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In Martin Luther King's essay "The Ways of Meeting Oppression" and in the text "Nonviolence", the term nonviolence is explained as a technique for social struggle. On the other hand, in the reading "The Black Panther Party for Self- Defense" it is stated that this social struggle doesn't always carry the same meaning with the term nonviolence. As I agree with Black Panther's idea, in my essay, I am going to discuss the extent that the black panthers' resort to violence is justifiable. According to Martin Luther King, there are three ways that oppressed people cope with oppression; Acquiescence, basically where the oppressed get used to being oppressed. Resort to physical violence and corroding hatred, which would bring momentary solutions and establish additional and more complex problems.
Nonviolent resistance, that seeks to create a balance between the acquiescence and violence by preventing the extremes and immoralities of both. In the text "Nonviolence" the term is explained as "a set of assumptions about morality, power and conflict that lead its proponents to reject the use of violence in efforts to attain social and political goals." (p. 1) As King implies, those assumptions does not imply a battle between people but a opposition between justice and injustice and by the help of nonviolent resistance the Negro can fight for equality. The hint is to create effective tactics and considering political and cultural conditions, and develop a better plan or strategy. As the rule of capitalism, the rulers' power depends on the populace's power. However, the concept of nonviolence challenges the power of rulers through the intentional removal of this co-operation.
As Martin Luther King implies; "Through nonviolent resistance the Negro will be able to noble height of opposing the unjust system while loving the perpetrators of the system." (p. 139. ) From the beginning, the behaviors of the doers are aimed to be changed. However, because of the rising strength of the violence against the Negro had built the foundation for a self- defense movement to achieve liberation for all Black people, which is called "The Black Panther Party." For all the Black people, the party wanted freedom, full employment, an end to the robbery of white people, decent housing, education, being held in prison and jails and being tried in a court by a jury of their peer group. When the topic came to the exemption of Black men from military service and an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people it also came to the extent the black panthers' resort to violence is justifiable. However, it is stated that there will not be a fight or killing of other people but just defending themselves from the domination and cruelty of racist police and racist military.
Also, it is implied that as all the people of the United States have a right to bear arms, Black people can also arm themselves for self-defense but not to harm others. "The Panthers made it clear that they were not looking for a shoot-out and that they would only use their guns in self-defense." (p. 144. ) Violence is attacking someone without being attacked and if someone is attacking on you or on your rights it is also your right to protect yourselves whether you are black or white.
As it is clearly demonstrated in the program of Black Panther Party, I agree to the fact that Black men should defend themselves as all the other men and self-defense is not violence. To sum up, although it was under the discussion that the effect of nonviolence is less apparent than violence, or because there are many nonviolence strategies it is difficult to choose the appropriate one or nonviolence does not always succeed, the term nonviolence is explained as a technique for social struggle in Martin Luther King's essay "The Ways of Meeting Oppression" and in the text "Nonviolence." From the Black Panther Party's point of view, it is stated that this social struggle doesn't always carry the same meaning with the term nonviolence. More over, it is my opinion that, when it comes to the point of self-defense the extent that the black panthers' resort to violence is justifiable; of course, if you can name it as violence.
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