Compare And Contrast Martin Luther King And Macolm X

Submitted By mark1093
Words: 1691
Pages: 7

Mark Grinhaus
Final Paper
Martin & Malcolm
Van Der Meer

King Jr. vs. Obama vs. X

Throughout history there have been few men who have changed the course of a nation and had a profound impact on our way of life. The fight for racial equality has been a long fought battle that still exists to this day. Men like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama have distinguished them selves as leaders, not only for civil rights, but also for a nation of millions. Though many of their goals are the same, some differentiate. Malcolm X believed in Black Nationalism while President Obama preaches of hope and unity. King and Obama both believe in ending wars and striving for peace amid times of tension and hostility. Although some of their ideas intersect and some never cross paths, all three men have broken color barriers and made history by following what they believed in. Malcolm X quickly rose to fame as an outspoken civil rights activist who’s views tended to be more aggressive as the honorable Reverend Martin Luther king Jr. X freely spoke of black nationalism; in a personal interview for ABC news in the mid 1960’s, Malcolm was asked what his political philosophy was, he responded, “My personal, political philosophy is Black Nationalism. That is that the black man should take control of the politics of his own community, and control the politicians who are in his own community”. (X) When later asked what his economic philosophy was, Malcolm replied, “My personal economic philosophy is also Black Nationalism, which means that the black man should have a hand in controlling the economy of the so called “negro community”…and thereby be able to create employment for his own people, for his own kind.” (X) Malcolm clearly believed that the Negro population should separate them selves, and unity amongst them selves, and only them selves was the key. President Obama is a monumental figure in the fight for civil rights. Our nations leader is an African American, and with that comes much scrutiny. Should the color of our president’s skin dictate his social views? Obama believes in hope and unity. In this ever-changing country there cannot be separation between races and racial competition. In his inaugural address Obama told the world that we must, “chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord”. As a community organizer in Chicago, Obama has long believed in, “growing stronger when all Americans have access to opportunity and are able to participate fully in our economy.” (White) Obama has taken a firm stance in civil rights, preaching that uniting as a nation, and not as races, will strengthen our economy and provide opportunities for people of all races. Although both men disagree on their political ideologies, they do share similarities. Both, Obama and X believe that organizing at the grassroots level is the key for a solid foundation in any movement or community. While serving as the Senator of Illinois, “Obama decided to try to become a community organizer, to help bring about change in black communities through grassroots efforts. He saw the task as a continuation of the work begun by the civil rights movement: "At night, lying in bed, I would let the slogans drift away, to be replaced with a series of images of a past I had never known. They were of the civil rights movement”. (Neer 16) The President even went as far as comparing his grassroots organizing to the civil rights movement and the struggles that were present long ago. Malcolm X was such a strong believer in the grassroots movement that there is an organization in his name called “Malcolm X Grassroots Movement”. The organization is composed of several chapters around the country, whose goal is, “to defend the human rights of our people and promote self-determination in our community”. (MXGM) It is evident that the “grassroots movement” that Obama speaks of has a different objective than that of Malcolm, how ever