Letter From Birmingham Prison Summary
Letter From Birmingham Prison Summary delaneycorcoran In April of 1963, a newspaper launched short articles written by several clergymen criticizing Martin Luther King Juniors newest activities and mentioning that the activities were risky and untimeliß In the “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” MLK addresses the clergymen’s issues by explaining and justifying why his civil disobedience should he supported. To begin, MLK describes that he is in Birmingham since injustice exists. He protects his right to be there defending his rights. He then compares himself to the Apostle Paul to make a connection between Paul and himself.
MLK believes that the clergymen have actually put their criticisms out there without checking out all the numerous reasons for the oppression. MLK then describes in terrific information, the 4 basic actions to a nonviolent project. The initial step is, to have a collection of facts to figure out whether oppression exists. The southern Christian Leadership Conference validated that Birmingham had been practicing racial oppression. Soon after that the SCLC started the second fundamental action: settlement The SCLC tried to work out with the white leaders in Birmingham, nevertheless, nor very long after the settlement, he try to end the racial injustice wasnt successful.
When the SCLC understood this they decided to prepare to protest; they simply needed to await the right time. Before the protests, they uuent through the third standard step of a nonviolent campaign: self filtration. They needed to identify if they were prepared to work nonviolently, and be able to suffer the repercussions of their actions After that is when they began to BEGIN the fourth and final action: direct action. The SCLC waited till the mayoral election in Birmingham was over. The winner of the election occurred to be, Albert Boutwell, a pronounced segregationist.
This pushed the demonstrations to lastly start. MLK understands that settlement is more valued than opposing; however, the negotiation can’t take place Without the objecting. He’s aware that this causes a crisis and tension, however it’s the only way to obtain a negotiation in great faith. He rhen explains in terrific detail that tension created by direct action is the only method for the partition to end. King then turns to discuss the criticisms from the clergymen stating that the SCLC action was unforeseen. He lets them know that there is never a project that anybody ever believed was well-timed.
King declares that the rivileged groups will constantly be opposed to any kind of action that threatens the status quo, They will constantly consider it unforeseen no matter when the direct- action is. MLK stales that the black community has been waiting on more than 340 years and that there disappears time to wait. He then releases into how severe the black neighborhood has actually needed to suffer throughout the years. He talks about the constant abuses then enters into how they haue to describe to their sons and daughters that they aren’t permitted to do all the exact same activities as rhe other white kids.
King hopes that the clergymen can understand and excuse his and his brethren’s mpatience. King then switches over to specifying that the clergymen are anxious of the black male’s willingness to break laws. He is the first one to confess that he will obey just laws, nevertheless the laws that the black neighborhood are breaking are unjust laws. He quoted St. Augustine saying that “an unjust law is no law at all” MLK then enters distinguishing the distinction between simply and unjustified laws. He declares that a just law is a man-made code that squares With the ethical law or the law of God.
An unjustified law is a code that runs out consistency with the moral law. He once again prices quote St. Augustine saying that” any law is that breaks down human character is unjustified.” He argues that an unjustified law not just harms the oppressed, however also rhe oppressors, considering that it provides a false sense ot control. He then enters into describing how segregation is unjustified since it is caused on a minoriry, King then discusses more detail how often a law is unjust in its application. The law becomes unjustified when it is used to keep partition.
To sum up his argument about just and unjustified laws he discusses the laws in Nazi Germany were the reason the Jewish were prosecuted which he would have penly disobeyed the laws to support the oppressed The next subject King brings up is that he has n, vo sincere confessions to make, one being that he is extremely dissatisfied in the White moderate. He claims that they value order over justice. that makes it easier for the injustice of segregation to continue. King believes that the white moderate can not inform the distinction betuueen nonviolent direct action and the violence ofthe oppressors.
In example, he can not believe that the clergymen put blame on the black community for the violence Ot partition. King’s next dissatisfaction remains in the white church. He initially felt that the hite ministers, priests, and rabbis of the south would be a few of his greatest allies in his defend civil rights. Unfortunately, he was wrong and some of the white churches haue been his outright challengers. King mentions that the church belieues that segregation is a social issue, which the church has no real concem in.
He wants everybody to know how the church has actually altered, King utilizes the metaphor to state that the church once was a thermostat and now is a thermometer. He’s specifying that at one point the church was in control. The church managed the mores of society. Now, at the time that King is writing his etterfrom prison, the church is weak and does not have a voice in anything that is going 01m The church simply takes all the details in and changes with the status quo, Even more, King finds optimism when thinking back on the black community history in America.
They have endured through slavery and still pushed through to fight for their liberty in Arnerica. Despite the abuse, embarrassment, and injustice that the black community has endured, they will still defend their freedom throughout the nation Before finishing up his letter to the clergymen, King attends to the police who have actually claimed to be nonviolent when it came to the demonstrations. He specifies that the clergymen have been oblivious towards the cops and their violent discipline towards the black community.
King hopes that eventually the clergymen will see what has actually been happening this whole time. Finalty, MLK ends up uuith excusing length of the letter and anything the overstates the truth. He hopes the clergymen will comprehend what has led him to all those certainties which he will have the ability to consult with each one of them, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader, however as a fellow clergyman and a Christian bro He hopes that all of the prejudice and partition will quickly be gotten rid of.