Martin Luther King Nonviolent Movement

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To Fight or Not to Fight, That is the Question “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” it is the anthem of all African Americans yearning for the same rights as white citizens. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist wrote those powerful words as he sat he jail, imprisoned for participating in a nonviolent demonstration against segregation. There were numerous people fighting for equality however, they had differing ideas on how to best approach the problem. King, asserted his belief of peacefully protesting. Being a minister, he did not condone violence and felt the African American dream of equality was achievable through nonviolent efforts. On the other end of the spectrum stood Malcolm Little, better known as Malcolm…show more content…
In his letter from Birmingham jail, written in August of 1963, King outlined the four steps, “In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of facts to determine whether injustices are alive, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action” (Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1). He knew injustices were evident from the accounts of abuse endured by African Americans. He tried to negotiate with the political leaders, but they refused so King had to move on to the last two steps. Self-purification was the hardest, but most important step of the process in starting a nonviolent campaign. It was a workshop, teaching supporters of the cause how to suffer abuse without retaliating. Then was the last step, direct action, in the form of protests. King knew that as they protested for equality adversaries of the cause would do anything to try to stop the protests, actions would include hurting the protesters, however, King stressed the importance of not fighting back, and if they fought back, the problem would only escalate. Leaders would use those acts of violence as proof saying African Americans did not deserve equality on the basis that they were dangerous. It would push their campaign back decades. That is why King so outspokenly advocated for a nonviolent approach to civil rights. If they outwardly fought it would only ruin them,…show more content…
and Malcolm X had different ideals when it came to how to solve problems, they both had the same goal in mind however; they each faced a colossal obstacle in their quest for equality, the white man. King and Malcolm X had different qualms when it came to the white American. For King, it was the white moderate, the man who said he backed the civil rights cause while actually hindering it. For Malcolm X, it was the government. While African Americans had been in government before, it was a small number and it was almost all white. Malcolm X blamed the government, the mostly white government, for the lack of equality endured by African Americans. He complained that the white politicians did not care about African Americans. King’s complaint regards the white moderate; the white moderates claim allegiance to his cause, but do not actually help the cause. The white moderates claim that African Americans deserve equality, but King is approaching the problem the wrong way, even though they are not fighting back, their demonstrations are causing violence. King, appalled at that statement, claimed that blaming the peaceful African Americans protesters for the violence inflicted on them is like “condemning the robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery... Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber” (Letter from Birmingham Jail, 3). He claimed that the white moderate, who only wants peace, is the real
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