Differences Between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Essays

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Many black authors and leaders of the sixties shared similar feelings towards the white run American society in which they lived. Malcolm X,
James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, and Stokely Carmichael all blamed the whites for the racism which existed. However, they agreed that it was up to the black society to end this problem. Using the black society, each of the authors had their own idea of how racism could be stopped.

Unfortunately, for some, such as Malcolm X, this involved the use of violence, while others, such as King, favored the non-violent approach.

This paper will focus, for the most part, on Malcolm X and King because they are both strong representations of two different approaches to a common goal.
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Altogether, these views of white society as expressed by Malcolm and
King are reflected in their methods of fighting racism. Malcolm, who supported the use of violence to achieve equality, most likely reached the conclusion that this was the only way to fight the whites based on his original view of them as heartless and uncaring. One place in Malcolm's
"Ballot or Bullet," where his categorizing of whites with violence and cruelty can be found, is during a passage in which he compares the white man with a Guerrilla warrior. "You've got to have a heart to be a
Guerrilla warrior, and he (the white man) hasn't got any heart" (267).

Malcolm sees the whites as a violent group. He most likely came to his theory, that nothing important could be accomplished without violence, through the reasoning that only violence can be used to stop a violent group. Violent people would not understand the use of peaceful means to reach an agreement. Therefore, it is not really the violence itself which he supports as much as it is the reason for using it. He justifies his use of violence by trying to explain that there is no other way to get through to the white people.

In contrast, King sees the whites more as victims of violence than creators of violence. He blames the violence, itself, on evil forces. In
"Pilgrimage to Nonviolence," King calls the problem of racism
"tension...between the forces of light and the forces
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