Also, in his letter his tone was strong, but neither violent nor threatening towards the clergymen. Similarly, King portrays a sense of concern for the clergymen and they ways in which they are willing to obtain the peaceful ends they seek. He senses the still-present fear of the white community in the letter of complaints from the clergymen. King was offended by how the clergymen only planned on addressing the African American community for their actions while letting the whites go on with their violent and oppressive actions. Dr. King fought his whole career for equality amongst the races, meaning all communities with violent, racist actions should be addressed.
One has not only a legal, but moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust law.”( Bloom, Smith 499) As we analyze Dr. Kings letter we observe the way he conveyed his message by using what the clergymen said to present his counter argument. In the clergymen’s statement, they distinguished Martin Luther King as an outsider and called his actions unwise and untimely. Dr. King then sets the foundation of his letter and identifies what was said by saying,” I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely”, and I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against outsider coming in.”(Bloom, Smith 495) By using an ethical appeal Dr. King begins to justify his presence by assuring the clergymen that he was invited because of his organizational ties with the Southern Christian Leadership, in which he serves as president. He also goes on to say,” but more basically, I am here in Birmingham because injustice is here.” (Bloom, Smith 495) It was important for Marti Luther King to say this because it supported the fact that he was not an outsider coming in at the wrong time, but he was welcomed
Martin Luther King’s idea that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” is a common theme in Barack Obama's speech and other readings we have done. This concept is used throughout Martin Luther King’s letter to the clergymen in Birmingham. He felt he could not let them minimize the struggle that blacks were going through there as if it only affected them and nobody else. Racism and prejudice is a threat to everyone, not just to the people who are the current target of this hatred. He tried to clearly make the point that being silent would only make the matter of racism worse.
Martin Luther King Jr’s letter uses tone, diction, and analogy to develop his argument. In his letter he addresses his clergymen’s criticism to his actions in Birmingham. He justifies his actions by arguing that he was invited here (Birmingham), and that he belonged in Birmingham. Dr. King uses different variations of the rhetorical devices tone, diction, and analogy. Martin Luther King Jr’s letter uses different tones in his letter, to justify his actions in Birmingham.
Dominick Bedasse ENC1102 February 22, 2011 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attempts to validate his actions of demonstrating against segregation in response to criticism by Alabama clergymen. In hopes of reaching out to the clergymen, King argues for desegregation through his use of ethical appeal, emotional appeal, as well as logical reasoning. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opens his letter by making note of the fact that he is the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (p. 2). This may be an attempt for King to establish himself as a credible figure; one whose words are legitimate and has an argument deserving of full attention. King also states that he is “compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my (his) home town.
Kings distinctive voice conveys his determination in uniting a nation to bring the changes needed. His experience in ac church had helped him create a voice which creates pathos as he preaches his message to the audiences, and thus his repetitive and memorable words create a distinctive voice throughout the speech. Similarly, he also creates his distinctive voice through the urgency he demands of America for change. For instance, King states, “tranquilising drug of gradualism” to show how this the required change the African Americans
While Jesus taught us we should not be angry, this is hard for me to stick to. Jesus said in Matthew 5:22, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22, New International Version). I know I will be dealing with judgment from above since it is hard not to have
He does this because he does not want the men to see him as a person on a lower standard or lower level than they are. He also does this to show respect because if Dr. King started out using extremely argumentative language then the men most likely would have burned his letter. After the title, he uses logos to show respect to the clergymen as he says “But since I feel that you are men of genuine goodwill and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms” (King, Par. 2). He shows respect to them because he is basically telling the clergymen they are reasonable men and have done nothing wrong.
AP Language & Composition Sample Responses to Questions on MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail Read as a response to the letter by the clergymen, King’s essay can be approached as a shrewd argument that shows a thorough understanding of its immediate audience. Following his introduction, in paragraphs 2-3 King explains why he is not an ousider; in paragraphs 5-11, he explains how his organization has tried to negotiate and how it will again; in paragraphs 12-14, he refutes the accusation that his organization’s actions are untimely; and in paragraphs 15-22 he presents an argument justifying civil disobedience. In each case, King deftly crafts his response to show that he, in fact, agrees with the claim the clergymen make, but he redefines the terms for them. For example, he agrees that outsiders should not intrude in community issues; then he shows that he is an insider by virtue of his position in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his concern for justice, and his belief that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thus, King systematically, logically, and (one might argue) respectfully responds to each claim made against him. After these counterarguments, he mounts his own argument.
“…there are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "An unjust law is no law at all.” – Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail In his letter Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. responds to the clergy whom have spoken against his demonstrations. In his letter he makes clear that the ultimate law is that of God and the moral code provided by God and that any law which is unjust does not belong in a righteous society therefore the law must be disobeyed if one is to be morally correct under God. Although I do not share the religious faith that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has, I do agree that one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws because an unjust law by definition does not coincide with moral code. What is an unjust law?