King’s argument

Malcolm X was the greatest advocator of the black separation. Malcolm managed to attract a large band of urban blacks with his charismatic way of speaking. He urged his supporters to secure their rights by any means possible, thus rejecting the ideas of King of non-violence. However, some civil rights were also against Malcolm’s ideas of violence. For instance, the Southern Christina Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

These groups felt that there was still need to strive to be in the mainstream society, and not complete separation. With the assassination of Malcolm, the violent crusades did not die. The black panthers boldly adopted the Malcolm’s message of “by any means” (Kelly & Shuter 1998 pp123). There was still discontent during the latter half of 1960’s. The blacks continued to agitate against the poverty level and racism leveled to them.

The riots caused a devastating effect to the homes of the blacks and led to a more deepening different between those advocating for a more violent means for achieving black rights and those advocating for a non violent means. King was also assassinated in 1968 causing a blow to the civil rights movements that had already fractured due to the different stands they had. But this did not however, deter the different groups from advocating for their agendas, even though they had lost momentum.

The fight for Black nationalism can also be traced to Marcus Garvey who had advocated for the returning of blacks back to Africa and be supported by the American government for sometime until they establish themselves (Kelly & Shuter 1998 pp 12). But according to Malcolm, the blacks deserved to be given land as reparations for they had ‘sweated blood’ to make the white man build a reach country that had become capable of even helping her enemies (Kelly & Shuter 1998 pp 63).

Therefore, until the goal of returning to Africa, or a separate homeland in North America was realized, Malcolm advocated for the economic self determination through the black owned businesses like those owned and run by the Black Muslims (Cushman-wood, 1993 para 9). According to Cushman-wood, Malcolm argued that the Blacks had an economic reserve of $20 billion per year but he failed to see how this was used for survival. In his mission, Malcolm was using the values of capitalism to prepare the African Americans for separation.

Malcolm had the desire to develop a self esteem among the black people which led to his economic thoughts. He looked at what the Black Muslims were doing and believed that all the Blacks could do that. Therefore, by keeping money in the Black community, it would have helped to develop self esteem. This was to be achieved through separation from the white Americans. Malcolm differentiated segregation and separation. He argued that segregation was used by the Whites to keep control over the blacks and make them continue begging, while in separation, the blacks would attain self-control.

In this perspective, Malcolm admired the Jews because he felt that their self sufficient was a subject to be emulated by the blacks. He however criticized the Jewish community for taking money out of Harlem. He also criticizes the Jewish civil rights movement leaders for not teaching the blacks on how they should be economically self sufficient (Cushman-wood, 1993 para 8). Malcolm also criticized the black church leaders for failing to see how separation would lead to self esteem.

He was hurt by the leader’s involvements in building churches instead of businesses. After they have built, they go back again to the whites to beg for jobs (Kelly, Rees & Shuter 1998 pp 72). To Malcolm, begging was antithesis for separation. Those who were advocating for integration were considered to be begging to be let into a Whiteman’s house. Getting employment with a Whiteman was a temporal solution, but integration was nothing but an attempt by the middle class blacks to get approval from the Whiteman (Cushman-wood 1993 para 11).

King also shared Malcolm’s notion about the church harnessing massive wealth for themselves, but he was against the idea of separation but pro-integration. King did not see how the under development of the blacks was of necessity for the development of the American society. King’s argument was that it was legal segregation that had caused the blacks from not enjoying the economic pie and not the economy itself that was the primary cause for the black’s oppression (Anderson & Stewart, 2007 pp).

The American government had a difficult task in 1960’s dealing with the civil right’s movements in her country and at the same time dealing with the Vietnamese war. The Vietnamese war was a war between the capitalist ideologies and the communists’ ideologies. This was according to the Americans. But the Vietnamese felt that it was a war about unification. The majority soldiers in the war were blacks. With the civil rights movements, this posed a dangerous situation to the army in the Vietnam as they could have turned against their fellow army men.