Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Fight Essay

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Fight Throughout history there have been times when citizens have had the need, as well as the responsibility, to violate certain societal rules/laws in order to protest against unjust treatment and bring about social or political change. It began as early as Socrates, who disobeyed an unjust decree against teaching his ideas, which led to his being condemned to death; Mahatma Gandhi’s fight against British rule over India; and Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat on the city bus to make room for more white people, which led to her arrest, followed by the Montgomery Bus Boycott which ultimately led to the desegregation of public buses. The most famous of all cases, however, was the leader of the Civil…show more content…
In order to understand this, I will clarify what is meant by the “social contract.” The “social contract” is a type of unwritten agreement in which everyone in a particular society participates and agrees to live together under common “rules”. The “rules” are “those principles to which social arrangements must conform…which all rational men would agree to” (RTD, Rachels 292). There must also be the establishment of a government, with a “system of laws, police, and courts…with the power necessary to enforce those rules” (EMP, Rachels 144). Under this agreement, every citizen should benefit equally in return for accepting certain burdens equally. This, on its face, is exactly what Dr. King and his followers were arguing; that they were not granted the rights to which they were promised; the rights due them; the rights given to others. When blacks demonstrated by civil disobedience, they were essentially asking to be treated like every other citizen. This is a classic illustration of justified disobedience: Dr. King and his followers refused to obey racially discriminating laws because they believed them to be so unfair, they no longer felt obligated to obey them. Dr. King was leading the fight against a system that saw his people as second class citizens; a society that would “lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim” (EMP, Rachels
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