Custom essays on An Analysis and Compendium of a 20th century Change Leader
Martin Luther King rejected the violent methods of the struggle and insisted on the peaceful Civil Rights movement which could meet its strategic goals on the basis of non-violent methods of the struggle. In fact, he was a renowned proponent of the concept of civil, non-violent counteraction, which aimed at the protection of human rights of disadvantaged people, who were deprived of their rights and liberties (McAdam, 1988, p. 118). Obviously, the idea of the non-violent struggle was extremely progressive for the time, when the society got used to the violence, when lynches of African Americans persisted and violence against minorities was perceived as a norm, while the white majority remained indifferent to problems of African Americans and other minorities.
It is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the concept of the non-violent struggle proved to be a successful strategy, which contributed to the change of the public opinion and the attitude of the society toward problems of African Americans and their position in the American society (Goldenberg, 1999, p.193). To put it more precisely, the non-violent methods of the struggle changed the view of the white majority on African Americans, who were traditionally perceived as dangerous people, inclined to violent, offensive actions. In such a situation, the peaceful struggle of the African American community headed Martin Luther King showed the white population that African Americans are not dangerous. Moreover, white Americans had started to understand better problems and the actual, unjust position of African Americans and other minorities in the USA. custom essays
In this regard, the social activity of Martin Luther King proved to be particularly important. In fact, Martin Luther King used his public speeches and his publications to convey his ideas of racial tolerance, equality of all people and respect to human rights and liberties to all Americans (Haley, 2007, p.199). White Americans had started to re-evaluate its position in regard to African Americans and other minorities. It was obvious that Martin Luther King was right in his repulsion of racial discrimination and inequality as an unacceptable practice in a truly democratic society. His speeches and publications made the American society to think of the injustice of the existing social order and, it is due to Martin Luther King’s work, many white Americans agreed with the idea of equality of rights and liberties of all Americans.
In actuality, it is possible to view Martin Luther King as a leader who proved to be able to promote and justify the idea of change in the American society. What he did was extremely important because he informed the American society about the unbearable, inhuman position of African Americans (Goldenberg, 1999, p.210). Naturally, the majority of the population could not remain indifferent to sufferings of the large number of people living in poverty and suffering from permanent discrimination and violation of their rights and liberties. On the other hand, the understanding of the actual position of African Americans made it obvious for the white majority that the outburst of violence would be inevitable if the situation remained unchanged in the USA.
Martin Luther King clearly defined his program of the formation of a new society, a new nation, where there would be no racial discrimination and inequality, where the nation would be truly united. At this point, it is possible to refer to the famous “I have a Dream” speech, where Martin Luther King skillfully used his rhetoric talent. In fact, this speech can be viewed as a program of the Civil Rights movement, in which Martin Luther King defined key points, which the Civil Rights movement aimed at. In addition, Martin Luther King stressed that injustice in the society is extremely dangerous. In his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, he wrote about the negative effect of injustice on the entire society. For instance, he argued that the ignorance of injustice provokes the tolerance to injustice (King, 2005, p.28). In other words, Martin Luther King warned Americans that if they ignored the injustice in relation to African Americans, there was a risk that someday the American society would remain indifferent to injustice in relation to other Americans, including whites. Martin Luther King clearly revealed the fact that the American society could not remain ignorant and indifferent to problems of minority because such indifference and ignorance put under a threat the democracy in the USA.
It proves beyond a doubt that progressive ideas of Martin Luther King influenced consistently the development of the Civil Rights movement and they became the ideological foundation to the Civil Rights movement. It is important to lay emphasis on the fact that his ideas led to the profound social and cultural change within the American society. To put it more precisely, Martin Luther King’s ideas eliminated racial barriers in the American society since, probably for the first time in history, the white majority changed its view on African Americans and other minorities as second-class citizens and started to view them as equal (Goldenberg, 1999, p.235). The impact of Martin Luther King can be traced even at the present time, when the American society has changed consistently, but the problem of inequality persists. Nevertheless, the consistent change in racial relationships opened the way to the improvement of the position of minorities in the USA, which were protected by numerous legislative acts.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that Martin Luther King was one of the prominent change leaders in the US history in the 20th century. In fact, he became the leader that brought the African American community and other minorities to a qualitatively new level of development and assisted to their integration in the American society, which started to become a united nation. Martin Luther King laid the foundation to the consistent change of the American nation, where racial inequality and discrimination became offensive and unacceptable.
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