As you most likely know, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X both fought for the rights of African americans in America fifty years ago. They did so in very different ways. Martin Luther King used peaceful protests to try and gain rights for African Americans, while Malcolm X wanted to separate Africans Americans completely from White American and said that they had to use any means necessary to achieve this goal. Any means necessary included violence and bringing down White Americans verbally. He was the one who brought about the infamous “black power” philosophy and organizations like the Black Panthers came about because of his message. In the end, Malcolm X lost his influence and had a change of heart that led him to join Martin Luther King’s cause. They were both assassinated, and as you should know African Americans and other ethnicities now have equal rights. But, I am trying to reach a bigger point using this example.
If you have ever been an argument or in a debate at school, you know sometimes the discussion can get heated and when it does people make the argument personal. What I mean by this is that people stop supporting their own cause, but rather attack the opposing cause and I have found this to be detrimental to your chances of winning the debate or argument, because the second you make things personal, you’re the bad guy. The problem with being the bad guy is that your argument has lost its strength because you put your opponent on higher ground. If we go back to the example of Martin Luther King and his battles with White Americans, he gained the most ground after the first march to Selma, because he made the police look like the bad guy by not physically responding to the attacks. Not only, did he make the police and government look like the bad guy, he raised the image of his own cause by gaining the sympathy of those who witnessed the events at Selma. He made them the good guy—
and most people like rooting for the good guy. The lesson to be learned from this is that if you believe strongly enough about something you shouldn’t have to bring someone else down to bring yourself up, because most of the time it won’t work out to well.