King's letter, in turn, identifies and responds to each of the nine specific criticisms that he understands are being made by these men, specifically, and by the white church and its leadership, more generally. You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. King is writing not necessarily to all men, but to white men whom he assumes have an inherently good nature. Just as the prophets of the eighth century b.
King is upset that the clergymen did not see fit to also commend the brave black people who have fought injustice nonviolently. He then provides a list of allusions that support his claim. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Martin Luther King's purpose for this letter is to respond to the criticism from the public and also from the eight white religious leaders.
King stipulates a Christian morality throughout the letter, something that would perhaps be less efficacious without the pretense of an address for the clergymen. However, in his devotion to his cause, King refers to himself as an extremist. King, being the intelligent and honest man he is, put his argument on. Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest? He found common ground throughout the essay mentioning previous points they made and politely arguing with them as well as responding with a counter argument that may make. He then wrote further parts on bits and pieces of paper given to him by a trusty, which were given to his lawyers to take back to movement headquarters, where the pastor and his secretary Willie Pearl Mackey began compiling and editing the literary jigsaw puzzle. His lettered response was guided at a statement by eight white Alabama clergymen saying that segregation should be fought in court and not on the streets.
King explains that he has read the recent statement published by clergymen in a Birmingham newspaper, describing Dr. One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. He explains that although the demonstrators and protesters in the Civil Rights Movement were breaking the law, their actions were obeying a higher moral law, as opposed to a human law, based on divine justice. Analysis: Letter from Birmingham Jail S- To state the reason Martin Luther King Jr.
Next he says these measure had to be taken after made promises were broken on progress to ending segregation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Most importantly, King notes that he and his fellow protesters are willing to accept the punishment for breaking the law, and therefore they are showing the highest respect for the institution of law itself. As an African American, he spoke of the country's oppression of black people, including himself. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured? Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo.
Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. He then reminds his critics that the protesters are American citizens, and therefore they are not outsiders in their own country. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen. In particular, the clergymen and their situation help us to understand that Dr. Direct action He mentions these steps were carefully taken to avoid intense conflict. Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. Yes, I love the church.
Then his acts were judged by a group of white clergymen. King writes his letter from jail, as he and other African Americans have been arrested for protesting the segregation policies and overt racism in Birmingham; those protests violated an injunction on parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing, and picketing. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago. The yearning for freedom is the result of centuries of pent-up frustration, and if African Americans do not have the opportunity to take action and participate in nonviolent protest, King argues, they will find refuge in the more extreme groups.
This is certainly a legitimate concern. But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. Compared to other movements at the time, King finds himself as a moderate. This final point in the letter returns to the present moment, where the police can abuse African Americans and still receive a commendation from leaders of the religious community. It was probably the most thoroughly segregated city 356.