Foes Of The Revolution Essay

720 words - 3 pages

History records the events chronicled in Why We Can’t Wait as the Civil Rights Movement. However, if we take to heart the words of the author, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we should view these events as the Civil Rights Revolution. Dr. King states, “A social movement that only changes people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution” (142). Through the method of nonviolent direct action the black citizens of the United States, specifically in Birmingham, Alabama, achieved more in the summer of 1963 than any other time in American history. To appreciate this revolution we must realize it battled against three foes; the white power structure, ...view middle of the document...

The reason for this claim is not based on outright hostility toward blacks from this group, but their inaction. Throughout history and in our daily lives we have seen this pattern repeated many times. A people group or even a single person is mistreated or even abused and onlookers do nothing. Perhaps this group is the reason for the book’s title as they constantly advocate for the blacks to wait (98-99). Dr. King explains the reason for their inaction is due to fear. Their fear came from change itself and fear of going against their social structure resulting in “social, political, and economic reprisals” (48).
Lastly, the foe that perplexed Dr. King the most was the church. At its heart the Civil Rights Movement was a moral issue, one that the church should embrace more than any other person or establishment. After all, the church has at the center of its faith a people group that was kept in slavery in Egypt and taken away in bondage many times, God’s chosen people of Israel.
It is obvious that Dr. King used the biblical teachings of the church to remind them when he writes, “Lukewarm...

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