Letter From A Birmingham Jail By Martin Luther King Jr.

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In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential and significant civil rights movement figure, delivered a strong message defending African American’s necessity of demanding civil rights and arguing reformation of unjust laws. Since the very beginning of slavery in U.S., African Americans have not been able to escape from practices of dehumanization. When hope had finally shone along with the abolishment of slavery, a shadow followed as this minority community was being labeled as “colored” and found themselves trapped into an era of segregation. The Jim Crow laws that enforced the ideology “separate but equal” in U.S. public facilities were so dominant that, even after it was abolished, a concept of …show more content…
prison system also plays a huge role on encouraging unjust laws that benefit the rich and harm the poor, which indirectly suppress the black community. Economic interests and profits, along with racial dominance and discrimination, are the underlying roots that nurture the current U.S. prison system. In the documentary 13th, investigative researcher Daniel Wagner revealed how ALEC, a “system of mass incarceration and companies that profit from mass incarceration” (00:52:49-00:52:55), operates as a powerful organization that reinforces private practices on mass incarceration. Across these companies, the hegemonic figures in charge introduce new laws and policies that push the minority into the prison system while getting the rich out. Like what King argued, some laws are fair in appearance, but in fact are unjust in application. Turning prisoners into potential profits, these companies have gained the ultimate privileges, which is one possible reason why decisions to reform prison systems are so hard to achieve. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s argument of “privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily” coincides the “just world phenomenon.” This social phenomenon explains that people have tendency to believe that the world is just and everyone receives what they deserve. As a result, rich and powerful figures with privileges seldom support such civil right movement as these dominant institutions …show more content…
It is important to find the equilibrium between the two elements since a pursuit of ultimate justice may impose pressure on social order. Unjust laws should be resisted and reformed so that no more social disadvantages will be imposed on the weak and vulnerable. It will be a gradual process requiring enormous effort in order to protect humanity from injustice. Just like what Martin Luther King, Jr. asserted in his letter, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and all humanity should hold the responsibility to achieve greater sense of justice. Reconstruction of today’s U.S. prison system, following this movement, serves as an essential role fostering and restoring social

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