What Dr. King did was to bridge the two worldview of black and white America. On the side of black America, King (like his father before him) ministered daily to the victims of racial oppression. On the white side King was a Christian minister (the principal religion of white America) and a PhD in divinity from Boston University (white America respects those educated in its own institutions). In this way Dr. King had enough commonalities with white America that when white people turned on the evening news and saw peaceful African American protesters signing Christian hymns while being beaten by police, knocked down by fire hoses, and attacked by fierce police dogs the television watchers were confronted with cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they honored the police and the white power structure that ruled the nation—because that’s the way it always had been. On the other hand, they sang hymns in church each Sunday about a peaceful God who loves all people.Who did they want to identify with: peaceful black folk ISBN 0-558-51037-X
Basic Ethics, Second Edition, by Michael Boylan. Copyright © 2009 by Michael Boylan. Published by Prentice Hall. 198 PART III PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
or over zealous policemen bent on cruelty? Their own personal worldviews dictated the former.Their own personal worldviews said that Dr. King’s logical argument for racial equality was valid. But it took the stage three dialectical process occasioned by worldview overlap and modification for any real progress to be made in the actual acceptance of King’s ideas.And though the struggle for racial equality isn’t over by a long way, most people who lived through that era would agree that Dr. King, over time, won over a majority of white America.The process of theory acceptance depended upon more than a strong logical argument for its justification. It also required the dialectical interactions brought about by worldview overlap and modification.
It is the...