Martin Luther King, Just and Unjust

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Law, United States Pages: 3 (1054 words) Published: March 15, 2011
Justice in the Eyes of Martin Luther King
What is law? Law is a system of rules used to govern a society and control the behaviors of its members. In this case, Martin Luther King is charged for breaking a law. King questions the differences between just and unjust laws to justify his actions in Birmingham and the charges of breaking laws willingly. Defending his willingness to break laws, King argues, “How can you advocate breaking laws and obeying other?” He answers to accusation of his willingness to break laws with a well-written argument of what is just and unjust laws. Martin Luther King uses the definition, the categories, and the implication of the law excellently to answer the charges of breaking laws willingly. King evaluates the difference between just laws and unjust laws to justify his actions in Birmingham. Understanding the difference between the laws, King believes that he is subject to breaking laws as long as they are unjust. King, also, emphasizes that his cause for breaking the law is in favor of equality for all people. First, he defines what a law is in his own words. He makes a clear distinction between the different categories of laws many times. He, then, differentiate that there are just laws and unjust laws. King’s definition of a just law is “any law that uplifts human personality is just” (PAR 12). Meanwhile, the definition provided for unjust laws is “any law that degrades human personality” (PAR 12). King addresses that just and unjust laws target the personalities of the segregated and segregator. The problem with segregation is that “it gives the segregator a false sense of superiority, and the segregated a false sense of inferiority” (PAR 12). The difference in personalities leads people to believe they are better than others. It breaks the constitutional perception that “all men are created equal”. King believes “a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow...
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