Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail: Awareness of Unjust Laws

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23 January 2013

Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Martin Luther King Junior's “letter from Birmingham Jail” was the reflection upon protest against unjust laws was established against him and his fellow men. Throughout his letter he uses many great philosophers and historical events to justify his own protest to be necessary to do what’s right. King was the leader of civil-rights group that supported protest against traditional views of the society and unjust laws established in the era.” In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action.” ( Taylor)

In his letter from Birmingham Jail King states: “It was illegal to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s anti-religious laws” (King, 6). Here in this excerpt shows that King encourages protest because in some extreme circumstances becomes necessary, be it in Hitler’s Germany, a Communist country, or any situation in which injustices are occurring. In the end of the sentence King openly admits that he would protest against established laws or traditions by all means necessary because they favor the unjust.

The letter was written to his fellow clergymen to explain his prior actions and to attempt justified and appropriate for the situation. He expressed that he exhausted every other option to justify them. In the letter he tried to explain to the clergy that his actions although illegal were possible and direct action was the only available option left, which could make a difference.

“One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer...
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