in Concord, and Dr.King protested against racial inequality in Alabama. These men felt as if peaceful protest would bring positive attention to their causes by allowing people to see that it is not them but the government who is harsh and irrational.
For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the struggle for justice was long and hard. Dr.King was living in a time period where racial equality was basically non-existent. African American’s during this time did not have the same rights as the white people. Their voices we...
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... Luther King Jr. both want people to realize that civil rebellion is sometimes needed to prove a valid point. Both men used some form of protest to show their disagreement with the laws in place. For Dr. King it was protest against the racial inequality the oppressed his people. For Thoreau it was protest against a tax that he did not agree with or support. They also want people to think for themselves and not comply to laws that they do not agree are just. We should ultimately challenge our government to make it work for us and not against us. Dr King said, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” So if the majority is working against what you believe is morally right take a stance against the majority, because “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
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