A Summary “Three Ways of Meeting Oppression”
An excerpt from Stride toward Freedom, Dr. Martin Luther King’s essay, shows how oppression is met by oppressed people in three characteristic ways: Acquiescence, physical violence is, and nonviolent resistance. King, shows in this excerpt that the only way to bring peace and unite people is through a mass movement by of nonviolent resistance.
Acquiescence, the reluctant acceptance without protest, is how some people deal with an unjust system. However, King argues “acquiescence-while often the easier way- is not the moral way. It is the way of the coward.” (192) Accepting unfair treatment and the unjust system means also accepting the behavior and treatment given to them by the oppressor. King Feels that when the Negro accepts injustice and segregation, he is making the oppressor feel as though they are morally right. He also states that the Negroes will not gain or win respect of the white people of the south or the people of the world if they acquiescence. They are accepting to stay inferior.
Physical violence and “corroding hatred”(192) is the second resort of oppressed people. This is the second characteristic way King mentions. Throughout history, countries and nations usually win their independence through war and battle. Despite such temporary achievements King argues that violence does not create lasting peace. King shows that violence only creates more complex and new issues at hand. It brings more hate and need for competition among the people. King says, “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.” (192) He argues that violence is immoral and destroys community and makes the creation of brotherhood impossible. “Violence is immoral because it thrives hatred rather than love.” (192) King explains the use of violence is not the way to freedom, it will only result to an “endless reign of meaningless chaos” (193).
Nonviolent resistance is the third characteristic way oppressed people...
Citations: Martin Luther King Jr. “Three Ways of Meeting Oppression.” Between Worlds: A Reader, Rhetoric and Handbook. Ed. Susan Bachmann and Melinda Barth. 7th ed. Longman, 2013. 191-194. Print.
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