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Martin Luther King Jr. and Gang Violence

By EJMingel Oct 26, 2008 530 Words
MLK and Gang Violence

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a very powerful and kind man. His life was one that was devoted completely to his one and only life goal- ending segregation and violence. He attempted to accomplish this through making a series of speeches throughout the nation. He never solved anything with physical contact, but with his mind and with his voice. Thinking about Dr. King’s methods of approaching violence, we may ask ourselves, “What would Martin Luther King do about modern-day gang violence?” Gang violence is a growing issue in the 2000’s and often leads to increased drug usage in teenagers and sometimes death. In one of Dr. King’s addresses given in Birmingham Alabama, he states, ”The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it...” In this case, the interpretation of the descending spiral quote could be that fighting violence with violence - police shooting against gang members (vice versa) - only makes the gang members despise the police more. Also, being gang members, hate usually ends with someone being dead and that is not what Dr. King would have wanted. That brings up the interpretation of the last part of the quote- “Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.” As is known, when you kill, injure, or arrest a true gang member, a fellow gang member will probably kill you, thus multiplying evil. To get to the real question- What would MLK do about gang violence? He would probably go around to different schools, colleges, and churches teaching kids and giving speeches about why gangs are bad and reasons for not joining. Also, being the smart

man that he was, he would have taken complete advantage of the fact that many teenagers join gangs to feel like they belong in some kind of group or society. He would most likely go to the principal or pastor of each school or church he visited to arrange clubs or teams that everyone could enjoy. This would present alternatives to gangs and give teenagers a better option. Dr. King would probably write an article for a magazine or newspaper discussing this topic and avoiding gangs. He could also discuss it on television in commercials and interviews. This might convince some gang members to try and get out of gangs or - even better - avoid getting into them in the first place. As most people know, it’s the easiest thing to get into a gang but it’s almost impossible to get out. Dr. King would, of course, know this and set up a phone line to talk kids through getting out of gangs safely. He might even set up a center for protecting young teens from bloodthirsty gang members. In all, teens quitting or avoiding gangs would hopefully reduce the population of gang members in the U.S. After a while, the gangs would probably fight among themselves and eventually die out. With that, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have achieved his goal and ended another generation of violence and consequently make the world a better place.

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