Martin Luther King Jr. and Affirmative Action

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The text focuses on Martin Luther King Jr.’s views regarding Affirmative Action, a program created to improve opportunities for minority groups and women. It specifically highlights the African American community’s pursuit of equality.

“I have a dream today.” These words were famously spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a renowned activist in the civil rights movement, who aimed to attain equality for African Americans. Dr. King employed a four-step strategy to achieve this goal, which included gathering information to expose injustices, participating in negotiations that required compromises from African Americans, engaging in self-purification through prayer and song, and ultimately resorting to non-violent direct action. Unfortunately, despite their dedicated pursuit of these steps, none resulted in favorable outcomes for Dr. King and his community.

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In my opinion, Martin Luther King Jr. and Affirmative Action would not be compatible, just like Hillary Clinton and Howard Stern. Dr. King aimed to earn civil rights rather than receive them as a handout. This is why the term used is “fight for civil rights.” The concept of “earning” in this context is somewhat unclear. What Dr. King desired was for his people to “earn” their rights rather than depend on handouts. He would likely argue that affirmative action was a form of handout, contradicting his vision. Dr. King simply sought the cooperation of white individuals in achieving equal rights for African Americans, without any conflicts or handouts—pure cooperation. Shelby Steele asserts, “King recognized the corrupting nature of racial power and thus emphasized fairness and equality principles instead of black power because he believed these principles would ultimately lead to complete liberation of blacks.”

The opposition may claim that Dr. King’s desire for freedom and equality for his people would lead him to eventually surrender and allow affirmative action to progress. However, this was not his approach. Dr. King consistently championed equal rights for all individuals, advocating for peace and freedom. If one defines affirmative action as supporting an African American’s fight for their rights and not obstructing their progress, then that is the only type of affirmative action that Dr. King would endorse. Otherwise, he would firmly oppose it.

The concept of “reverse” refers to a condition that is the opposite of its previous state or what is considered normal. When applied to racism, it gives rise to Affirmative Action, which can be seen as reverse racism. Consider two men who are identical in terms of age, education, and qualifications – qualifications being defined as suitability for a specific purpose through skill or training. In the context of Affirmative Action, the black man would automatically be given the job solely based on his race. This raises an issue because Affirmative Action assesses individuals based on their inherent characteristics rather than their personal qualities. This contradicts Dr. King’s vision of a nation where his four little children would be judged by their character rather than the color of their skin.

According to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., freedom is not bestowed upon the oppressed by oppressors; rather, it must be actively pursued by the oppressed themselves. He committed his life to tirelessly advocating for equality and justice on behalf of his people. Until he passed away, he persistently fought for the fundamental right of sitting at a lunch counter and enjoying a cup of coffee alongside white individuals.

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Affirmative Action. (2018, Sep 30). Retrieved from

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