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Martin Luther King

The United States of America has been regarded as the land of opportunities for a long time. However in early 1960’s this was not an ideal case for the afro- American minorities. There was rampant discrimination and deprivation from the majority whites. Civil rights movement reached their climax at this particular moment with the strong control of Martin Luther king junior. (Cyclewala 6) indicated how his movement had attracted much recognition from all the races.

One of such recognition was the passage of the civil rights legislation by President John F Kennedy as well as the massive success of a march on the national capital of Washington D. C. Those attempts were in search of equality among all the races in the U. S (Kings 7). The society had resisted such attempts for several reasons . The whites were interested in maintaining the racist ideals and prejudice inherited. They feared competition from other races in access to societal assets such as good paying jobs, social programs and equal housing. it that kind of hatred and greed exhibited by the whites that led to a spirited violent opposition.

United States segregation was deeply felt in the north than in the south. This argument was depicted by (cyclewala 8). He cited an example from Dr Lucius Pittus the then president of black miles college by stating that the difference between the south and the north was that ,whereas the southern politicians gave blacks rat poison and said it was poison, their northern counterparts handed them the same poison but called it cake. That implied that the northern states never cared about the welfare of the African- Americans. They were determined to suppress them totally.

In reaction to the evils committed, King sought to address them through certain pragmatic measures. Martin opted for a middle ground that led to a gradual solution to racial crisis. A clean system that would ensure re-imbursements for the African- Americans for the harm they had suffered for the past centuries. There was to be an inclusive government programs that were geared towards assisting the African Americans viability, social equality and opportunity advancement that the whites were entitled. King believed not in cheap defense but opted to use an intelligent, civilized system of organized protests to make valid points.

(King 6). He was instrumental in pleading to the civil rights supporters not incite malice against those whites who tried to help. (1965:64). Through his clergy work together with other ministers of the word, they appealed for integration of the divided communities by resolving the crisis with dignity, intelligence and respect. Everyone was called upon to restore peace and ensure continuity of public education even in the face of attacks of their fellow activists by the racist whites. (Bass 179). Later on they managed to get protection of the state through the troops.

A presidential decree saved the situation when the troops were with drawn and the black students were accepted by their white counterparts. To advance his arguments, Martin Luther King developed a mechanism that used boycotts to protest. Such methods included the Alabama and Birmingham bus system by the African Americans. That in turn led to the relaxation of the segregated sitting on those buses. However one incident cast doubt on the seemingly quite approach. Young black girls were murdered in Birmingham and Luther took to the podium to address the mourners while reading the eulogy.

He challenged the priests who believed in moderation, complacency and gradualism in the black and the whites. He called upon them to substitute courage for caution so as to be able to tackle the growth of racism. He was concerned with the systematic way of life and philosophy that produced such kind of murders. (Bass 179) He insisted that everyone was to be involved in fulfilling the American dream through passion and unrelented fight. That statement laid special blame on the American society as a whole. Failure to deal with extremists would lead to the destruction of the society as a whole.

The people were called upon to prepare themselves for a bruising battle with racist whites. King together with other civil rights leaders was invited to meet the whites’ representatives at a meeting organized by the attorney general with the president. Kennedy encouraged the ministers to foster racial progress in Birmingham through moral religious strength. Martin Luther King used the children as his troops to air the grievances against the minority racist whites who fought to maintain the status quo in the face of leadership vacuum that existed in Birmingham.

Inspite of the hurdles that he faced, Martin Luther king soldiered on with the protests and managed to get attention and support of the president. He also took to task the priests . One of such leaders was bishop Durick who read a letter from him. The letter though harsh by Durick’s views changed his perception on racism. It persuaded him to take a more active role in the fight for racial justice. Later on the same bishop after getting the impetus for Vatican had a great impact on the southern states of the United States of America.

He laid a special sermon that called upon all the Christians to work towards alleviation of afflictions and injustices of that time, to reconcile, bind up wounds and to heal. (Bass182). However things never turned out in his favor. His fellow priests attacked him for concentrating on matters of racial intergration. Their actions sparked of strikes allover the state . The saddest moment struck the civil rights group, when Martin Luther King was assassinated on april, 4 1968. in Mephis. He was later on honored by Durick and other Jewish, protestants and catholic clergymen as a prophet of a black crusade for dignity and freedom.

Religious leaders were called upon to be actively involved in confronting injustices even to the extent of marching on the streets. There are clear achievements that Marti Luther kings approach against racism brought to fore. In October 1964 the house of bishops adopted a resolution calling on all Christians to obey laws except on extreme circumstances. Where conscience demanded the obedience to God rather than man. (Bass183_) stated that the church recognized any individual or group that legally pressurized the government to repeal unjust laws even through peaceful demonstrations.

The greatest achievement is when the United States of America inaugurated Barrack Obama as the first African-American president. Martin Luther kings struggle and dream had finally come true. Cyclewala still argues that there are clear indicators of the racial segregation in the American society. This is manifested in how they are treated in regard to education, access to social programs and employment. As proof to his arguments he pointed out to the proliferation of degraded urban areas where minorities are forced to live and school coupled by poverty and violence fueled by drug abuse (2000:85) is still rampant. This means that Martins Luther kings works need to continue until the ultimate goal of equality is achieved.

References. Bass, S . J (Ed) Blessed are the peace makers. Martin Luther King Junior. Eight white religious leaders and the “letter from Birmingham”. Alabama:L. S. U Press. 2002 Cyclewala (2000) in King M. L and Jackson J (Eds). Why we can’t wait. Birmingham: penguin publishers. 1965 King L. M Why we can’t wait. New York. Raider publishers:1965

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