United States History
7 December 2012
To Kill a Butterfly: A Case in Civil Rights
As an American child, I’ve always been told that I can make a difference, that I can change the world. While that’s always sounded nice, it’s hard not to wonder, “Can I actually change something?” Such is the case of James H. Meredith. He changed the world not though extraordinary actions, but by rebellion and a little help. His decision to apply to The University of Mississippi and challenge countless people who tried to stop him on the way created a snowball effect eventually causing the enforcement of desegregation in public schools. A determined person may change the world by rejecting current circumstances with the help of others.
Rejecting the current situation is essential to changing the world. Meredith applied to The University of Mississippi knowing he most likely wouldn’t get in right away, but to change current his situation he knew needed to apply. Howard Zinn, Thoreau, and Martin Luther King Jr all stand behind this concept of change because they believe that for change to happen something must change. One cannot stare at a wall and expect it to change colors. You need to paint the wall. You need to be the change, the instigator of a movement against all the wrongs that you see in the world. Meredith lived this out for four years to prove his point. He stood up to the constant disturbances caused by people who, if given the change, would kill him just because of what he stood for (Chodas). So must all people who want to be the change in the world. Having confidence and staying on track will allow you, along with others, be the change in the world.
To change the world you need to start a movement with the help of others. Meredith knew he couldn’t do this alone so he contacted the NAACP prior to applying for admittance to the university (Byers, “James H. Meredith”). The NAACP would be able to open a court case for him because of the...