The Means And Ends Of The Struggle For Justice Analysis

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The Means and Ends of the Struggle for Justice

Throughout this course we have studied the different worldviews and thought processes of many influential thinkers in their quests for justice, freedom, and/or equality. One key point of contention between some of these figures is related to the use of violence in pursuit of these greater goods. Practically speaking, without a morally pure, nonviolent stance of passive resistance, your chances of convincing the populus of your plight and the necessity for change and action thereto plummet. In the words of MLK Jr., “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.” (MLK, Where Do We Go From Here?, 62) This is not to say that violence
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A man who saw two wrongs as making a right and just society would likely have never gotten along with the Mahatma. In “Message to the Grass Roots,” Malcolm begins by demonizing the entire white race as “the common enemy” of all negroes, and advocates the exclusion of whites as the first step in revolution or rebellion. He lists the American, French, and Russian revolutions as templates for what a revolution actually is. “How did they bring it about? Bloodshed. You haven’t got a revolution that doesn’t involve bloodshed.” (Malcolm X, Message to… , 7). But as Gandhi pointed out in Hind Swaraj on page 88, history does not record innate peace. “History does not, and cannot, take note of this fact. History is really a record of every interruption of the even working of the force of love or of the soul.” And so Malcolm X, (conveniently forgetting the entire home-rule revolution which Gandhi successfully led), continues his intellectual …show more content…
Firstly, it is necessary to determine whether injustices rage on; secondly, negotiations are attempted with economic and governmental leaders; thirdly, one must self-purify, meaning one must prepare to make personal sacrifices needed for the sake of progress; and lastly, nonviolent direct action protests are organized.
Nonviolent protest is a necessary final step because it turns an issue that could be ignored into one at the head of every newspaper, because it humanizes the condition of the man on the wrong side of segregation, and because it establishes uneasy feelings in bystanders to injustice. “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” (MLK, Letter from… , 296)
In this letter, MLK also addressed concern about the willingness of his movement to nonviolently break laws through civil disobedience, while they “diligently urge[d]” the upholding of the 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in public schools. How could cherry picking laws be justified? To this, MLK responded by explaining the difference between just and unjust laws. “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. … Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” (MLK, Letter from… , 293) Unfortunately, many people

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