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Civil disobedience and letter from birmingham jail essays


civil disobedience and letter from birmingham jail essays

In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience. Yes, these questions are still in my mind. As in so many past experiences , our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon. Civil, disobedience inspired Martin Luther King's, letter from, birmingham. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail King

Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. The next step in fighting for justice is to expose the injustice. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. According to King, A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God whereas an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law (King, 3). Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.


Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with. Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all.". Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.


Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime-the crime of extremism. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail.


In the 1850s and 60s, white southerners stood to lose millions in property and a way of life. King also states, like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must first be fore it can be cured (King, 5). Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?


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On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. Jail is a direct attack on particular of way of thinking.


when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments;. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. This is difference made legal. To preserve the evil system of segregation. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Jail, the two essays, civil. It secured them through nonviolent protest: lunch counter sit-ins, marches, and boycotts "precisely the civil disobedience advocated by Thoreau, and later King. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Disobedience Kings, letter.". There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.


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Yes, I love the church. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.


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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. Who is their God? Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, and ". Yes, they have gone to jail with. Jail, secured the repeal of segregation laws and unfair voting restrictions.



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