And yet the nature of the letter reveals that the message is filtered through the address to the clergymen, even if it is intended for more than just them. It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. The southland has been forced to live in monologue rather than dialogue for too long. Demonstrations are illegal, claimed the clergymen. That would lead to anarchy. It is telling that he removed the names of the clergymen from the published version whereas his initial message more deliberately name-checked them , since it reveals the significance of his ambition. King claims that he has yet to hear a white minister declare that integration is morally right and the Negro is your brother.
It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. The letter, written during the 1963 , was widely published, and became an important text for the. King uses the example of the black nationalist parties as real extremists, especially due to their lack of Christian values. King is writing not necessarily to all men, but to white men whom he assumes have an inherently good nature. King describes a time when the church was very powerful and rejoiced at being considered worthy to suffer for what they believe in. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
And thus, serving as an example. In preparation to start taking direct action, the Negroes decided to undertake a process of self-purification. In the Birmingham letter he talked about many past religious idealists and how they overcame hostility. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
The letter was written in April of 1963, a time when segregation was essentially at a peak in the south. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. So, this is the only way. Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. He believes segregation laws were unjust because it damages the personality and makes African American lives below the standards given to them by the Constitution.
Non-violent direct action is designed to create such a crisis that a community which has consistently refused negotiation is now forced to confront the issue. He uses imagery, biblical references, repetition, and other techniques in his writing style to convey his message to his audience. In response to this judgement Doctor King Jr. King also describes how he and his organization acted responsibly by following the 'four basic steps' that include and end with non-violent direct action. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.
Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. National Endowment for the Humanities. The timing is wrong , wrote the clergymen. I had hoped that each of you would understand. Letter from Birmingham Jail Facts - 2: Despite the victories of the Civil Rights activists, discriminatory practices continued in many southern states. New York: Signet Classic published 2000. Letter from Birmingham Jail Facts - 16: On 10 April the Birmingham city government obtained a state circuit court injunction against the protests.
Martin Luther King in response to published statements denouncing his non-violent protest in Birmingham, Alabama. While the comparisons to Christian backgrounds may better help a religious reader better connect to Kings message, emotional suffering helps all whites sympathize to the blacks hardships. He describes the serious injustice facts among the black people to prove that there is no better timing for something. Was Connor's aim, as some thought, to break him? He agreed that if Birmingham ever needed him that he would be there. In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. King points out that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor.
He divides the complacent into two groups: those who have been beaten down by poverty and racism and are too jaded to stand up for themselves, and others who correspond to the 'white moderate,' the 'few Negroes in the middle class. 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. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust. Then obeying them makes you a lawless person. We need to follow our heart and not the law sometimes.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. Whites bombed black homes and churches, and blacks retaliated with mob violence. He mainly talks about morals and justice. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?.