Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Decoded

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Impact of Non-Violent Protest

Dr. King’s advocacy of non-violence was an effective protest tool that exposed the extreme forms of racism, discrimination and brutality within the nation. The strategy combined the principles of Christianity with the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the latter of which Rustin is credited with instilling in Dr. King. Decades later, movements such as Occupy Wall Street are now utilizing Dr. King’s method. One byproduct of non-violence is increased media exposure, which Peterson notes has benefitted both Dr. King and Occupy Wall Street organizers. “During Dr. King’s time you couldn’t get media coverage on TV and the genius outcome is that when you have Bull Connor’s fire department hosing humans everyone in the world sees those images.” At one of its peak points of media coverage, Occupy Wall Street’s non-violent efforts accounted for 13% of media stories and helped catapult coverage on economic issues to 22%, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Impact of Non-Violent Protest

Dr. King’s advocacy of non-violence was an effective protest tool that exposed…

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