Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King Jr. in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” addresses criticism from clergymen. King expresses his belief that his actions during the Human Right Movement were not “untimely,” and that he is not an “outsider.”(1) King’s purpose is to inform them of his reason for being there and why he believes that although there may never be a proper time to change society, he is tired of it happening to his people. He adopts an optimistic tone in hopes that he can convince the people of Birmingham to give everyone their Human Rights that they deserve. By appealing to the mass population, King can effectively communicate to his argument by emphasizing his validation for being in Birmingham, the need for justice, and his peaceful movement. …show more content…

King starts this by adding to his letter by challenging the claim that their actions “must be condemned because they precipitate violence” (5).King displays that the statement blames the demonstrators, which he condemns illogical due to lack of valid support. He then productively demonstrates juxtaposition and compares this claim to “condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery”, or “condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock”, or even “condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucification” (6). Providing these concrete ideas, King leaves his listeners no room for questioning his validity with his statements. He leaves the clergymen with a solid idea of what his mission for Civil Right is. By challenging the statement and proving otherwise, King adequately justifies his claim to the clergymen that he is not responsible for precipitating any

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