Violent vs. Nonviolent Protests in America

1626 Words Dec 19th, 2011 7 Pages
May 5th 2011

Violent vs. Non-Violent Protests in America

African-Americans have been oppressed since their arrival in America in 1619. Due to their differences in physical characteristics, Whites considered them an inferior race and therefore treated them as property, disregarding their human rights. After many years of exploitation and abuse, in 1791, slaves on the small island of Hispaniola revolted against French rule and successfully gained their freedom in 1804. It gave hope to African American slaves who, in turn, decided to stand against their masters and gain their freedom. Every one of those rebellions was extremely violent. They were so passionate about the cause and have been oppressed for so long that they targeted
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He was quoted saying that “had a white mob stepped on the campus where I lived, I would have without hesitation sprayed their guts over the grass” (Cain, 1990, p. 332). Blacks formed their own organizations aiming at retaliating against white violence. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, using “the discipline, pride, and calm self-assurance preached by Malcolm X” (Lazerow, Jama; Williams, Yohuru R. (2006). In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement. Duke University: Duke University Press.), founded the Black Panther Party: a formal armed organization which claimed to have used violence only in self-defense. Worgs argues that violence became a part of the African American man as he constantly justifies his use of violence for self-defense. He refers to David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World where the author makes it clear that the use of violence “was justified by the reality of the oppressor and the oppressive conditions of enslavement. Slaveholders were…willing to murder Blacks in order to maintain slavery. Thus, Blacks had to be willing to “kill or be killed” in their quest for freedom”. The realistic views of Robert F. Williams led him to argue that “Nonviolence is a very potent weapon when the opponent is civilized…But nonviolence is no repellent for a sadist” (Tyson, T.). In turn, African Americans were strongly associated with violence in both
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