Anyone may say that the force is unfair and unjust. Yet, who is actually ready to accept the consequences for going against the unjust law? Is breaking the law worth the penalty? The government is the one to determine whether the law is fair but what if the people think it’s not? should we protest the force? Civil rights leader like Henry David Thoreau, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. represented very different philosophies.
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Thoreau and King shared the same civil disobedience ideology. King “Look forward to the time when blacks and whites would sit down together at the table of brotherhood” words taken from his “I Have a Dream” speech made in Washington in 1963. Malcolm X was interested “So I cite these various revolutions, brothers, and sisters to show you that you don’t have a peaceful revolution” (552). They differed on the use of violence to achieve their goals and they differed on the roles of whites in the civil rights movement.
“On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau was the way of educating people on why they should not go for the ideal regime. Thoreau’s job in this message that it constitutes our responsibility to put off the inadequate administration, as said by Thomas Jefferson in the “Declaration of Independence” insisted that it is our “duty to throw off an unsatisfactory government”. The reading talks about Thoreau’s polar viewpoint towards unjust authorities. “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” touches about why people of why people choose not to do anything about a government they are unhappy with. The reading is an excellent way or educating people on they should not settle for a less than perfect government. Henry David Thoreau outlines a utopian society in which each individual would be responsible for governing himself. His opposition to a centralized government is an effort to disassociate with the American government, which at the time were supporting slavery and unjustly invading Mexico. Thoreau argues that individual should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.
Message in the Grassroots is a speech which was written to persuade the black people of America to put their differences aside and unite against the American racist hypocritical culture and defend themselves, so they can stay in America by forming a black nation. Evidence of this is when he states, ‘forget our differences and come together’ and, he calls the black people the ‘same family’, he then says that they need to ‘defend our own people right here in this country’. This shows that Malcolm X has a strong opinion that the black people need to stick together and have a ‘united front’ in front of the ‘oppressing white man’. However, the whole speech is very emotive and touching and creates great imagery. “The Message to Grassroots”, by Malcolm X, g Initially it was the verify he was a black man and he was Muslim, but more so than that he was a part of American History, Black History.
After reading his speech he could be viewed as an Anti- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In making this statement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., former a movement for the betterment and equal and/or civil rights for Blacks, and then for the rest for the rest of the nation. However, Malcolm X saw this plight as cowardice and a sure recipe of disaster. In the speech, “Message to Grassroots”, X makes the point that a revolution is an event the takes place with bloodshed. It is not possible for a nation of any kind to fight for rights or revolution without bloodshed, so in this instinct, the non-violence social movement held no residence in really changing the treatment of blacks in America, based on X speech. In the opening of the speech makes a case that now is a call for action, when X states: “We all agree tonight; all of the speakers have agreed that American has a serious problem. Not only does American have a very serious problem, but our people have a very serious problem. “The message being sent grabs the attention of the audience immediately due to the word order. The consistency use of the word problem gets the audience engaged wondering what the problem at hand is, it opens or alert the persuades that it is more to come that would be a new uh huh moment. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. had a common purpose for African Americans; justice and equality. Illustrated through their speeches and letters, Malcolm X’s “Message to the Grass Roots” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. The two did not share techniques or ideas.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in order to address the biggest issue in Birmingham and the United States at the time. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” discusses the great injustices happening toward the black community in Birmingham. In order to justify his desire for radical justice and equality, King uses ethical appeals. Although not being from Birmingham he said he need to be there because of the many injustice’s whites do toward black people. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Justification on defying unjust laws is talked about in his letter and how King cites conscience as a guide to obeying just laws and defying unjust laws, in the same way, Thoreau wrote in “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience”. Apart from King’s added religious beliefs, Thoreau and King shared the same ideas concerning civil disobedience and the way in which one should deal with just and unjust laws, although they demonstrated their viewpoints indifferent.
Social justice is defined as justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Social justice has always been an engaging topic, there so much history that goes with it. Hearing those two words I automatically think to get as close to equal in the given situation. In American society, there is a big sense of individualism and focusing on what makes us happy and just focusing on ourselves for the most part. Although self-care is not a problem I believe that people should be more willing to speak more on social injustices. If you have a voice you should use it because no one wants to fight a battle alone.
I believe speaking about problems is the only way to resolve them instead of tossing them under the rug. We allow too much to go undiscussed. We live in a society in which people desensitize themselves to atrocities going on in the world if they are not personally affected. By living in the United States, we have been given resources such as the internet and social media to spread awareness of situations going on in other countries and even in the United States to be a voice for the people who are not allowed or are too afraid to speak up. With all tools and internet outlets given to us, we could definitely start using those for change.
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