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MLK and Birmingham Jail

             wrote "Letter from Birmingham" as a response to eight clergymen who criticized his and the SCLC's nonviolent direct action against segregation in Birmingham. He at first addressed the issue of being called an "outsider" by defending his right to be there in a straightforward tone that SCLC is based in Atlanta but operates throughout the South. One of its affiliates had invited the organization to Birmingham, which is why they came. He then further noted "I am in Birmingham because injustice is here" [1]. He discussed that his movement wasn't an irrational decision by explaining the events of postponement after postponement. .
             Dr. King understands that clergymen prefer negotiation over protests but he insists negotiations cannot happen without protest, which creates a "crisis" and "tension" that forces unwilling parties (white business owners) to negotiate in good faith. He addressed the issue of "untimely" by explaining that Mr. Boutwell even though gentler but is still a segregationist who will oppose action that threatens the status quo. He said "We know through painful experienced that freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed" [2] to further challenge the untimely criticism by the clergymen. Dr. King states that his people have waited long enough for justice then discusses a patent of abuses that they have suffered over a long time and in the present day. He distinguishes between just and unjust laws addressing the clergymen's anxiousness over the black man's "willingness to break laws" by quoting St. Augustine "An unjust law is no law at all" [3]. To sum up his point he mentions Hitler's laws and how he would've broken them to help the Jews. He said white moderates have greatly disappointed him as they value order over justice then further attacks them over their demands of patience.

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