Dreams Of War And Peace: The Civil Rights Movement

1616 words - 7 pages

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” This quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech basically sums up the entire Civil Rights Movement. Not all people know that there wasn’t just one major Civil Rights leader. Although Americans study MLK more today, there were several other Civil Rights leaders, none more famous than Malcolm X or known by his Islamic name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. MLK and Malcolm X had almost completely opposite methods of achieving their dream, for blacks to be treated equally. MLK believed that it could only be achieved by non-violent protest, while Malcolm X used violent protest. Malcolm X and MLK protested in a very different style, both of which were very successful; however, MLK was more successful in his protests.
Firstly, MLK and Malcolm X were a lot alike. Both had a similar vision of a future of blacks and whites together. However, MLK approached the Civil Rights Movement preaching non-violent civil disobedience. While Malcolm X believed that violence was the only way to get their equality. MLK also believed that blacks and whites should be totally desegregated, and Malcolm X thought that blacks and whites should remain segregated, but whites should not control everything blacks do (Boelstler). People usually believe that Malcolm X and his followers just attacked racist whites, but this is not true. Malcolm X and his group only used violence when they were attacked by angry whites during their protests. MLK and his followers never used violence, and still were punished as they had committed a serious crime. Even when MLK’s followers were brutally beaten by whites, the whites were not convicted for any crime.
If the both MLK and Malcolm X were to see their goals through to the end, it would be likely that the black race would be divided. One group would long for a future with blacks and whites totally integrated in every part of American society. The other would want blacks and whites segregated, although they would demand that blacks make their own choices instead of whites making theirs for them. These two groups would be divided by multiple personal characteristics such as age, exposure to “race on race” violence, willingness to commit violence, and moral values. Since the more passive group had more support and overall had fewer problems, America did not have this problem. Also many problems come with Malcolm’s dream. It would be almost futile to totally separate the two races. With no communication between the two races, it would seem likely that Malcolm X wanted to separate totally from the United States and create a new country. This is why it would be near impossible for Malcolm’s plan to succeed (Boelstler). Malcolm X once said, "We are living in an era of revolution, and the revolt of the American Negro is part of the rebellion against oppression and...

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