Tag: Civil Rights Movement

Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas and philosophy in The Tipping Point, as they apply to Occupy Wall Street Movement

Malcolm Gladwell has attempted to create a unique style of scholarship that navigates between science and popular culture.  As a result he has earned the wrath from both quarters.  For example, scientists accuse him for being simplistic or lacking in rigor. On the other side, commentators from mainstream media accuse him of bringing esoteric scientific concepts to popular discourse. Yet, his book The Tipping Point has sold more than a 3 million copies.  His other titles such as Blink (2005), Outliers (2008), David and Goliath (2013), etc, continue to fascinate and provoke in equal measure. Despite the controversies surrounding some of Gladwell’s inferences, his ideas and philosophies have become assimilated into popular discourse. It is an interesting exercise to study how the most important social movement of recent times – Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) – measures up in relation to the author’s theories. This essay endeavors to perform the same.

The Occupy . . . Read More

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A Response to ‘Message to the Grassroots’ by Malcolm X

This is a public speech by the militant black leader Malcolm X, calling upon men of his race to unite in their efforts to fight white oppression.  The speech is reminiscent of the more famous counterpart delivered by Martin Luther King Jr.  But the methods advocated by the two speakers are contrasting. While the philosophy of King was one of non-violent activist organization, Malcolm X forwards a more militant approach to racial equality. Malcolm X’s agenda is also much broader than attaining political rights.  He believes that unless Black Nationalism (with due territorial sovereignty) is achieved there is no scope for black liberation.  Malcolm X thus condemns the pacifist and conciliatory strands of the Civil Rights Movement.  He urges all the black brethren to unite in their claim for a separate black nationhood.  If a bloody revolution is what it takes to achieve that end so may the black race incur is his central message. Though Malcolm X’s speech is powerful in . . . Read More

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Response to ‘I Have a Dream’ by Martin Luther King Jr.

This landmark speech of the Civil Rights Movement is one of the most powerful public orations ever. It was delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on 28th August 1963 at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The speech is exceptional for both its logical merit and emotional appeal.  Indeed reading the transcript of the speech dilutes some of its rhetorical effects that were witnessed firsthand by the fortunate congregation at the Lincoln Memorial.  King uses a range of allusions and symbols to reinforce his message of racial equality.  He uses Biblical phraseology as fluently as he quotes from the preamble to the Constitution.  He also uses common everyday experiences such as ‘en-cashing checks’ to illustrate a political point.  Though the speech is delivered for political mobilization and has for its subject the deep-rooted social malaise of racial discrimination, it does not sacrifice its rhetorical flourishes.  The combination of a powerful . . . Read More

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The radical politics of David Gilbert

Throughout the history of the United States, there has been conflict between established order and the general public.  Even the very conception of an independent union of states separate from the British crown was an act of rebellion.  The story of David Gilbert is one of many such struggles for progress.  Landmark events in our history such as the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and more recently the fight for gay and lesbian rights, have all contributed to the strength of our democracy, improved civil liberties and fundamental rights for citizens.  Argued in this vein, the radical political confrontation carried out by people such as David Gilbert is not as villainous as it is made out to be.

One might take issue with some of the tactics employed by David Gilbert and his associates in their efforts to fund their organization and to carry forward their political agenda.  But the motivating principles behind their acts of protest . . . Read More

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