Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar E. Chavez
Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar E. Chavez, are two historic figures who are an inspiration for today’s civic education. They both wanted to fix segregation, and believed in equal rights amongst all. Both activist chose non-violent protest route to end segregation.
Cesar Chavez in “the Mexican American and the church” aimed to raise awareness and question about the best use of charity and the role of religion in bringing about social change. Martin Luther king jrs “Letter from a Birmingham jail” he responded to criticism about his civil right movement on religious grounds.
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Martin Luther King Jr wrote “Letter a Birmingham” which was supposed to address eight clergymen, but it spoke to a national audience especially his “Christian and Jewish brothers”. He looked into just and unjust laws by bringing up many points that supported his theory in many ways. His ability to illustrate the harsh and insensitive behavior towards people of color exceeded his intelligence. This letter was seen as a major turning point in the civil rights movement. He believed to take direct action for African Americans, but in a non-violent way. He also compares how they are being treated to how the Jews were treated by Hitler and how it is not acceptable. He writes about all the humiliation and abuse they have faced throughout their lives, and how one day the injustice will be exposed. He believes it is up to him and the people to stop all this and make a better free world. He usually never responded to criticism because it was a waste of time, but these were men of good and he decided he would give them answers to their statements.
Martin Luther King Jr, in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” stated “…Just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically every hamlet and city of the Greco-Roman world, I too am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my particular home town… Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…” he brought religion into his letter by stating that it is up to him to continue to carry the act of freedom to a world full of racism and injustice. Martin Luther King Jr was defending his organizations actions and to appeal to the people, the social political, and religious community. He created a argument for equality not only in Birmingham but the entire world “…injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. With this letter he is aiming to get the world’s attention, not just one set of people, and it worked. He wrote this message so he can create or trigger an even bigger message, most importantly without violence.
Cesar Chavez spoke to mostly all catholic migrants, and high ranking officials in Church, in “The Mexican American and the Church”. The impact of the speech essentially affected the whole world. He stated how other religions were not only involved in proving spiritual guidance but they were also helping resources as well as standing by the migrants. Most farm workers were catholic so he’d expect support from the Church as well.
When Chavez said “Church is one form of the presence of God on earth…” he reminded them that they were merely servants of God. He spoke about the influential power of the Catholic Church and how it could help the cause. It is a powerful moral that cannot be ignored by any movement. The Church is a tremendous wealth, and since the Church is to be a servant to the poor it would be their fault if that wealth isn’t being distributed to the farm workers who needed it. If the Farmers money was used to build the Church, why is it hard for them to now help the migrants when they are in deep need of it? This raised many questions on this Church, and a lot of concerns as to why protestants where helping but not Catholics, who were from the same religion and received donations from those who now need the favor in return.
In my conclusion religion was part of both Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King’s speeches, given the fact that they were both trying to capture attention from a bigger crowd of people and make this topic nationwide. Both activist moved forward with their movements in a non-violent manner, and contributing facts to help people see and feel what they were trying to say and also what they were going through themselves. Both just wanted equal rights for their people and seeked for help in all the smartest ways possible, like seeking religious help for example.