The Ways Of Meeting Oppression Essay

1992 words - 8 pages

THE WAYS OF MEETING OPPRESSION IS AN ESSAY WRITTEN BY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., ADDRESSING SEGREGATION THAT IS SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED TOWARD THE AFRICAN AMERICAN AUDIENCE. King’s primary audience is the African Americans, but also he has secondary audiences that he addresses, which are a combination of Christians or those who know of, or believe in the Christian views, as well as people in the legal system. He gives examples through his text that will demonstrate how he addresses mostly the African Americans, but also the various other audiences he is trying to reach to through his memorable speech. In his writing, he tells of three ways that they deal with oppression, and based on these he sends out a message to all who have read or heard his words. This message states what has been done in the past, as well as what should be done based on these past experiences. King chooses to speak to certain people through certain contexts and key phrases. In choosing certain phrases and also on how he states his words, he is successful in influencing all his audiences that he intended to persuade. The words that he carefully chose will tell how and why he wanted to focus on the primary and secondary audiences of his choice.
Martin Luther King Jr. expresses to the black race that one way people deal with their oppression is by acquiescence. This term means to accept passively. He is telling his audience, in this case, the African Americans, that they give in and just follow the orders that are told. Instead of somehow standing up for themselves they prefer to be oppressed. This shows that they are used to the task of being a slave and choose to keep it that way instead of standing up for their rights. He wants to give the idea to the black population that they should not give up but to press forward. He states “To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor” (King 133). By saying this, he is pointing out that the black race should not give up and let their freedom be unjust; by doing this they would be telling the oppressor that it is morally right.
He states that the second way that the African Americans deal with oppression is by “resorting to physical violence and corroding hatred” (King 133). He is telling people of his own race that violence is not nor ever will be the answer. He expresses “Violence never brings permanent peace.” (King 133). Being an African American, he can understand the emotions that this race faces towards their oppressors. King is trying to influence their thoughts that they will be just as bad as the oppressors for allowing it to go on and also if they try to solve the problem by violence. “It is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love” (King 133), this he uses as an example to raise the thoughts of violence being immoral due to the great hatred behind it. Morally, it is wrong to hold hate in ones heart. In doing violent actions, hatred is...

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