Friday, April 3, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr.

When you hear the name Martin Luther King Jr., the first thing that comes to mind is probably racism against African Americans. He is famous for his wisdom and persuasive speeches against segregation of African Americans. This statement holds strongly true because today diverse races are integrated all over the united states. For what ever reason, Martin has been an inspiration to many African Americans. He accomplished his success mostly through speeches, but also through his written essays. Although, his speeches were intense and filled with much persuasion, Martin had a way with words when he wrote too. This is displayed in professional fashion in the “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” Martin displayed a circus of statements in response to the Clergymen in the “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” He did this by analyzing their statements and responding with his own in an argumentative manner. He demonstrated this through persuasive statements, answering quotes from the community, and used a past leader as an example. Through this letter, Martin proved he could hold his ground in the line of fire. The question is, did it affect the peoples’ outlook on racism?

Martin Luther King had a way with words. He simply expressed himself in a manner that the people could understand. One way this was proposed, he used persuasive wording in order to demonstrate his particular feeling of that certain topic. For example, Martin argued that parading without a permit is not unjust. This is said because there is nothing wrong with having a parade without a permit, but as soon as a demonstration against segregation occurred it became a crime. Martin claimed that this denied the First- Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. Martin said, “in no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist” (335). This statement invoked his passion to display his feelings lovingly and accept his penalties for them. This was done because he felt it was worth it to make the community aware of its injustice. In doing so, he realized in reality the world doesn’t want to listen, but eventually they would. It was inevitable that the community would face this problem even in the future to come. So in order to reduce the severity of this mishap, Martin responded against the unjust acts with wisdom and love. Even if he was arrested or treated badly, some how his voice was heard around the world.

Not only did Martin persuade the readers and or listeners with words of wisdom, but he also used quotes, good or bad, to argue against segregation and to explain why it was unjust. For example, “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?” (332). This quote may be asked by you the people. This question was actually used in numerous workshops on non violence. While there were other questions to ponder upon, Martin’s main goal was to make the public aware of the problems it faces everyday. In doing so, it opened an array of problems because the people didn’t want to face the truth. Instead it had them asking more questions like, “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” (332). Martin agreed with this statement to a certain extent, but felt that he had no choice but to proceed with the demonstrations do to the ignorance that his people had endured. Surely, Martin would have rather negotiated, but the community refused him. So his answers provide a continuous void of satisfaction to the readers naked eye, but filters those minds who’s thoughts were garbled with lies of the community. In doing so, Martin found himself explaining himself more in depth and showing that he cares what the people think.

Martin Luther King Jr. not only answered the community, but he used important men as examples. One of them being, the ever so famous, Adolf Hitler. Everything Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal”. It was “illegal” to help Jew’s in Hitler’s Germany. With this in mind Martin stated, “even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws” (335). Martin said this in order to tell the people it didn’t matter what race or religion they possessed, he would have done the same thing in any one of those situations. By doing so, Martin proved that what the community thought was wrong, they may later find that it was in-deed wrong. Whether-or-not they felt it was wrong, Martin still pounded away at the community with reasons why segregation was unjust.

So did Martin Luther King tell the people why it was unjust for segregation laws to remain intact? If he didn’t, he definitely gave a whole new perspective on what was right and what was wrong. He displayed courage and wisdom in rare form. Only, to prove his worth as a U.S. citizen and his worth to his community. Martin Luther King Jr. truly was a magnificent and remarkable man. No matter what the people threw at him he had an answer for it. He used persuasive thoughts and words of wisdom in such a way that he will be remembered as one of the most dominating leaders of his time. Also, the way he fired back at the community with legitimate answers, the people had no other choice but to listen to Martin.

Lastly, the example of Hitler really set the tone for him. He would have done the same thing in Hitler’s time, just as he did in his time. Which brings us to the conclusion that Martin Luther King Jr. not only was a leader, but showed he cared about his community and the people in it. He did this by all and any tactics he could use, and carefully made his point valid. If Martin didn’t succeed in delivering his beliefs of segregation, there is a good chance that Alabama would have been much slower in killing the segregation laws. Since he did this not only in Alabama but the U.S. as a whole, one can conclude that he got his point across to the community and the world.

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