Racial and Ethnic Discrimination

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Argument and example to prove violence is not justified in fighting against racial discrimination.

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In answering this question, you could do a lot worse than look at the example of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. Right throughout the long, hard struggle for civil rights, King never once deviated from his commitment to non-violence. Though many African Americans felt that the only...

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In answering this question, you could do a lot worse than look at the example of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. Right throughout the long, hard struggle for civil rights, King never once deviated from his commitment to non-violence. Though many African Americans felt that the only legitimate response was to fight fire with fire, to respond to the violence of white supremacists with violence of their own, King never wavered in his conviction that the fight against racial discrimination should involve exclusively nonviolent methods.

The results of King's commitment to nonviolence are there for all to see. Thanks to his dogged persistence and that of all those others who joined him in the struggle for racial equality, the civil rights movement was able to achieve a great deal. As well as the historical Supreme Court ruling of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which held that racial segregation of public schools was unconstitutional, the civil rights movement helped to secure the passage of landmark legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It's arguable that none of this would've come about had the civil rights movement adopted a violent approach to fighting racial discrimination. Had they done so, then the authorities would undoubtedly have used it as an excuse to marginalize African Americans and their concerns even further, framing the issue as one of law and order, rather than racial equality.

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