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Martin Luther and Malcolm X - Essay Example

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Martin Luther and Malcolm X had both similarities and differences in the beliefs and views on the civil rights movements; moreover, the differences stemmed from the different backgrounds that the two leaders experienced thus; the differences reflected in their views. …
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Martin Luther and Malcolm X
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Download file to see previous pages However, their similarities emanated from the communities and societies that they lived in and conditions that the societies faced. In light of this, Malcolm X was self-taught meaning that he was from an underprivileged society as opposed to Martin Luther who came from a middle class home and was well educated. From this, the differences arise in both opinion and beliefs towards the civil rights movement. As a result, it is the goal of this essay to compare and contrast the views of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X on the civil-rights movement, which they led in the 20th century.
Racially, Malcolm X’s views were because of first hand experiences from the treatment he received and experienced in his life, following the death of his father, who was murdered when Malcolm was young. His family was also tormented by the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group, which means that Malcolm’s views expressed his direct opinion on the issues that the black community in America faced (Spartacus Educational, n.d). This is as opposed to Martin Luther, who was from a relatively well-off family, and community, which means that his opinions were only those that the society around him faced, rather than his own since he lived a sheltered life in learning and religious institutions. In light of the events that Malcolm X went through, his opinions in fighting the rights of black Americans were aimed at restoring human dignity to the lack society due to racial discrimination that he and members of his community faced. This translates to Malcolm X calling for the recognition of blacks as being human and as part of the American society and world at large. On the other hand, Martin Luther in the civil rights movement advocated for integration of the black community into the white dominated society (DeYoung, 2008). This is because; Martin Luther was raised and lived in a community that had blacks and whites integrated, which means, to him, that blacks were not dehumanized as was the case of Malcolm X. In addition, Malcolm X held a strong policy of fighting against all forms of discrimination against blacks. This included going against his seniors in violating a non-engagement policy with all that opposed the fight for black rights and freedom. In this light, he called for the achievement of black rights and freedoms through any means necessary that included violence for the good of the black society in America (Carson, 2005). This was the case due to his religious affiliations that the blacks in the country held little respect for due to the disparity between their claims and actions. Malcolm’s religion talked tough against all forms of racial discrimination; moreover, it was backed by little action, if any, to end the era of discrimination, and racial injustice. The above is as opposed to the principles that Martin Luther applied in his appeal for equal rights for both blacks and whites in the movement for civil rights. Martin Luther called for peaceful demonstration in demanding equal rights for both blacks and whites with a policy against non-engagement with the authorities who opposed equality and were pro-discrimination (Lemke, 2008). For this reason, the followers of Martin Luther did not have to be scared, as that which they called for was their right by right of the oppression that they had gone through for a long time. Instead, his resistance was in the form of noncooperation and civil disobedience, which was aimed at the public and the government in order to secure compliance with their demands. There were also religious differences in opinion relating to the civil rights movement. In this regard, Malcolm X following his Muslim religious affiliation led the movement for black empowerment. It is from this that Malcolm used his religion as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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