Professor Jodi Napiorkowski
28 Feb 2018
Freedom Doesn’t Come Easy When You’re Fighting for Changes.
The Letter from a Birmingham jail by Martin Luther King, Jr is an inspiring and altering social attitude on racial issues. He also used very polite language that anybody from a different background, Skin color or Religious belief can understand, what type of pain King went through He analyses the Racial Segregation that occurred during his time. On his letter it was a response after him been sent to jail because they clergymen who objected King’s proposal for the protesting in Birmingham. And also he used logos, pathos and ethos elaborate his own angles or oppressors angles.
Fighting from anything that can bring change, injustice or end of Segregation is hard to bear with. There are two types of fighting for freedom. Either by diplomacy or using force. Because they didn’t want any black people to fight against segregation. Martin Luther King preached about seeking freedom by diplomacy. He devoted his whole life fighting for people and dreaming of changes to occur on the system. Most of the time they were either stopped by force or sent to jail. Adding on that he explains the two different types of laws: Just and unjust. The police used to deal with them in unjust law which was not fair for them, they used force almost every time.
King uses ethos to show the racial discrimination and injustice that was done to them, so he writes to the clergymen that he was sent to Birmingham jail because of injustice that was in Birmingham at the time. He also tries to compare himself with the prophets from the eighth century, by him comparing himself with the past prophets he shows us that he was ready to fight and preach anywhere where there was racial discrimination and injustices. Considering most of the prophets weren’t full accepted in their society and they even went to other places and preached and fought against things that were wrong in the society. Some of them went even far from their hometowns to preach. Which king did he went to other cities and states far from his home to preach and to organize protests against injustices. King was born to be a leader because he didn’t just want to stay at his home in Atlanta, and see the injustice taking place there and in other areas of the United States of America. He thought “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” (King 1).This means that He wanted to protect other people from being oppressed or segregated. He couldn’t just sit and watch the segregation taking place, he wanted change, so they started some workshops to encourage people to end the violence. Considering freedom is not something that is given for free by the oppressor.
The Letter reveals that black people didn’t have their constitutional right for them to vote just because of their skin color. Still there were things that haunted Colored people in that time like going to a public place and see signs where they separate people because of your skin color. Or being denied service at all. “Sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you.” (King 4).
King elaborates that violence is not the action of his peaceful demonstrations but he accepted any punishment or penalty that was given to him because it was right and also show how the system was wrong. Also to encourage young people that the freedom is worth a fight. As a result he end up on jail. King was even able to show interest to fight against things that are going wrong in the world, if he was able to live in those countries. Furthermore, there were White moderates these were white people that were on the African Americans side. Although they were on black people’s side they still showed them that the ways that they are using to fight the segregation was wrong. They acted neutral yet while they were on King’s side they still opposed them in some of their things. According to him these people where hard to understand because you can’t support two sides at the same time. You choose which side you want support and give them you full support.
They were not only denied their rights as Americans, but they were denied their rights to fight for their rights. However, there was a twist in the Negro society because there were two types of Negros, The poor Negros and the middle-class Negros. King gave his whole heart to fight for every Negro in The United States but the middle class Negro didn’t see any importance in the fights because they benefited from the oppression. Either because they had business or they worked with the oppressors. They were afraid to lose their Interests. This was not a time for them to be divided because they were supposed to join forces and fight together.
King didn’t hate the oppressors, he took the words of Jesus to love and bless his enemies, and he gives an example in Bible time also. He always had hope for the white moderates that they are going to be on their side completely. Netherless the white moderates when they tried to rise their voice about the oppression or write about it they were portrayed as if they were on the side of the African Americans. On the other hand, King depended on the churches to raise their voices about the segregation when he had problems in Montgomery, yet the churches didn’t do anything and anybody who spoke about it were chased away from the churches and told never to go back again. King thought maybe he was being optimistic or he just expected too much from people.
The same way that good things never come easy, King met so many people who were not ready for the fight against the oppressors. His fellow Negros who were middle class, and the churches also weren’t ready when he needed them most. The white moderates who he expected so much from them, were for some reasons also afraid to raise their voice. King fought through these oppressions with people who were ready to fight. We can see so many aftermaths of King’s struggle to end segregation, like how black people now get to vote and also he left a very good memory behind where he is recognized internationally and he is one of the most respected people in the world.
King, Martin L “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.” 16 Apr 1963