Letter from Birmingham Jail

Topics: Civil disobedience, Nonviolence, Letter from Birmingham Jail Pages: 2 (680 words) Published: December 2, 2010
“Dr. King’s Call to Action”
In Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he shows that nonviolence is the way to get the positive attention that his plight deserved. He believed that to use violence was negative on a couple of points. First, violence always gets negative attention. Second, violence was the way the Klu Klux Klan went about their business. He wanted to expose unjust laws and do it in a fashion that conveyed his beliefs without causing other problems. In Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he is trying to convince his “fellow clergymen” (566) that his fight for the civil liberties is a just one, and that the march was a nonviolent one and one that was surely needed. Dr. King stated, “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny” (566). King is saying that it’s something that can no longer be ignored, that he can no longer sit on the sideline and be an idle observer. The black man has to take it to the streets. In this letter, Dr. King showed that nonviolence, direct action, and the ability to stand by one’s convictions are the right path. In his quest for racial equality, Martin Luther King came to the conclusion that nonviolent resistance was the only way to achieve this goal. It was his belief that social justice could be achieved only by changing the hearts and minds of the oppressors. Violence would only distract from the main goal, cause bitterness between the opposing groups and shut down any possibility of reconciliation. His theory of nonviolent resistance meant that a protester could be as passionate as a violent one, but in rejecting physical aggression, the nonviolent protester leaves open the possibility of a transformation. The absence of violence lets the other person see issues from a clearer perspective, one that isn't clouded by the aftermath of a violent confrontation. Nonviolent resistance was the first step. Dr. King also stressed that...
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