A Letter From Eight White Clergymen and Letter from M. L. King, Jr - Essay Example

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This research is being carried out to present argument analysis of a letter from eight white clergymen and letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. Upon close review and evaluation, both letters conform to the ethical code of standards expected of their profession…
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A Letter From Eight White Clergymen and Letter from M. L. King, Jr
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"A Letter From Eight White Clergymen and Letter from M. L. King, Jr"

Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that the exigence defines what prompted the authors to write the letters in the first place. For A Call for Unity written by the eight white clergymen, the exigence was the series of demonstrations held by Negro citizens that were allegedly led and directed by outsiders. In the case of King’s letter, the exigence was the need to respond to the clergymen’s contentions that as the outsider being mentioned, his actions were deemed unwise and untimely. This paper illustrates that the audiences were supposedly the local community and readers of the Birmingham, Alabama newspaper since the first letter were sent to its editor. However, one could surmise that the letter was, in fact, directed to King, as the noted leader of the civil rights movement, in behalf of the Negro community. King’s letter was directed to the clergymen, as most of his arguments addressed the clergymen’s position. The researcher states that the most obvious constraint was on the part of King who was incarcerated in the Birmingham jail during the time that he responded to the clergymen’s allegations. On the part of the clergymen’s letter, the constraints are their maintaining a conservative stance to use the most appropriate language so as not to project any biases to both white and Negro citizenry. The basic issue presented by the clergymen was the appeal for law, order and common sense in addressing the dilemma on racism. The basis position was for any resentment on alleged discriminations and racial slur should be filed in the proper court of law where legal proceedings and verdict should be respected and accepted. The clergymen contended that the series of demonstrations by Negro citizens were actually led and directed by outsiders, whose actions were deemed unwise and untimely. Finally, the letter highlighted the call for restraint, “for law enforcement officials to remain calm and to continue to protect our city from violence” (Carpenter, et al. 182). On the other hand, King’s basic issued focused on responding to the clergymen’s assertion that his leading the Negro citizens into demonstrations were unwise and untimely. King addressed this argument by initially proving that he was not an outsider; but that he was invited to address the injustices in Birmingham. Further, his letter addressed the clergymen’s position regarding his unwise action towards demonstration; revealed that action was necessary because promises by merchants were broken and that the need for direct-action versus negotiation was favored due to the community’s stance of refusal to negotiate. In terms of responding to the untimely issues, King expounded on concerns such as: the new administration must be prodded and that the Negro citizens have already waited for 340 years (King 186). Analysis The letter of the clergymen was more direct and concise containing only seven paragraphs. King’s response was comprehensively detailed and lengthy encompassing 50 paragraphs and 14 pages. King was clear in addressing the issues of the clergymen indicating his actions as the leader of the demonstrations as unwise and untimely. He warrants that the non-violent actions were the most appropriate means to address the racial discrimination in Birmingham and their actions could not be considered unwise because a rational four step process was applied: “collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action” (King 184). The issue of untimeliness was responded to by King as he emphasized the need to prod the new administration to create some tension and lead them to act. Further, he argued that the Negro citizens have waited for too long for more than 340 years and could therefore not be considered that no time was spent to reflect and think of the course of action. King warrants that the present laws were actually unjust ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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