Ideas Of Martin Luther King | “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

The problem of injustice in politics and social life affects the entire society but, in spite of efforts to eliminate injustice undertaken by some policy makers, public organizations and civil rights activists, this problem persists. At this point, it is possible to refer to the case of the African American community that suffered from the severe oppression and discrimination from the part of the white majority. In spite of the Civil Rights Movement and their persisting struggle for equal rights and opportunities, they are still in a disadvantaged position that makes the problem of injustice still relevant and ideas of Martin Luther King still important for the elimination of inequality and injustice in the US as one of the major causes of social conflicts and possible social unrest that may emerge in the US on the racial ground.

At this point, it is possible to refer to one of the key points that King makes in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. King insists that injustice in relation to African Americans is the threat to the entire nation since “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (King 4). This idea is very important in terms of finding ways to eliminate injustice in the US as one of the core problems that affects the entire nation, domestic as well as foreign policy of the US. The indifference of policy makers to problems of African Americans, their discrimination and exclusion from the US society resulted in the social unrest and mass protests in the 1950s – 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement was the strongest. Therefore, the injustice in relation to racial minority laid the ground for the social injustice in broader terms, since, if injustice is acceptable in relation to racial minorities, then it will be acceptable in relation to other social groups, for example, women, representatives of lesbian and gay community and others.  However, policy makers are naturally unwilling to change their policies, even if they are unjust, because the preservation of status quo maintains their position and helps them to stay in power, while elimination of injustice raises the risk of admitting new rivals to power from those social groups that used to be discriminated.

In such a context, the question concerning the way to eliminate injustice arises. King claims that people should reject unjust laws since “sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application” (King 14). Therefore, King stands for the civil, nonviolent disobedience to unjust laws since he believes that people have the moral right not to obey to unjust laws. Unjust laws naturally imply that people should not obey them. On the other hand, King was a renowned opponent of violent means of struggle. On the contrary, he always insisted on non-violent means, such as marches, protests, and other tools used in terms of social disobedience strategy. People rejecting unjust laws and disobeying those laws will naturally force policy makers to eliminate unjust laws and introduce just ones instead.

Thus, ideas of Martin Luther King are still relevant and his Letter from Birmingham Jail is still the guiding star for civil rights activists and politicians, who should be aware that their power is impotent in face of the power of nation, whose public consciousness is clear and united in the struggle against injustice.

 

Works Cited:

King, Martin Luther. Letter from Birmingham Jail. 1963. Retrieved on August 25, 2014 from http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]
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