Continued Mistreatment of African Americans Throughout History

Decent Essays

Laws which are made to guarantee natural rights, including the right to life and liberty, communicate that justice does exist as those laws are applied to all cases that are within the rule. Despite the African American slaves having been freed after the Civil War in 1965, they were still treated with prejudice and segregated against. To remedy the injustice African Americans were facing, despite being considered American citizens, the Supreme Court in 1954 had decided that segregation was unconstitutional. However, the decision was made to rectify the segregation that African American students faced in public schools. King, therefore, advocates the breaking of such laws, which he distinguishes as unjust, by stating “one has a moral …show more content…

King uses logical appeal to justify defying the laws by referring to the early Christians who were willing to face hungry lions rather than submitting to the Roman Empire’s unjust laws or Meshach, Abednego, and Shadrach refusing the laws of Nebuchadnezzar (23). As civil disobedience gains national attention, the social tensions and “negative peace” expose the injustice to the human conscience and the nation can begin to cure those injustices. Civil disobedience will reveal to the nation the African American’s compliance to the unjust laws establishing dominant ideologies of white supremacy, contradicting the Declaration of Independence, which states “all men are created equal...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” (U.S. Declaration of Independence). The citizens of the Unites States lived in a realm of pretense, pretending peace existed between the majority and minority groups, when in truth, the minority had been oppressed and were acquiescent for decades, ergo the “negative peace” (24). King emphasizes that civil disobedience involves nonviolent direct action, involving sit-ins and marches (21). Nonviolent civil disobedience will create a crisis and foster a tension causing a community that has constantly negated the injustice will be confronted with the issue. King concurs to the suggestion of

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