Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tell 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 the law.” -Martin Luther King Jr. At the apogee of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was at the forefront as a figure for all to see. His beliefs of nonviolent and diplomatic confrontation resonated throughout the Civil Rights movement. Even though his approach to the confrontation was calm, retaliation was not so. Many were imprisoned and charged with civil disobedience. Dr. King was imprisoned in a prison in the city of Birmingham, AL, one of, if not the most racially discriminative area in the United States in that time. With strict laws on segregation and poor social treatment of minorities, Birmingham became a prime focus of Dr. King and other social activists. Imprisoned, Dr. King decided to contradict all the media’s criticism of the behavior of the activists. On that premise, Dr. King constructs the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. In such document, he says the previous quote addressing the action of fighting a law using one’s conscience. The ideal of contradicting a law due to a conscientious and ethical skew of that law is upholding the highest and upmost respect for the law. Dr. King speaks of breaking a law due to the neglect of conscientious submission because of its unjust and immoral roots. First, one must identify a law as immoral and unjust using the nature of the law and referencing the general moral rules of life. If a law is in direct violation of any moral rule, then action is required. Such action cannot also be in violation of moral for then the intention is overlooked, using your actions to justify the injustice present in that law. One must approach the authority

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