Presentation on theme: "Right Truth Humanity Understanding Communication Love POWER."— Presentation transcript:
Right Truth Humanity Understanding Communication Love POWER
Non-violent Resistance Protests, rallies, sit-ins Boycotts Letter-writing, leaflets, etc Hunger strikes Civil Disobedience (breaking a law that one considers unfair in order to prove a point)
Malcolm X & Martin Luther King: American Nightmare or American Dream?
The American Civil War ( )
Section 1. ”Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Section 2. ”Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. ” The 13 th Amendment (1865)
The legitimacy of such segregationist laws was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. “Separate but equal”
Civil Rights Movement (1950s-60s)
American philosopher, clergyman, and activist (1929 – 1968) Martin Luther King, Jr.
American philosopher, clergyman, and activist (1925 – 1965) born Malcolm Little died El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (الحاجّ مالك الشباز) Malcolm X
KingX GETTING IN ON THE AMERICAN DREAM NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE INTEGRATION CHRISTIAN (Baptist) COMFORTABLE MIDDLE-CLASS BACKGROUND, HIGHER EDUCATION FOCUS ON SOUTHERN BLACKS (TOWNS/RURAL) GETTING OUT OF THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE “ANY MEANS NECESSARY” SEPARATION MUSLIM (Nation of Islam) TRAUMATIC CHILDHOOD, FOSTER HOMES, CRIME, PRISON FOCUS ON NORTHERN URBAN BLACKS (GHETTOS)
Civil Disobedience Breaking an unjust law to make a point Henry David Thoreau ( ) came up with this idea. Thoreau refused to pay his taxes because he didn’t want his money spent for pro-slavery causes and the imperialist Mexican war.
Martin Luther King distinguished between just laws and unjust laws Just Laws “Laws that uplift humanity” Code of law that the majority compels a minority to follow and is also willing to apply to itself Unjust Laws “Laws that degrade humanity” Code of law that majority power compels minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself Civil Disobedience
Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. The Montgomery Improvement Association, with King in a leadership role, encourages all African Americans to stay off the buses in protest. A one-day boycott proves very successful. Many black people ride in carpools, others walk. The boycott continues, and ends up lasting for 381 days. In many cases, white housewives carpool to transport their black maids back and forth to work. Montgomery Bus Boycott ( )
During the boycott, many black churches are set on fire or dynamited by angry segregationists. Martin Luther King’s home is bombed on January 30, 1956 In the end, however, the boycott is a success, and the segregation laws are thrown out. Martin Luther King now becomes the key figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Montgomery Bus Boycott ( )
Segregationist policies still in place in the 1950s and early 1960s Blacks prevented from voting - literacy tests - morality clauses - grandfather clause tactics - prevention of registration - harassment at the polls Segregated schooling Segregated businesses and other facilities
Elements of the Non- Violent Resistance Civil disobedience - sit-ins, read-ins, kneel-ins, etc Marches, demonstrations Boycotts Voter registration drives “Freedom Riders” Martyrdom + publicity (a technique borrowed from Gandhi); turning the other cheek when assaulted; going limp instead of resisting arrest Consciousness-raising through media coverage
Birmingham, Alabama, a city in a state of political confusion, but with a long history of segregationist violence that has led some to call it “Bombingham,” becomes one of the last and most important targets of civil disobedience by King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Birmingham Campaign (1963)
Marches Sit-ins at libraries & lunch counters “Kneel-ins” at white churches A few hundred arrests are made. In the end, there was an injunction to cease demonstration, which King decided to ignore, and he was among the 50 Birmingham residents who were arrested on Good Friday, April It was King's 13th arrest.
JUST LAWS vs UNJUST LAWS “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” “justice too long delayed is justice denied” : Letter from Birmingham Jail (1 963)
Four Klan members plant a time bomb in a church that had been used for training civil rights demonstrators. Four little girls are killed by the blast. : 16 th Street Baptist Church Bombing (1 963)
“I Have a Dream” (1963) Watch the complete speech: Speech made at the end of the “March on Washington” – note the huge number of protesters, black and white alike, gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Four short excerpts: 1. The Declaration of Independence as a “bounced cheque” 2. The threat of continued and stronger resistance if change doesn’t happen 3. The call to followers to remain non-violent in their resistance 4. The dream
Civil Rights Bill 1964 Voting Rights act 1965 Segregation is unconstitutional
Malcolm X: Criticisms of King Non-violence is equivalent to not defending yourself. The Christian turn-the-other-cheek philosophy and faith in a better future encourages African-Americans to continue taking whatever white racism dishes out, and lets the evil continue unchecked. “Quit singin’ and start swingin’” Integration is not a worthy goal. Why should black people want to sit down and share a lunch counter with the same evil racist beasts who have disrespected and abused them for decades?
A muslim sect for African- Americans only. It addressed the spiritual (and material) needs of poor blacks in the ghetto; providing alternatives to a life of drugs, crime, unemployment, prostitution, and gambling. The Nation nurtured self- discipline and black pride. v The Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam and Malcolm X taught that white people are inherently evil, and no good can come from associating with them. “Blue-eyed devils” Consequently, X was actually against integration.
X was against segregation, but frequently advocated separatism. Segregation: a system of laws forced upon you from outside, in which you are treated unfairly Separatism: voluntary isolationism that you adopt on your own terms to protect your cultural heritage, within a free, non-segregated political system Separation vs Segregation
Oxford Union Debate (1964) [excerpts] “Any means necessary” Malcolm X arguing in favour of the proposition “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Watch for: References to the ideas of Locke and The Declaration of Independence References to Martin Luther King’s more moderate and strictly non-violent approach Reasons why violence may be justified, necessary, or a good idea. (jot these down when you hear them)
Violence, if necessary You’ll get the respect of your enemy If the government won’t protect your rights and enforce the laws, you have the right to defend yourself and use force against your oppressors or change the government itself by force (cf. John Locke and the Declaration of Independence) You are speaking the same language as the oppressor, a language you know the oppressor understands You may get results faster; if you have to wait for the one in power to change, you may have to wait a long time
Indian philosopher and activist (1869 – 1948) Mohandas Gandhi
“soul force” “Holding to the truth.” Sat implies openness, honesty, and fairness: Truth. Satyagraha
Holding to the truth In every situation, there is a truth that everyone secretly “knows” or will know if given enough time to stop and experience it fully with others who are bearing witness to it. Changing the heart of the oppressor The goal of satyagraha is not just to “win” or gain power over your oppressor; it is to change your oppressor, bring the oppressor into truth and compassion, change the world. Satyagraha
1.Each person's opinions and beliefs represent part of the truth 2.In order to see more of the truth we must share our truths cooperatively 3.This implies a desire to communicate and a determination to do so, which in turn requires developing and refining relevant skills of communication 4.Commitment to seeing as much of the truth as possible means that we can not afford to categorize ourselves or others Satyagraha
Non-violence With violence you run a greater risk of being utterly destroyed [the oppressor has more power: India and the British, African Americans and whites] Violence is cyclical (violence breeds retaliation, etc; increases the hate [Northern Ireland; Palestine; Bosnia; India and Pakistan, etc etc etc]) Don’t become what you hate; don’t destroy what you are trying to save; violence corrupts You want to change the oppressor, not destroy him (make the world a better place by bringing your enemy into the right understanding of the truth)
... vs. violence Communication and understanding Can truth overcome power?
Under what circumstances? When does love of the oppressor and communication work, and when must one resort to violence (self-defence)? Does violence ever really bring about the results desired? Can soul force ever really change the heart of the oppressor?
Be sure you understand (not just memorize) these terms and concepts: Civil disobedience Separation vs segregation Arguments for violence and non-violence Satyagraha