The Three Characteristics Ways of Meeting Oppression

9 September 2016

According to Martin Luther King Jr. , what are the three characteristic ways in meeting oppression? The Three Characteristics Ways of Meeting Oppression Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s “The Ways of Meeting Oppression” is a division and classification essay in which King explains the ways in which oppressed people meet oppression. He states that, historically, oppressed people have responded to their oppression in negative ways either resulting in their total destruction or prolonging their oppression.

King challenges the oppressed Negro to meet oppression positively and effectively. In the essay, he examines the three characteristics ways of meeting oppression. He divides these ways and classifies each ranging from the ineffective to the most effective way of meeting oppression. In his examination, King characterizes acquiescence, violence, and nonviolent resistance as the three characteristic ways of meeting oppression. First, King describes acquiescence as the most passive and ineffective characteristic way of meeting oppression.

The Three Characteristics Ways of Meeting Oppression Essay Example

King declares that this way of meeting oppression is a way in which the oppressed resign themselves to their doom. In addition, he explains that this characteristic way is ineffective because “the Negro cannot win the respect of his oppressor by acquiescence, it will be interpreted as proof of the Negro’s inferiority” (382). According to King, the Negro cannot win the respect of the white people if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety.

Second, King explains that while violence is not a passive characteristic, it is an equally ineffective way of meeting oppression. He notes that though violence may bring momentary results, “it solves no social problem; it merely creates new and more complicated ones” (382). He explains that violence is a behavior that is intended to hurt-physically. According to King, to resort to physical violence or corroding hatred is both impractical and immoral. He explains that it is impractical because it destroys both parities and is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.

Third, King illuminates that nonviolent resistance is a positive characteristic and effective way of meeting oppression. He explains that nonviolent resistance is that act of acquiescence and violence combined. King states that “with nonviolent resistance, no individual or group need submit to any wrong” (383). He affirms that this way of meeting oppression is most effective because the Negro will rise to noble height while fighting an unjust system, making a lasting contribution to the moral strength of the nation and enlist all men of good will in his struggle for equality.

In conclusion, King’s work addresses the three characteristics ways of meeting oppression. He enlightens the reader to the idea that acquiescence is an in effective way of meeting oppression because it resigns him to his doom and wins not respect from his oppressor. King explains that violence is also ineffective for it is both impractical and immoral. King affirms that of the three ways of meeting oppression, nonviolent resistance is the most positive and effective way of meeting oppression because it seeks to bring opposing forces together for positive change.

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