Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail By Martin Luther King

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For millenniums, the laws of nature went ungoverned and unrefined, but humans have evolved to be complex and managed to create a set of codes to live by. Originally, there was nothing to base law on other than the current moral code, and possibly religion. In the letter, now titled, ¨Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the author discusses the two types of laws man can create: just and unjust laws. King asserts that the difference between just and unjust laws are that one is typically there to unite and the other is there to oppress; these arguments are agreeable because they are supported by history. To begin with, a just law is simply a fair law. In his letter, King defines a just law in his own words. According …show more content…

First of all, King explains the main purpose of both unjust and just laws. ¨An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal...a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal,¨(11). An individual who is intrigued by history may frequently look back to it only to discover that one fact has remained constant throughout it. It is the fact that history repeats itself. It there is a pounding current issue, chances are that it has already occurred and been solved. It is only a matter of one knowing their history and realizing the ¨symptoms¨ of a greater issue. This means that the issue of ‘difference made legal’ has probably already occurred; thus King's claim can be considered a conclusion drawn from history. An example of this repetition in history would be the law during WWII in Nazi Germany. In order to emphasize this event, King says, ¨We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal,’¨(12). The overt discrimination and segregation present during the Third Reich exemplifies ‘difference made legal.’ This similarity is what connects that to the 1960s Jim Crow Laws. Although legal, what Hitler did was obviously morally wrong, yet the foundation for those policies were essentially identical to those in the south. They were in the same situation only one was resolved sooner that another. Ultimately, it is King’s use of evidence outside his letter that leads one to agree with

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