Essentially, there are two forms of protest. Violent and non-violent. Both have their advantages and both have their downfalls. However, one thing is true of both: they are a threat to the American Establishment. Which one is better is debated by many, but non-violent demonstration seems to be most effective. Violence can only intensify hatred, but it can bring about a certain air of temporary empowerment. It is more efficient in getting attention, rallying a crowd, and making headlines. Some might say that non-violence depends on violence, otherwise it is frustrating. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself said that there were times when segregationists could not be provoked and that this felt like failure. It is true that non-violent demonstrating provokes violence, oftentimes, and that civil rights leaders are experts at generating sympathy. This sympathy can lead to a public outcry which the government is all too eager fix. But violence is still important to the movement. Non-violent demonstrators go to their rallies knowing the dangers. They know about the throbbing pain of a dog’s bite and the sting of shooting water against their legs. Still, this persistence is inspiring. Once and for all, non-violence receives most of the credit for the many rights that minorities see today.
Peace vs. Violence
November 18, 2010