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“Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine goodwill and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.” (2- 6).
Marting Luther King Jr. was such a highly respected man of his time that his name left people with a strong sense of logic and emotional appeal . This can clearly be seen as he argues his logos that we must
“... consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made equal.”(161-162).
His emotional pleas in the letter use pathos as he addressed the Birmingham police force and their use of force when keeping peace and order in the city. By discussing the mistakes of the police officers during the protest rallies, he asks the public and the clergymen to rethink their position about the effectiveness of the police action. He asks,
“I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your
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Even while responding to each and every charge of the clergyman, King tries to persuade both the Clergymen as well as the moderate sections of the White population to understand the African-American point of view.
Luther King was an African-American activist from Atlanta and he was accused of being an ‘outside agitator’ when he went to Birmingham. King responded by stating that, he cannot sit idly in Atlanta and turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the racial injustice in Birmingham.
The context of this letter is that Dr. King had been marching in Birmingham, Alabama, in the Civil Rights Movement. He was duly arrested along with many others in the nonviolent, peaceful protest. The content of this letter is mainly an appeal to white Christian leaders about the religious and philosophical roots that the Civil Rights Movement aspired to embody.
Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race, and made equal opportunity in education the law of the land. King lays down the rules for any fight against injustice: “Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action” (King, 6).
This open letter was King’s response to a newspaper column inserted by a group of local clergymen in the Birmingham News, criticizing the direct-action form of his protest campaign. King’s letter demonstrates his mastery of persuasive writing, and is a telling example of the power of rhetoric.
Moreover, being a clergyman he undertook many activities to safeguard the rights of the blacks. The “Letter from Birmingham” is the clear evidence reflecting the active involvement of Luther in protecting the rights of the blacks residing in America. The universal truth of cause and effect is vivid in the context of writing this letter, for he writes this letter with a particular intension.
the clergymen, whom it was sent to, that black people were no more to suffer these evils of humiliating racial repression, on the contrary, they will make their mark by prolonged struggle with non violence as their strongest weapon. Martin Luther King Jr. was an Afro-American
Martin Luther King, Jr. is a known leader of non-violent demonstrations against racism. As an advocate of non-violent protests, the letter was King’s way of answering the statement by clergymen against his actions.Though King thought that there are quite a number of more important things that can be done instead of just paying attention to the letter.
In the letter, King defends the use of non-violent resistance to racial segregation and discrimination. King also defends the use of nonviolent resistance to racism, on the account that people have moral authority and
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