malcolm x and mlk synthesis

malcolm x and mlk synthesis - Heather White Rough Draft,...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Heather White Rough Draft, Synthesis Writing 2, Sarah Hirsch 5/7/07 The Differing Ideologies of Martin Luther King Junior and Malcolm X The fight against institutional racism is a lofty, complex task, and the Civil Rights movement manifested itself in various stances throughout the twentieth century. Some Civil Rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King Junior, preached a doctrine of integration and non-violent civil action. Others, including Malcolm X, believed this approach to be futile, and instead proposed the idea of autonomous black communities. The ideologies of Black Nationalism and integration-based civil rights clash substantially, and both King and Malcolm X were concerned with the undermining of their own movement by the rhetoric of the other. In his monumental text, “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” King offers an eloquent explanation of the philosophy that drives his choice of non-violent civil disobedience. Although Malcolm X shares King’s discontent with the situation, his methodologies and ultimate vision are distinctly different. He dismisses negotiation with the instated United States government as futile, and his speech “The Ballot or the Bullet,” he decries nonviolence and integration, and instead preaches a doctrine of Black Nationalism, of fighting fire with fire. Although both men brought important issues to the foreground of the approach towards racial equality, King’s approach of negotiation, direct action, and integration more realistically approaches a stable and just multicultural society than the potentially alienating rhetoric of separatism and self-defense that Malcolm X supports.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
In his speech, Malcolm X attacks the failures of democratic leaders in achieving racial equality, and urges the tactics of black nationalism upon his audience. He criticizes various elements of the current government that support racial inequality, including the lack of registered black voters in Southern states, the inclusion of the Dixiecrats in the Democratic party, and the practice of gerrymandering electoral districts across racial lines. He then suggests a variety of tactics to fight these racist infrastructures. He tells the community to appeal to the United Nations for human rights infringements upon black people. In the fight within the country, he explicitly condones actions of violence in self-defense. Then he outlines the philosophy of black nationalism, describing philosophies founded on the ideal of economically and socially thriving independent black communities (1964). In “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” King addresses many of the arguments made in the clergymens’ statement, and questions the morality of such a stance, coming from religious men. He emphasizes the urgency of direct action, arguing that until action occurs, progress does not follow. In the name of such progress, he distinguishes between “just” and “unjust” laws, stating that one must follow the just laws but one is equally obligated on a moral level to break the unjust ones (1964, p. 218).
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course WRIT 2 taught by Professor Gahan during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

Page1 / 8

malcolm x and mlk synthesis - Heather White Rough Draft,...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online