Mediation: Resolving the Conflict of Racism
The issue of freedom has long been fought over in our country. In fact it is what our founding fathers sought to create in the new world. This struggle to obtain freedom from oppression has created a country founded on free people, freedom of religion, as well as economic freedom. All of these things have been faced with extreme challenges, such as the British monarchy, established state churches, and war. The fight for equality among peoples in our country has also had its challenges, such as poverty, race, and religion. It is out of this plight that the need for some kind of action has occurred in the area of social equality in the southern states as well as the rest of the nation. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, headed by Martin Luther King, Jr., has begun nonviolent civil disobedience in order to establish dialogue between the Negro citizens of Birmingham, Alabama, and the white city leaders. Eight white clergymen released a public statement in opposition to King’s nonviolent protests. King then responded with a letter from his jail cell in Birmingham. These letters express the ideas of many citizens in Birmingham, both black and white, respectively. The conflict, which consumes Birmingham, can only be quieted by both sides maintaining a consistent dialogue and true respect for each others ideas. This can be achieved by finding similar goals that both the white leaders of the city, and the Negro citizens share, following the laws of the nation and city, and by the expulsion of fear from both groups through education and interaction.
In Birmingham, Alabama, both the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the white leaders and citizens, fear violent and harmful protests in their streets. Both seek continued economic growth in their city, and black and white alike want fair treatment for their peoples in courts and in every day occurrences. The entire community of Birmingham is essentially waiting for peace. The leaders of the city have delayed action, and the enforcement of desegregation laws, hoping that the situation would resolves itself. The Negro population of Birmingham has also been waiting for peace, and the hope that their oppression would just fade away with time. Both groups have waited for many years hoping that any kind of civil disobedience, violent or otherwise would not be necessarily to obtain their goals. The oppressor and the oppressed both lie in wait for the moment when all action will be unnecessary because of understanding and compromise. The opposing groups in Birmingham must seek out their common ground on these issues in order to continue on the greater road of equality.
The repeal of laws that forced separate but equal treatment of peoples throughout the United States was a major step toward relieving oppression in the...