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Word Count: 2,576
Elements Martin Luther Kings Letter from a Birmingham Jail uses an amazingly diminutive list of elements considering the artifacts lengthy style King says Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere Here King lays out the deep-seeded struggle for civil rights More importantly Kings words transcend racial segregation What King is saying is that segregation in the South is a failure of American morality and in turn An injustice that goes beyond the proverbial Mason-Dixon line The Clergymen who wrote an Appeal for Law and Order and Common Sense asked King why he and his organization choose to stop negotiation and practice civil disobedience King eloquently responds by making the distinction between an unjust law and one that uplifts human personality Its Kings argument and at the time the supreme courts decision that racial segregation is unjust King goes on to point specific examples of unjust law A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that as a result of being denied the right to vote had no part in enacting or devising the law An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself Here King points out the flaws in the segregationists thinking King is challenging the status quo He points out freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor In every major win for civil rights direct action or legal prodding has been necessary to have the oppressor group give up their privileges The status quo drives the clergymen to ask for patience from King But its also what drives King to direct action He realizes that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race King doesnt actually aim to break the status quo himself Instead King fosters the process in which it can be changed from an unjust and
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