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Word Count: 382
Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King While confined in a Birmingham jail Martin Luther King wrote a gratifying letter of response to a published criticism by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama In his letter King eloquently explains the injustice of the evil system of segregation Birmingham Alabama in particular is where King sees the inequality of whites and blacks police force harassment and brutality the burning of black churches and the oppression of the white community over the black Annoyed by the silent and scared King admonishes the white moderate for civil rights whose lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection Even more frustrating for King is the stand the white church chose to take during this era The white church like many others decided to remain silent behind the stained glass windows The holy and moral church opted for the immoral side of the strong against the moral weak In my opinion King prophesized the future of the church stating that the church will lose its authenticity and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning Disappointed with the churchs stance was not only felt by King Very frequently he met with young people whose disappointment with the church had turned into outright disgust Reading this ten-paged letter reminded me of the similarities of Henry David Thoreaus essay Civil Disobedience Like King Thoreau also spent time in jail for protesting unjust laws that went against his conscience Thoreau was one of the crusaders for the abolitionist movements as King was for the civil rights movement Both saw injustice and refused to conform by using nonviolent tactics In both movements prominent figures didnt support them until the very end Another point King found troubling in the clergymens statement was the condemning of the Birmingham police for preventing violence If the people saw the policemens dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed
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