The letter from Birmingham jail which is also known as The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter that was written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. he wrote the letter in response to the editorial published in the local paper written by the white clergymen. The letter that Martin responded to was criticizing him and the others for protesting the civil rights that were abused in Birmingham (Patton p.53-65). The letter that was written by the Clergy was not showing compassion and was criticizing the efforts of the people who were working under pressure and to top it up; they did not have any experience at all in the work they were doing.
In his response, he explains how the letter that was written indicated the highest level of ignorance and lack of compassion for the people who were going through difficulties. The authorities who are trusted to solve the problem, is the one who creates a problem for those they are supposed to protect. Martin wrote in response to the treatment in jail. He indicated how the rules were very different from different people, and they were applied differently depending on ones station and status. The law enforcement pretended to be unaware of the danger and the difficulties that were presenting to the people and it led to the response of the Birmingham jail.
King complained that the law enforcement was delaying in finding justice. He stated that justice delayed was justice denied. Kings response to the argument posed by the Clergy indicated how it was hard to be an African- American and the racial problems that were still adamant (Patton p.53-65)..The letter that King responded had advised him to use the right channel and that is through the court, but Martin argued that the same court was the one who supported the murder and the violence of the African-Americans and, therefore, could not be trusted. He expresses the plight of the black Americans and how their oppression was a denial of civil right and justice.
His response indicates the oppressed and much-agitated person as he tries to make the clergy see their mistakes. He responds and suggests that it is the work of the law to protect the robbed and punish the robber and not vice versa. His efforts were to fight for the right of the African American and not to act in extremism. He claimed that the extremism he was undertaking was out of love like that of Jesus (Patton p.53-65). He was in pain since he was trying to defend the Negros who had already lost hope and were adapting to the life of segregation and the Negros who were affected by the discrimination and their hatred and bitterness led to them involving in violence.
The demonstrations that took place in Birmingham were the genesis of the problem, and Martin was asking the Clergy if the demonstrations were against the law. He was imprisoned as a participant in nonviolent demonstrations against the segregation of the black Americans. The public statement that was made provoked him to write a response to the clergymen who seemed to not care as the injustice was being done. He indicated that in any nonviolent demonstration, several steps are carried out to ensure that the problem is solved. The steps included a collection of facts to determine whether the injustices are alive, make negotiations, self-purification and finally direct action. All this process was not followed and instead Martin was thrown in jail. It was so unfortunate that the authority could not protect the oppressed, but King stipulated that it was what the Americans had left the Negro with. The clergy had indicated that King with his followers was very much determined by breaking the law,but they were the leaders in doing so as they advocated for the segregation in the public schools. King was responding to this and inquiring if the clergy advocated for the obedience of some laws and others were not followed and obeyed.
Martin was very hurt by the issue of segregation, and he considers it as not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, but also morally wrong. He responded to the statement of the Christian leaders who were also against the demonstration. King stipulated that for a long time he was so much disappointed by the white men and their oppression to freedom but was not in agreement with the Christian and the Jewish timetable to freedom (Patton p.53-65). He stated that no one is mandated to set someones timetable to freedom. He criticized the statement that was made by the church leaders concerning Kings act and his followers to demonstrate against racial discrimination.
The Christian and Jewish leaders claimed that the law was supposed to be condemned since the demonstration precipitated violence. King responded to their statement and wanted to find out if the robbed person is expected to be sentenced because his possession of money precipitated to the evil act of robbery (Patton p.53-65). Martin wrote the letter with a lot of disappointment to the clergymen who could not visualize from their point of view and were ready with critics and condemnation. No one of them paused to think how their oppression has been an injustice. It was justice delayed which justice is denied.
Patton, John H. "A Transforming Response: Martin Luther King Jr.'S &Quot; Letter From Birmingham Jail&Quot;". Rhetoric & Public Affairs 7.1 (2004): 53-65. Web.
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