Sunday, December 1, 2019

RR#1 Letter From Birmingham Jail Essays - Community Organizing

RR#1 Letter From Birmingham Jail Nicole Varady RR#1Letter From Birmingham Jail After reading Letter From Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King, Jr., I am struck by how eloquently he writes. I know this is not an earth-shattering revelation, but I do not recall having ever read a piece by Dr. King in my previous studies. This letter was written to eight clergymen, after Dr. King was incarcerated during protests that occurred in the state of Alabama. He wrote this in response to a statement issued by the Alabama clergymen, in which they called these protests unwise and untimely. The majority of the letter is a well thought out and compelling argument against the unjust actions that were occurring in the South at that time. As I stated above, Dr. Kings way with words was a sheer pleasure to read, even in the absolutely horrific context of which it was written. Whilst I am certainly no stranger to the despicable treatment of African-Americans during this time period, a lot of what I came across still was enough to get me all in a tizzy. Dr. Kings claim that we stiff creep at a horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter was phrased so well, clearly pointing out the ridiculousness of such an obstacle for an American to have to endure. Then there is section in which he writes about having to explain to his six year old daughter why she cannot attend the local amusement park, and seeing the tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children is a bit hard to swallow. Never the less, Dr. King uses his gift of gab well, making some very excellent points that I believe are still fantastic arguments for the issues of today. To the clergymen making claims that their protesting actions even though peaceful, must be condemned, because they precipitate violence, he retorts that this is illogical, as it is akin to condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery. I find this analogy an almost perfect way to discuss the outrages of women asking for it, but alas, that is a discussion for another time. One last quote from this letter I would like to bring up is Dr. Kings concern of the rather un-Christian like mindset that he, and many others, had to unfortunately bear witness from fellow members of the church. He writes I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular. Although I believe Dr. King is only including race here, and might not have considered this when writing, this is a sound argument in the very un-Christian like treatment that a lot of people endure daily, be they gay/lesbian, transgendered, etc. 1) How would you describe the way Dr. King addresses his audience? Is he righteous? Is he rude? Is he conversational? The attitude of Dr. King that I took from this letter is that he is thoughtful and considerate of his words, but also emits small jabs here and there. I gathered small hints of sarcasm in the letter, though that may very well just be the voice in which I read it. I believe his manner of speaking to the clergymen is one of slight indignation, that which I find just. He may come off as righteous, in the sense that he believes all people should have equal rights, but never did I find an air of holier than thou in his words. He is not rude by any means, he just carefully lays out all his points with some hard to argue examples. He wants to be civil, but he definitely will not be brushed aside and not let justice prevail. I believe the ending of his letter fully shows this when he writes If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my havi ng a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than

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