King was jailed because injustice was in the city and he was there o make a change and was not going to leave until he was done. Even though King had a plan, he could not do this alone, so he wrote a letter to the eight clergymen to help get his point across. King was an activist of nonviolence. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, had desegregation and racial discrimination occurring. Throughout King’s letter he explains why he Is visiting Alabama and all of the negativity that is occurring within the state. Changing one’s perspective on racial discrimination cannot be decided by one person.
King said, “Injustice anywhere Is a threat to Justice everywhere. (148). He said this because if you do wrong things or treat a person wrong, not only can it happen in your society or somewhere else around the world too. In Alabama, the laws were unjust laws, and African Americans got treated unequally. King implemented Christianity throughout his letter to get interest in the clergymen and to explain why he was in Birmingham. He applied Christianity so that the clergymen could understand his point of view. He states, “But more basically, I am In Birmingham because injustice is here.
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Just as the prophets of the eighth century B. C. Feet their villages and carried their “thus gaits the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and Just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greece- Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. ” (148). He told his fellow clergymen that because the African American race has been waiting for freedom and equality for a very long time. During this time, the black race was oppressed and yearning for freedom.
In King’s letter, he came up with Ideas on how to help end segregation and racial coordination. King said, “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path? ” (149). Direct action was chosen because without deeds there is no reaction. These actions were to keep down violent crimes, tensions and crises. Back in 1963, public facilities had signs posted saying, “No blacks allowed. ” Blacks were not allowed to have dinner in public restaurants, go to public parks, drink out of public water fountains, cast his or her vote. Or sit in the front of public transportation.
All of these laws were unjust laws. King writes, “An unjust law is a unman law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that degrades human personality Is unjust. All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregated a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to that status things. Hence, segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful (151).
The black citizens in Birmingham were brutally eaten, hated, cursed, kicked, and even killed. In contrast, blacks in Alabama had begged for freedom and fought for it in nonviolent ways. King stated, “For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of or struggle. ” (153). King used Christianity to help prevent a solution to the problem of injustice rather than using violence to help end racial discrimination. According to King, racial discrimination was very active in 1963.
The southern tastes King wanted everyone to get along and the disrespect to end. He used Christianity by stating, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which dispiritedly use you, and persecute you. ” (King 153). King thought mistreating a person based upon their skin color was very disrespectfully and wrong. His goal was to get every one on one accord. King told his fellow clergymen, “If you were in my shoes” that you would understand where I was coming from. He also said, “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional God-given rights. (150). This meant that God created everyone is his own image, and a person’s rights should not be taken away from them Just because of their skin color. Throughout King’s letter to the clergymen, he express how the blacks are treated in Birmingham, how they are not afforded rights as the whites are and how the churches are letting the problems take place. Kings message was to let the clergymen know that Alabama had unjust laws and that he was not leaving until racial discrimination and desegregation had ended there. His reason for being in Alabama was because of injustice and racial discrimination against citizens.