Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor, Dec. 4

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Peaceful protests are most effective

Dear Editor,

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a key leader in the civil rights movement in 1960's America. His assassination is one of the most famous in history, and his death resulted in thousands of startled and distraught Americans. Following his death on April 4, 1968, a series of riots began known as the Holy Week Uprising. These riots spread throughout the United States and enfolded several of its largest cities including Washington D.C, Chicago, and Baltimore. Riots involved mostly blacks, so distressed by King's death that it appeared that violence was the only solution to combat racism and discrimination.

Present-day, the United States are dealing with yet another death related to civil rights. On August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri an eighteen-year old black teenager named Michael Brown was mortally shot by white Ferguson police officer Darin Wilson. On November 24, 2014 it was announced that Officer Wilson will not be charged. This death of a young black teenager and the court's decision to not indict Wilson have sparked riots not only in Ferguson, but in cities small and large around the United States, similar to the Holy Week Uprising. Protests have been both violent and nonviolent but the argument is the same in all. The question raised is how law enforcement will continue to treat African-Americans in situations like this, now that it is protested that Michael Brown was profiled for his color.

The Holy Week Uprising and the riots that followed the death of Michael Brown, though having occurred years apart, are relatively similar in their connection to civil rights. Both situations are grave examples of two African-Americans fatally shot and both were followed by a sequence of riots and protests. The niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Alveda King, was interviewed on "Fox and Friends Weekend" and expressed her disagreement to the violent protesting and riots that are occurring around the United States. She believed that the key to her uncle's success was his "peaceful protesting" and refusal to engage in violence. Americans should bond together during this difficult time and remember Martin Luther King, Jr.'s peaceful and effective approach to leading the civil rights movement.

Savannah Burchett


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