Compare the Philosophies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

Topics: Black people, African American, White people Pages: 6 (963 words) Published: July 14, 2010
Compare the philosophies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. how their goals for the

African American community similar and/or different? How their strategies for reaching

those goals similar and/or different?

During the past century there were two influential people Martin Luther King, Jr. and

Malcolm X who grappled with the problem of inequality between black and white people. They

both wanted to bring hope to blacks in the US through their powerful, hard-hitting speeches, but

the methods and styles they followed were completely different from each other. While one

followed non-violence, peaceful way for bringing racial harmony, the other encouraged his

followers to rise up and protest against white enemies.

King inspired people to follow the peaceful and way to fetch the rights and equality

within the black community, whereas Malcolm X believed that peaceful demonstration and

arguments is nothing but only a tick by the whites to keep blacks in their places. They both

followed different approaches to accomplish the same goal. Kings had a positive attitude to reach

to the destination. On the other hand Malcolm X was rebellious and aggressive. Both of their

attitudes towards the racial discrimination were responsible due to their early backgrounds. Their

points of views were influenced by the way they spend their lives at the early stages. King’s calm

approach seemed to reflect his safe, middle-class environment while Malcolm X’s extremist

approach came from his neglectful upbringing.

King wanted to unite two races through peaceful methods and non-violent tactics. He

delivered the speech “I Have a Dream” where his hope and dreams for the black community

were flourished. He wanted the freedom of the Negro community who were “sadly crippled by

the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.”(2457) He talked about the

promises of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence that were given by the

Republic where both black and white were “guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and

the pursuit of happiness.”(2457) But America couldn’t keep its words. “America has given the

Negro people a bad check.” Even then King didn’t lose his hopes; he believed that the bank of

justice isn’t bankrupt. “We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of

opportunity of this nation. So we came to cash this check that will give us upon demand the

riches of freedom and the security of injustice.”(2457) He was very optimistic about the future of

the black community. He had faith that black people would find the path “from the dark and

desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.”(2457) although he had lots of

hope and desire for the black rights of the black he was against violence and destructive

approaches. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence.”(2457)

On the other hand these tactics of violence was strongly supported by Malcolm X. He

wanted to lead the people towards the revolution. He believed that the equal rights for the black

citizens were impossible without strong protest. While King urged people towards the racial

harmony through peaceful steps, Malcolm X in his famous speech “The Ballot or the Bullet”

raised his voice against those hypocrite white people who “treated blacks as subhuman,” and he

wanted to bring the rights to the black people through struggle. “…if the white man doesn’t want

us to be anti-him, let him stop oppressing and exploiting and degrading us.”(2469) He

threatened the white people saying that if the black didn’t get their rights they would chose the path of violence and destruction,...
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