The Bullet or the Ballot

Topics: Black people, African American, Democracy Pages: 4 (1677 words) Published: April 4, 2008
In 1964, Malcolm X gave a speech entitled “The Ballot or the Bullet” which described how African Americans should fight for civil-rights in America. Malcolm X emphasizes the importance of voting as a solution to ending discrimination against African Americans. He addresses both the poor voting decisions and also the denial of legitimate voting rights to African Americans. Because elections had been so narrowly decided in recent elections, the Black vote is the deciding factor in elections. Whites also have prevented African Americans in the electoral process. Malcolm X says that either "the ballot or the bullet" will come next in the civil rights struggle. This meant that government must allow African Americans to legitimately vote or else violence will be their means to influence government. A second solution to the civil rights struggle was to change the discrimination of African Americans from a civil rights issue to a human rights issue. I feel that in this speech Malcolm X advocates liberal ideas. Because the government is a contract with the people and the purpose of government is to secure everyone’s individual rights, people have the right to rebel if the government violates the contract. Since African Americans were denied their civil liberties, either the ballot or the bullet should be next. Blacks will either get their rights or they will rebel against government. Malcolm X’s speech “The Bullet or the Ballot” relates to me because I am young African American male and in the 2008 election there is a African American male candidate who to me has a lot of good values and standards I believe he has what it takes to become the next president of the Unite States. I value you the fact that I can vote I feel that now that I am 18 years of age it is an honor to vote and I take it very much serious like the catch phrase “Vote Or Die” I can relate to Malcolm X’s speech either the Bullet or the Ballot one hundred percent, I value my vote and believe that...
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