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Two Toned Freedom (King and X's speech reviews)

In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech his tone was very much about unity and peace between whites and blacks and freedom for African Americans. He felt that black people should act civilly and should approach the government and their problems with dignity and respect. He stated this by saying, “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 to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.”

Malcolm X’s “Ballot or Bullet” speech showed a very different tone. He felt that blacks should also have freedom. He felt though, that if we couldn’t peaceably cast ballots that ended segregation the blacks should start casting bullets. He felt that if violence needed to be used that was fine. He justified it like this, “Whenever you're going after something that belongs to you, anyone who's depriving you of the right to have it is a criminal. Understand that. Whenever you are going after something that is yours, you are within your legal rights to lay claim to it. And anyone who puts forth any effort to deprive you of that which is yours, is breaking the law, is a criminal. And this was pointed out by the Supreme Court decision. It outlawed segregation.” During King’s speech, you get a very hopeful feeling, a feeling of love and unity and a future peace. While during Malcolm X’s speech I felt almost angry and betrayed, but it hit more like bad reality.

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X had two very different approaches to freedom and equality. As far as the effectiveness of each one’s approach I believe that Malcolm X would have had a faster result, but a shorter effectiveness, whereas King Jr. would have had a slower journey to his wanted results, but a much longer (and needed) effectiveness. So, Martin Luther King Jr. had a more effective approach. Martin Jr.’s approach to freedom and equality was stated by him this way, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Malcolm X’s approach was a little harsher. It was put very well by the title of his speech, “Ballot or Bullet”. Everything can be met by different views and opinions. It is vital that we know which way to go and never forget to pray for God to guide and direct us.



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