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Assignment argumentative - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Critical Analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail Letter from Birmingham Jail is a controversial letter by Martin Luther King which was drafted in 1963 as a result of racial inequality. He urged clergymen, who were his main audience, to get actively involved in advocating for civil rights…
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Download file to see previous pages White leaders had made a stand against the tactics used by Martin Luther King to solve racial segregation in America. The latter were against direction action taken by Dr. King and they instead recommended use of legal processes to solve racism. However, in Dr. King’s letter, he found the white leader’s tactics insufficient and tried to justify his use of direct action. The main argument in Letter from Birmingham was that injustice has both direct and indirect effects on the public, and direct action was needed. Dr. King’s letter was aimed at challenging the injustices done on the minority blacks in America. However, it was viewed as agitation funded by outsiders to destabilize the country through demonstrations. The clergymen whom Dr. King addressed were also against racism, but they feared to stand up against city government. They hence opted for other methods to counter segregation other than staging demonstrations and public events. In an earlier statement, the clergymen said Dr. King’s timing was poor and he needed to wait for a right time to create awareness on racism. Dr. King replied to the clergymen in his letter citing that waiting for long would mean that racial segregation would never come to an end. This showed the latter’s focus and determination to bring an end to racism. Unlike most traditional activists who were silenced by imprisonment, Dr. King continued enlightening the public using the open letter. While in prison, Martin Luther King noticed the strong opposition of his use of direct action to mobilize and educate people on racism and social injustices. Letter from Birmingham Jail was to prove that grassroots action against racism was not as radical as the government and some clergymen perceived it to be. In the letter, he explained that his people did not demonstrate because they wanted to create trouble, but because it was necessary at the time. The tone used in the letter is persuasive and Dr. King achieves this by using various writing techniques. He used ethos to show the credibility of his information and refute the accusations that he only wanted to create chaos. Ethos is a style used in writing to ensure the readers have trust in any information presented by an author. In the first line of the letter, Dr. King addresses his critics honorably as “Fellow Clergymen.” This gives the reader an open mind while reading through the rest of the letter through the connection created. This makes both his supporters and opposition know that he understands and respects their stand in the fight against racial segregation. The use of ethos in the text is seen in various paragraphs where he tries to prove his point. He is aware that the letter targets a religious audience and hence makes constant reference to the bible and Christian history. To show his respect for religion and the country’s clergymen, he said “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” (King). The statement was directed to people who thought he was not appropriate to head the movement against racial segregation. He proved that he understood civil rights and hence he is fit to speak on the subject. Dr. King again uses ethos as he concludes the letter when he states that he writes from a jail cell. The statement is aimed at showing the reader that the latter had made sacrifices too for the topic he was addressing. It creates a sense of trust in the reader ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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