Martin Luther King Civil Disobedience Analysis

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Civil Disobedience and its Significance Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “Letter From Birmingham Jail” was addressing to several clergymen his reasoning behind civil disobedience. Dr. King discussed just and unjust laws, and explains his thesis- justice upholds the dignity of the human spirit, while injustice works against it. Dr. King does, in fact, make a convincing argument for civil disobedience because he gives significant criteria by which civil disobedience can and will defeat unjust laws. Dr. King first explains that nonviolent direct action, or civil disobedience, is required to create crisis and confront the main issue at hand. Throughout his preaching of the mistreatment of African Americans in the south, Dr. King drew attention to the …show more content…

King infers that some laws may look justified at a glance, but are really unjust when they’re put in context. He gives the example of his arresting for parading without a permit. King implied the issue isn’t how he broke the law of not having a permit to parade, the unjust happens when the law was used to maintain segregation and deny those citizens of their right of peaceful protest. The unjust happens when citizens are stripped of their natural- born, and constitutionally- written rights (King 928). King asserts that in no way is he advocating for defying laws, but he is for breaking unjust laws. He believes that if one will break unjust laws, they “must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty,” (King 928). King indicates that this type of civil disobedience should be familiar to his audience, the white clergymen. He expresses that these stories are in the Bible, and uses the writing elements, ethos, pathos, and logos, to grab the attention of his readers. He states that in our own nation, the Boston Tea Party took part in a huge act of civil disobedience, and it was in fact justified. He uses these examples to show that civil disobedience is not specifically used to cause tension and controversy, as these principles have been existent the whole time. He states that civil disobedience is to be used to achieve equality and dissolve majorities and minorities, creating

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