Pro Civil Disobedience
Civil disobedience is a righteous way for a person or a group to make their point to the world. Great leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Dr. MLK) and Mohandas K. Gandhi (Gandhi) harnessed the idea and brought it to its prominence. Civil disobedience in its purest form is a particularly strong concept because it requires a self-purification process. This process enlightens civil resisters to the reality of longsuffering for a cause without any type of retaliation. Also, there are arguments against civil disobedience. One such argument is “wait” because change will come. Another is that civil disobedience precipitates violence. These arguments are extremely weak. Because of these weak arguments along with the strong concept of self-purification, I am a proponent of civil disobedience. Dr. MLK was a firm believer in the self-purification process. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, he speaks of undertaking a process of self-purification. “We began a series of workshops on nonviolence and we repeatedly asked ourselves: ‘Are you able to accept blows without retaliation?’ ‘Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail (King 158)?’” Dr. MLK knew that in order to appeal to the public, they must endure the punishment without retaliation. This is explained when he says, “Laying out our case before the conscience of the local and national community (King 158).” Dr. MLK had a grasp on the notion that if his people were to become violent, they would not appeal to anyone’s conscience. And, their credibility would be lost. Gandhi is another civil resister who knew and believed in the importance of a self-purification process. Although he did not call it self-purification, his concept is clearly the same. In an excerpt of his which outlines some rules of Satyagraha, he says, “A satyagraha (civil resister) will joyfully suffer even unto death (Gandhi 141).” Suffering unto death epitomizes the self-purification process. In...
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