Skip to main content

Does MLK Get A Bad Rap?

Many black folks revere Malcolm X with a passion and devotion that is profound. That's a good thing. He earned and deserves it. At the same time, their feelings toward Martin Luther King Jr. are "warm" and reverential, but less strong. My sense is that many respect and admire Malcolm's more militant, "by any means necessary", approach. This, particularly so in contrast to Martin's non-violent stance. They perceive non-violence perhaps as appealing to white accommodation as opposed to demanding and taking our freedom. At the end of the day, though, didn't they both share the same objectives? Didn't they both fight and die for black liberty? In some sense, didn't the fact that there was a Martin make Malcolm more effective, and vice versa?

At the end of the day, who did more for black people? While Malcolm's militance feeds our collective thirst for self-determination and power, didn't Martin's non-violent approach actually accomplish more for African America? Does MLK get a bad rap sometimes by those that admire the more aggressive tactic, despite perhaps its less effective results?

What do you think?

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

[This message was edited by MBM on December 05, 2003 at 04:06 PM.]


Original Post