Similarities Between Obama And Martin Luther King Jr

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Truong Pham 35476118 Comparison Essay Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail vs. Barack Obama’s “ A more Perfect Union” In their letter and speech, both Martin Luther King and Barack Obama tried to primarily use ethical and emotional appeals to raise awareness about racism in America and to persuade their respective audience to join their quest to put an end to racism. However, while Barack Obama talked about racism in general, Martin Luther King focussed on segregation, or racism specifically on African-American. King was straightforward in his arguments, often time hitting the nail right on the head, while Obama was much too diplomatic in his speech due to the fact that he had to appeal to a large audience of all…show more content…
In his letter, King defended the peaceful demonstrations that he and the black communities across America were taking part in. He disproves that the uprising is untimely, saying that black people have waited for over 340 years for their rights (3), and that “freedom is never voluntarily given” (2). Being accused of breaking laws, King rebuts that the “parading without permit law” is an unjust law used to deny black citizens of their basic right to have peaceful assemblies(7). Similarly, the segregation laws are unjust laws used to oppress the black. He used the example of how everything Hitler did in Germany was legal yet what Hungarian freedom fighters did was not. With these arguments, King attacked the moral and logical integrities of the readers and effectively justify the rationale behind his own actions. Contrary to the argument of King, Obama attempted to justify Reverend Wright’s remarks in a different way. Even though he said early on that these remarks were “simply inexcusable” (25), Obama did end up portraying Reverend Wright as a decent man (23) and later on attempted to justify his comments by saying that because Reverend Wright had lived through the period of segregation, he still harbours some resentment and expresses it in church services on Sunday mornings. He compared Wright’s…show more content…
King had a very strong opinion on segregation and made many personal sacrifices to put an end to it while Obama tried to defuse the uproar created by Reverend Wright’s remarks and called for more unity amongst the races. Although King clearly made a better argument, I feel that both King and Obama accomplished what they set out to do in their respective letter and speech: to raise awareness and put an end to racism in
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