Ch.16: The current crisis in race relations Pgs.85-90
According to Dr. Martin Luther King, African-Americans need to re-evaluate how they feel about themselves. King writes that, “The system of slavery and segregation caused many Negros to feel that perhaps they were inferior. This is the ultimate tragedy of segregation. It not only harms one physically, but it injures one spiritually. It scars the soul and distorts the personality. It inflicts the segregator with a false sense of superiority while inflicting the segregated with a false sense of inferiority” (p. 85). King lists six elements of his philosophy that are expected to bring about the desired result of equality and freedom for the African-American. King is ever the Baptist minister, using the ideas/theories of Jesus Christ to affirm his decision in non-violent protest, faith in Jesus will keep the resisters going. 1. Struggle; violence never solves problems “it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” Pg.86 2.non-violence; Christianity in action, and protest against the evil, not the person. The method is passive physically, but it is active spiritually;”it is nonaggressive physically, but dynamically aggressive spiritually.”(87) 3. Against the forces evil, not people. Not between white & Negro, but “between justice and injustice”(87) 4. Internal violence… 5. Faith… 6. Moral dilemma( use of maladjusted=good) The movement has now been under way for three years, and would continue to be a struggle until the finish. The constant challenge would be the commitment to nonviolence. The object was to direct the protest against the “forces of evil, rather than persons caught in the force.” (87) This was an attempt to avoid an increase in hatred directed at the protestors. King believes the forces of good, Jesus Christ and the ideas in the Bible will carry them through until success is achieved. This article, written for a Christian publication, spells out very clearly King’s basic strategy for the Civil Rights Movement. This pattern of utilizing inspiration from the Bible, moral suasion based on the teachings of Christ , and the constant idea of nonviolence to push forward the goals of freedom and equality will be repeated again and again. The legitimacy of the movement using passages from the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution will also be part of his design in future speeches and articles.