U.S. History II
Nonviolent civil disobedience was a successful tactic for advancing the civil rights movement. In the South of the United States during the 1950s, black people had little legal rights. They were the victims of systematic, degrading discrimination and they could do nothing to get recourse. Unfortunately, most whites stuck to the traditional ways of segregation and discrimination because they believed that any relaxation of the discriminatory social code would lead to violence by blacks against whites. White people were afraid of free black people causing a myriad sorts of mayhem, thus the whites sought a society and future of controlling the blacks.
The blacks had the choice to use violence, however no good would have come from violence. If blacks had resorted to violence, even minor violence, the whites would have retaliated more aggressively. Take note of the fourteen year old Emmett Till, who was pugnaciously murdered for simply “wolf whistling” a woman (which was technically a compliment). They would have used the legal system to persecute anyone who had tried to resist, and they would have possibly used illegal means to threaten anyone suspected of stepping out of line. In the end, the whites had control of social media. They had the power to sway even national media to view the civil rights movement as a violent rebellion.
By asserting through non-violent action, the civil rights movement took the moral authority away from the white power structure. Boycotts were truly effective and were used in non-violent action. Boycotts were not limited to having people refusing to shop at stores which approved of segregation. Boycotts had no violence and no vandalism. For example, the bus boycotts in Montgomery used non-violence and were successful. The boycotts made the corporate officials of the City Bus Lines lose money and make people who still ride the bus (the white...
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