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Three Ways Of Meeting Oppression Of Martin Luther King

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In Martin Luther King Jr’s essay entitled “ The Ways of Meeting Oppression” the Social Activist who led the civil rights movement during the 1960s. The author defines that no individual or group need to admit to any wrong, or need anyone to resort to violence in order to right a wrong. He supports his claim by presenting three real life ways of encountering oppression. Which are acquicenscies, violence and non violent resistance. He proceeds to show the advantages and disadvantages of each method has from dealing with oppression. Finally, he argues that non-violent resistance is not aimed against oppressors but against the oppression. King employs a comparison and contrast strategy to categorize the reader's ethos with advanced vocabulary and grammar. King brings worth a philosophical tone to inform the reader-get an idea that nonviolent resistance is more beneficial than the other two extreme ways of meeting oppression.

The author organises his writing by characterizing acquiescence as one of the forms of dealing with oppression. Through his essay, King examines how people easily surrender to oppression and become used to it as a living. Creating an atmosphere where oppressed people learn to live with acquiescence and never really understand what justice is. “ Religion reminds every man that he is his brother’s keeper. To accept injustice or segragation passively is to say to the oppressor that his actions are morally right.” (King 426). As a result, King believes that this encourages oppressors to keep doing the same thing and never stop. King take this into consideration that it is not the best way to meet oppression. In addition, he attacks the people who uses this method. “ To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor.” (King 426).

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Secondly the author points out violence, as another method of dealing with oppression that King strongly disagree with. The author portrays that people who resort things with violence influences evil and hatred in society. He explains how violence only creates permanent results. However, at some times it might look like the best way to solve problems but he believes that no one should ever downgrade themselves to that level of little understanding and standard. As King, refers that violence creates more problems than solving them by saying “ Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.” (King 427). He strongly argues that violence is not the key word or the solution to any problem, but introduces love as an option to solve world problems. The author trusts that everything someone has in this world like family, friends, and material goods can be taken away by all means just because of violence. King strongly includes his thoughts, and views on how violence leave societies in war rather than peace.

On King’s last method of meeting oppression is nonviolent resistance. He deems that violence ends by defeating itself. He refers to this form as the best method to deal with oppression. “The principle of nonviolent resistance seeks to reconcile the truths of two opposites-acquiescence and violence.” (King 427). He acknowledges that people who use nonviolence as an answer to oppression take in the characteristics of both acquiescence and violence methods. “Nonviolent register agrees with the person who acquiesces that one should not be physically aggressive towards his opponent; but he balances the equation by agreeing with the person of violence that evil must be resisted”(427). As stated before King once again analyzes that nonviolent resistance should not be submitted to any wrong, nor need to resort to violence in order to right a wrong.

Martin Luther King Jr’s views on the three methods of meeting oppression made it relatively true and convincing. “The Ways of Meeting Oppression” made readers realize that he was truthful with all the evidence he supported including his ethos being the most effective out of all. King left his readers with a belief in something bigger than any human. That nonviolence can be the answer to many problems that occurs in this world. As a result, it awakens many people to use nonviolent resistance. On the other hand, others choose to use the violence and acquiescence as a way of dealing with oppression, but King for a fact captures this powerful message of showing respect and freedom to the oppressor.

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Three Ways Of Meeting Oppression Of Martin Luther King. (2021, September 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
“Three Ways Of Meeting Oppression Of Martin Luther King.” Edubirdie, 09 Sept. 2021,
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Three Ways Of Meeting Oppression Of Martin Luther King [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 09 [cited 2023 Dec 4]. Available from:
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