MLK Final Essay
During the Civil Rights movements, non-violence protest is a method used by African Americans to advocate for desegregation. However, these protests were initially not accepted by many whites. In 1963, while Martin Luther King was arrested in the Birmingham jail because he supported a protest in Birmingham, eight Alabama clergymen published a statement accusing the non-violence protest for disturbing order, showing untimely impatience and inciting violence. Since the clergymen believed desegregation should be achieved through the deliberation of time and with conventional processes, Martin Luther King wrote a letter to convince them that blacks should not wait passively to be wholeheartedly accepted by the white moderate. In paragraph 23 to 26, King conveys that in order to gain racial equality, protests similar to the one occurred in Birmingham are necessary means to expediate slow progress, break unjust laws and orders and eventually achieve civil rights for its protesters. Martin Luther King criticizes the white moderate, whom the eight clergymen represents, for insisting that waiting for time to pass and conservatively obeying to order will resolve inequality. He says that he has been “gravely disappointed”to show his disagreement of the white moderate’s lukewarm attitude, because he was expecting them to sympathize with the African Americans and be actively involved in the process of desegregation. In King’s words, one of the expressions of this lukewarm attitude is that the white moderate deliberately postpones the process and outcome of African Americans defeating injustice. King phrases their delay in time as “paternalistically believe [they] can set the timetable for another men’s freedom” to condemn the careless and arbitrary nature behind the white moderate’s conduct of neglecting African Americans’ urgent need for racial equality. At the end, Martin Luther King comes to the conclusion that “shallow understanding from people of...
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