Martin Luther King Jr. Death As Most Impactful Assassination

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Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on 4th April 1968. He was an activist who organized peaceful demonstrations to seek for the freedom and the rights of the minority populations in America particularly the people of color. Before and after him, there were other activists killed in America but his assassination stood out among many others because fifty years later, its impacts could still be felt (Seeger, and Reiser). America is still under recovery after the death of Martin Luther King as can be seen through incidents of economic injustice, racial inequality and peace issues within the society. The beloved community that King wanted to make better seems to have returned to its original status. This assassination was a big turning point for America. There is so much history before and after it happened (Frank 195). It is also one of the America’s most famous, memorable assassinations that we have had. The American society changed a great deal after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr especially in terms of the plight of the people of color.

At the time of his assassination, King was struggling to attain racial and economic equality for not only the people of color but for all people in society with a major concern of vulnerable and discriminated persons (Seeger, and Reiser). However, after his assassination, little has been done because today, people are still struggling for racial equality in America. There are possibilities that the racial discrimination incidents have intensified in the fifty years after his death because other activists and organizations have not been as passionate as King was while presenting his point about racial and economic equality (Hofstetter 175). Many people of color still have it rough in American society as a result of the constant incidents of racial discrimination that they often experience. It appears that King died with his freedom ideologies and the struggle for racial equality stopped with him.

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In one of his famous speeches before he died, King had a dream that someday a person of color may govern America among other issues he mentioned in the dream. In 2008 when Barrack Obama was elected president of the United States, many people believed that King’s dream had been fulfilled (Seeger, and Reiser). At least in that incident among many other incidents there was a positive change towards the liberation and freedom of the people of color at least after the death of King. For the first time the majority of the people of color started feeling like they belonged to the nation as citizens and not as slaves and a minority (Frank 195). After the election of Barrack Obama as the first black president of the United States, so many people believed that their lives had changed (Fairclough). The women and boys and other persons may confess that the era of Barrack Obama brought hope to the people of color about their freedom and equal rights.

The efforts of King during his time were more than civil rights movement but more of a national political mobilizing agent that drew the attentions of other people to help in constructing an all inclusive society (Cook). The issues he addressed during his time were necessary for the society because they were focused at building America into a new place with prosperity for all people (Seeger, and Reiser). The fact that King was to some extent fighting for the rights of all people in society through is human rights movements also made his movement strategic and helpful for the better of the all people including the white people some of who took part in killing him. Conversely, after his death, nothing has happened to change the unfair economic composition for both the people of color and the white people (Cook). The struggles prove that the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr influenced the progress of the nation in different ways such as stalling its growth.

King was not only a dreamer but he implemented some of the ideas he believed would have changed America. Through his dream to combat civil war for instance saw him denounce the Vietnam War exactly a year before his assassination (Seeger, and Reiser). He was a noble man who was mindful of his nation in different ways that would have helped in making the nation better had he not been assassinated. Had he not been assassinated, the world would have been such a different place. With the peaceful mentality with which King works, who knows if he was still alive, if we would have had our society go a different way.

The other reason that proves that the assassination of King was impactful for the nation and other parts of the world was the fact that he joined the Black Power activists to denounce the Vietnam War before breaking up with the then president Lyndon B. Johnson because he wanted to create an-anti poverty crusade that would also involve the issues of the people of color, gender and class among other discriminative factors (Seeger, and Reiser). He was observant enough to realize that his friendship with the president would jeopardize his idea for improving the lives of the vulnerable people in society and so he avoided him to create better lives for other people (West). Nevertheless, the sacrifices he made seems to be in vain because the modern-day society is challenged by higher incidents of discrimination in terms of race, class and gender among other means of discrimination. The failure by the nation to acquire equality in its sensitive sectors like the economic sector proved that the assassination of King was impactful for the growth of society.

The other reason that made the assassination of King more significant in the history of the nation is the fact that immediately after his assassination, twenty-five cities in America exploded in violence and several soldiers were ordered to guard the White House in Washington (Seeger, and Reiser). It was also the one time that activists like Carmichael called for a revolution openly because they believed that the nation needed a change in order to stop such incidents like careless killings. The impact of the violence on the economy of the United States could still be felt today where several economic challenges result from the difference in state ideologies (Frank 195). The havoc did not settle well with the nation and for that reason many people suffered from within the nation.

Even through the civil rights movements seemed to lack direction after the death of King for lack of a leader, the plight of the poor and other vulnerable people in society pushed other activists to revive the course and seek democracy (Seeger, and Reiser). The movements intensified but they lacked the energy with which King implemented on them hence it was quite difficult for the movements to assert the necessary pressure on the government and other responsible organizations to ensure equality in society (King). As the nation mourned him, elections were nearing and all leaders attended his funeral except the president (Cook). The majority of the speeches at the funeral called for a change in the American society such that people would have equal rights. The call for equality turned out to be a way of remembering him although his intentions and targets had unfortunately failed.

It could also be true to claim that the assassination of King was meant to show the leadership system in America. The leaders of the nation wanted to maintain a system of power, which King was a threat to hence he had to be eliminated (Seeger, and Reiser). The culpability of the nation became evident when for instance, Presidents Nixon rode on the law and order that flourished the nation after the death of King into power. The system proves that there is a particular style of leadership that King threatened through his fight for equal rights for all people without discrimination (West). Had King not died, the leadership system would have changed but it is still used today because it gives more powers to the leaders than it considers the citizens and that is the reason why it is preferred by many people.

Many people have been assassinated in America especially activists but their deaths have not been as impactful as that of Martin Luther King Jr who was assassinated on April 4th 1968. He was an activist who organized peaceful protests while fighting for the rights of the people of color and other vulnerable people in society. The impacts of his death could still be experienced today through the struggle for freedom and the incidents of discrimination against the people of color. After his death, greater violent protests were experienced in twenty-five states of the United States like never before. Although his ideologies vanished with him, it was important that the civil rights movements continued with the struggle for economic freedom and against racial discrimination at least as part of his remembrance. The other valuable thing about his assassination is that some of his dreams like that of a black American president was fulfilled with Barrack Obama as the president hence his ideas rein.

Works Cited

  1. Cook, Robert. Sweet land of liberty?: the African-American struggle for civil rights in the twentieth century. Routledge, 2013.
  2. Fairclough, Adam. 'Was Martin Luther King a Marxist?.' History Workshop. Editorial Collective, History Workshop, Ruskin College, 1983.
  3. Frank, Gerold. 'An American Death.' (1972): 195.
  4. Hofstetter, C. Richard. 'Political disengagement and the death of Martin Luther King.' The Public Opinion Quarterly 33.2 (1969): 174-179.
  5. King, Martin Luther. The Words of Martin Luther King. Fount Paperbacks, 1985.
  6. Seeger, Pete, and Bob Reiser. Everybody says freedom. WW Norton & Company, 1989.
  7. West, Cornel. 'Dr. King weeps from his grave.' The New York Times 25 (2011).
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