Paths to Overcome Oppression

To overcome oppression, Martin Luther King Jr. pursued it with nonviolence, while Malcolm X, believed the only way to achieve freedom was though violence. Both men believed it was imperative that something be done, however their ideas of obtaining freedom were polar opposites. Martin Luther King Jr. always made it a point to argue how violence is immoral and through the use of a number of biblical references to reach his audience he made sure everyone could understand. Malcolm X’s opinion was centered mostly on pointing fingers, blaming someone and Black Nationalism.

The contrasted views of these men, alludes to a divided community, either supportive of a peaceful solution or ready to bare arms against the white man to reach integration. Martin Luther King Jr. believed the way to set the oppressed free was through a moral code that strictly prohibited any form of violence. He believed there was three prominent ways to go about responding to oppression; one being acquiescence; when the oppressed do nothing to help themselves and are sentenced to their doom, physical violence or corroding hatred, and nonviolent resistance.

The one promoted by Martin Luther King Jr. was the nonviolent resistance; it is composed of everything he exudes, strength, strong morals and intelligence over force. King attempted to speak to all of the African American community, some of which who are uneducated and unable to read. However through biblical references and teachings from the bible he knew he would be able to capture the attention of more African Americans in the community, because mostly everyone attended church in the black community where they were taught the messages of God through singing and praise.

Nonviolence is what is preached at church, what is acceptable in the eyes of God. The teachings prelude with everyone being a child of God, and end with that same notion, so why would violence be acceptable? Martin Luther King Jr. believed anyone who succumbed to violence to achieve integration was a coward, someone who is not intelligent enough to use the power of words, someone who lacks resistance in the eyes of aggression. Blame and violence, Malcolm X believed these two actions would set the

African American community free, believing that it was always someone’s fault and there was always somewhere to pass the blame off too. It was always the white man, or the black man who spent his money in the white community who was the reasoning for creating ghettos and slums throughout the African American community. His main teachings were centered on violence and how that was the only way to overcome the oppression of the white man.

Malcolm X tried to pursued blacks into believing that there was a need to “re-educate” and change their philosophy and thought pattern/attitude. He believed boycotting and degrading the population was the way to tactfully gain the attention of the black community. He used negative connotations and derogatory remarks making the African American Community feel as if they were the “chumps” who were unable to make decisions for themselves. He uses historical ploys and events to manipulate the masses.

Using information that was only circumstantial to events that had happened previously to prove his points, even though they were not relevant to what he was trying to prove. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. shared some of the same ideals, even though their paths to a similar outcome were not the same. The approach of nonviolence was clearly the correct path to be chosen, because the wrath of the black panthers that was led through Black Nationalism with Malcolm X had failed.

Black Nationalism created more obstacles for the black community, as if building a wall to separate the whites from the blacks. Even though, Martin Luther King Jr. ’s approach was to gain equal rights with speech, the power of the voice and not the power of a gun. However, both men believed that oppression was something that needed to be overcome. Although the views of these men are completely opposite, the want and need for change is the same. They both strive for change in different ways whether it is through violent force or peaceful protest.

The contrasts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X also have a few similarities, their willingness to not give up, passion, drive and the constant need to create a better future. Without both of these men, the African American community would not hold such a high authority in the government today. They paved the way for future generation, to see both of the different tactics that can be used to overcome the oppression they were faced with. Both leaders believed that doing something was better then doing nothing, to let your voice be heard, to stand up for your beliefs.

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