The Ballot Or The Bullet Martin Luther King Speech Analysis

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Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. led the charge of civil rights despite disagreeing with the basic factors of method and intention. Malcolm X’s famous speech The Ballot or The Bullet remains integral to his methods for attaining his goals. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail communicates his intentions as well as his celebrated methods of civil disobedience. Malcolm X and King often critiqued the other in their work either in speeches or in writing; in his speech, Malcolm X calls attention to King’s methods and goal of integration. He utilizes similar motifs and structure to criticize King’s arguments and endorse his own ideas. In his speech, Malcolm X critiques King’s methods and objective in the civil rights movement while promoting his …show more content…
Malcolm X achieves this by utilizing similar motifs. In his letter, King references the American Revolution (628) to mark a time when Caucasians utilized civil disobedience. Malcolm X takes King's idea and twists it into a violent one that best serves his purpose. By warping the patriotic phrase of liberty or death, into his mantra “the ballot or the bullet” (X 636) Malcolm X rouses the crowd to serve his methods. He changes their attitudes towards civil liberties by suggesting that only violence can defeat …show more content…
Then, he discusses the struggles Asia, Africa, and Latin America have endured for their rights; he suggests they would support African Americans if they could (X 640). Then, he discusses the struggles Asia, Africa, and Latin America have endured for their rights; he suggests they would support African Americans if they could (X 640). Following, Malcolm X utilizes a much more graphic image to rouse his audience; he uses Uncle Sam as his image. While King tries to shame his audience, Malcolm X tries to unite his audience with the figure “dripping with the blood of the black man in this country”; he continues depicting Uncle Sam as the world’s largest hypocrite, daring to be the leader of the so-called free world while subjugating an entire portion of his populace (X 640). This image means to convince his audience that violence has been justified; Malcolm X believes that violence is best fought with violence and this image merely portrays that. He then suggests that even when African Americans obtain equal rights they should not integrate; they should pursue black nationalist philosophy (X 641). The structure of his argument follows that of King’s, and his image strongly promotes his technique of violence for

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