Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were very important to our country’s history. They are revolutionary men. They fought battles against a bigoted nation. They fought for what they believed was right. The two gentlemen however fought very different battles although they seem to be fighting the same prejudice. If you ask anyone today, that remembers the movement, ‘Who was Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr? The opinions you will hear will be quite contrary to each other.
The two men were very influential in American culture. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were able to use the media to allow their voices to be heard. I will be explaining the reasons why these two gentlemen fought such extreme battles fueled by passion and hate. The media have always been a presence during the movement of the 60’s. During the time of the movement the nation was glued to the media. Martin Luther King, Jr. , is known for his nonviolent manner for leading a protest.
As Martin Luther King led his followers, he taught them protest with respect and dignity. Martin Luther King once said, in regard to his nonviolent approach, “Violence, as a way of achieving racial justice, is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.
”(Cassutto, 2008). Martin Luther King grew up in a religious family. He comes from educated parents that taught him to be humble. One of the famous non violent protests that Martin Luther King led was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Instead of fighting the cause with violence, King chose to simply stop riding the buses all together in protest of the segregation police preventing blacks to ride anywhere other than the back of the bus according to (Moultan, Phillips, Styza, & Gonzales, 2007).
Instead of violence, King and others posted signs at every bus stop that read, “Don’t ride the bus today, don’t ride it for freedom”, as stated by (Moultan, Phillips, Styza, & Gonzales, 2007) According to, (Moultan, Phillips, Styza, & Gonzales, 2007), the protesters would not fight back when the whites against segregation would fight or attack the protesters which turned out to be a very powerful move. According to (Moultan, Phillips, Styza, & Gonzales, 2007), after 381 days of boycotting the bus system they went to the Supreme Court.
Eventually they Supreme Court ruled that is unconstitutional to separate people based on the color of their skin. This is proof that with determination and patience, laws can be changed without the use of violence. Malcolm X wanted the same thing Malcolm X did, freedom. Malcolm X, however, took a very different approach than Martin Luther King did. He felt violence was a way to handle the injustice of segregation. Malcolm X was a follower of the Nation of Islam. Until he made his journey to Mecca, he preached about how all whites are the devils.
After his journey to Mecca he saw a different way of approaching the segregation and hatred of whites. Malcolm X still believed in violence when came to fighting for what he felt was right according to, (Simkin, 2003). (Simkin, 2003) states that Malcolm X said in a speech in March of 19I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem – just to avoid violence. I don’t go for non-violence if it also means a delayed solution. To me a delayed solution is a non-solution. Or I’ll say it another way.
If it must take violence to get the black man his human rights in this country, I’m for violence exactly as you know the Irish, the Poles, or Jews would be if they were flagrantly discriminated against. (Simkin, 2003) In conclusion, the two men had an extraordinary will to change the future for what they believed was right. The Medias involvement is how we still know today what these men did for this country. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King both took a different approach when they fought for their beliefs. The one thing they had in common was the cause, freedom.