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Justifiable Means. Martin Luther King And Adolf Hitler, Compare And Contrast The Lives Of.

1851 words - 7 pages

Justifiable MeansMalcolm X was a controversial leader. He has been linked with Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most famous civil rights leaders in history, even though Malcolm X's more bellicose rhetoric calls for extreme resistance to, not mere tolerance of, racial oppression. Indeed, Malcolm X's writing and speeches have been likened by some to the extreme nationalism that so inflamed Germans after WWI. In that period of ignominy and social shame, Adolph Hitler resurrected failing nationalism with his passionate speeches about racial superiority in which he blamed the Jewish Germans for the miseries of the country and proclaimed that Germany had a justification for war. Both Martin Luther King and Adolph Hilter were named Man of the Year by Time magazine and both share some similarities with Malcolm X. Even while espousing the same goals as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X used the idea of a single enemy - much like the mechanisms employed by Hitler, to unite his people to rally around the idea of a common oppressor. Embodying both of these contradictory combinations, Malcolm X's speeches and writings display his beliefs, that violence, even though not intended, can be justified.Interestingly, several events in Malcolm X's life paralleled those of Adolph Hitler's life. In Mein Kamph, Hitler related how he was rejected from an art academy. "When I presented myself to the rector, requesting an explanation for my non-acceptance at the Academy's school of painting, that gentleman assured me that the drawings I had submitted incontrovertibly showed my unfitness for painting, and that my ability obviously lay in the field of architecture; for me, he said, the Academy's school of painting was out of the question, the place for me was the School of Architecture (Hitler)."In a similar turn of events, when Malcolm X confessed to his teacher that he'd like to become a lawyer, the teacher responded with "...that's no realistic goal for a nigger...You need to think about something you can be...Why don't you plan on carpentry (38)?" Like Hitler, Malcolm X was denied the opportunity to pursue his inspirations. Even though the causal circumstances were different, the results were the same: both men believed they could have been something other than what they were. From this point of persecution and thwarted ambitions, their lives began similar paths.Like Hitler, Malcolm went to prison. Even though it was for theft, Malcolm's time in prison was spent learning about his cultural history and formulating his ideas, namely the idea that the white race was his enemy. Similarly, Hitler's time in prison was spent formulating his ideas that Jews were the enemy of Germany and dictating his autobiography, Mein Kamph. "The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew (Hitler)." This phrase, which Hitler dictated in hit autobiography, sounds similar to Malcolm X's insight that, "The white man is the devil (162)." Both of these eventual leaders, spent their...

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