Essay On Martin Luther King Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was sent to jail because of a peaceful protest, protesting treatments of blacks in Birmingham. Before the protest a court ordered that protests couldn’t be held in Birmingham. While being held in Birmingham, King wrote what came to be known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Not even King himself could predict how much of an impact this letter would have on the Civil Rights Movement. In the letter kind defended Kings beliefs on Nonviolent Protests, King also counters the accusations of him breaking laws by categorizing segregation laws into just and unjust laws. King uses this principle to help persuade others to join him in his acts of civil disobedience. Early in the letter Martin Luther King Jr. defends…show more content…
Although that was enough reason to be in Birmingham King goes on further to say that he is in Birmingham because injustice is here. King says he couldn’t ignore the fact there was injustice in Birmingham regardless if he was an outsider or not. King goes on to say that “injustice anywhere is a danger to justice everywhere” this builds on the theory that “whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Defending his belief on just and unjust laws, King uses a quote of St. Augustine the quote says, “A unjust law is no law at all.” King uses this to answer the criticism on how can you advocate people to obey one law but breaking others. Now that king established the theory of Just and Unjust laws he then explains the difference between a just and unjust law, King says just laws “square with moral law” meaning the law agrees with the law of god. An unjust law is the opposite; the…show more content…
King backs this up stating, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal."” This statement shows that something being legal or illegal doesn’t make it right or wrong. This can be applied to present day, in the news recently Gay marriage has been a huge debate, and due to a Supreme Court Decision gay marriage is now legal. According to King’s definition of just and unjust laws Gay Marriage would be a unjust law because it isn’t morally right, or follow the law of God. King makes the point that a law is just if it follows the Law of God and Unjust if it doesn’t. King goes on further to explain a just law is a law that a “power majority group” wants a minority group to follow and is willing to follow the same law itself. On the other end of the spectrum an unjust law would be if the Majority group isn’t willing to follow the same law they are requiring a minority group to follow. With all of Kings bashing of laws in the letter King takes a step back to clarify that he doesn’t want everyone to go out and break the law, he says this would lead to anarchy. He also says “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.” King is the prime example of this, King showed multiple times
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