When I was just a little girl, with an even littler sister, I used to watch television all the time. Whether it was Nickelodeon, a cooking show, or even the news, my sister and I would watch it all. To try and stop us from watching television all the time, my parents gave us set times of when we could watch. Unfortunately, being the troublesome nine year old that I was, I refused to follow the schedule and decided to watch whenever I wanted. My little sister, being the copycat that she was, did whatever I said, even if went against my parents’ wishes. Finally, fed up with our behavior, my parents took away the privilege of watching television. Taken aback with shock, I vowed to get my TV time back. I just had to find a way.
At first, I tried yelling, throwing tantrums, and screaming at my parents. I actually thought that forcing my opinion (of my TV watching schedule) would make them change their minds. I even got my sister to join in on the yelling rants. Unsurprisingly, that tactic of mine was unsuccessful. Discouraged but determined to get my precious TV time back, I went back to the drawing board. I thought long and hard, but could not think of a way to watch my favorite shows.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., like me, also had to fight to find a way to get equal rights for all men, although my stakes were much, much lower. However, unlike me, he did not use violence to get his way. Following the example set by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King used civil disobedience to protest against the unfair practices that people of color faced. Through peaceful protests, he fought for equal rights for all men and played an important role in the fight to end legal segregation. Dr. King used nonviolent tactics to get his point across to the nation. He believed that violence was not the answer. As he once said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…” If violence only brought more violence to the table, then what is the use of violence at all?
He organized various sit ins, marches, boycotts, and rallies to send a message about the injustices that African Americans have to live with to the nation. For example, one of his most famous marches was his “March On Washington”. It had an attendance of more than 250,000 people and was one of the first protests to have live national coverage on television.
Regrettably, I did not have the resources of national television to advertise my fight for my right to watch television. I soon got tired of all of the yelling and screaming and decided that spending all that energy on TV was not worth it. Instead, I wrote a letter to my parents (and I included a drawing) detailing the reasons of why I should be able to watch television. It turns out that since I stopped giving my parents headaches, due to all of the screaming, they decided to let up a little on the no TV rule. Although I did not exactly use a nonviolent protest method to fight for my TV shows, I did learn that violence does not get results. A peaceful way of protest is much more effective.