"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr. | TigerDroppings.com

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Hugo Stiglitz
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"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


If you haven't read this and you like politics, I strongly encourage you to read it, regardless of your opinion on race.

I started a thread on the OT connecting this to Black History Month but it quickly got the anchor.

quote:

King wrote the letter from the city jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was confined after being arrested for his part in the Birmingham campaign, a planned non-violent protest conducted by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference against racial segregation by Birmingham's city government and downtown retailers. An editor at the New York Times Magazine, Harvey Shapiro, asked King to write his letter for publication in the magazine. The Times chose not to publish it. [1] He wrote the letter on the margins of a newspaper, which was the only paper available to him, then gave bits and pieces of the letter to his lawyers to take back to movement headquarters, where the Reverend Wyatt Walker began compiling and editing the literary jigsaw puzzle.


"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.

A small passage

quote:

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.







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Tigah in the ATL
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Atlanta
Member since Feb 2005
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


Should be required reading for every American in my opinion.





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Tiguar
South Alabama Fan
Mobile
Member since Mar 2012
6524 posts

re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


Mentions Jesus too much.





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RollTide4Ever
Alabama Fan
Nashville
Member since Nov 2006
9332 posts

re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


I like "The Ballot or the Bullet" better.





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Hugo Stiglitz
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Bitch, I'm From Louisiana
Member since Oct 2010
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

Mentions Jesus too much.

quote:

King's letter was a response to a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen on April 12, 1963, titled "A Call for Unity". The clergymen agreed that social injustices existed but argued that the battle against racial segregation should be fought solely in the courts, not in the streets. They criticized Martin Luther King, calling him an “outsider” who causes trouble in the streets of Birmingham. To this, King referred to his belief that all communities and states were interrelated. He wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly… Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider…”[3] King expressed his remorse that the demonstrations were taking place in Birmingham but felt that the white power structure left the black community with no other choice.

The clergymen also disapproved of the immense tension created by the demonstration. To this, King affirmed that he and his fellow demonstrators were using nonviolent direct action in order to cause tension that would force the wider community to face the issue head on. They hoped to create tension: a nonviolent tension that is needed for growth. King responded that without nonviolent forceful direct actions, true civil rights could never be achieved.

The clergymen also disapproved of the timing of the demonstration. However, King believed that "this 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.'"[3] King declared that they had waited for these God-given rights long enough and that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”[3]

Against the clergymen’s assertion that the demonstration was against the law, he argued that not only was civil disobedience justified in the face of unjust laws, but that "one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

King addressed the accusation that the civil rights movement was "extreme", first disputing the label but then accepting it. He argues that Jesus and other heroes were extremists and writes: "So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?"[4] His discussion of extremism implicitly responds to numerous "moderate" objections to the civil rights movement, such as President Eisenhower's claim that he could not meet with civil rights leaders because doing so would require him to meet with the Ku Klux Klan.[5]

The letter includes the famous statement "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", as well as quotes the words of Chief Justice Earl Warren, spoken in 1958 at the University of Cincinnati School of Law: "[J]ustice too long delayed is justice denied".






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trackfan
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Member since Sep 2010
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

I like "The Ballot or the Bullet" better.

He says essentially the same thing as Malcolm X when he says this:
"If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history."

Of as JFK said:
"Though who make peaceful revelution impossible, make violent revelution inevitable."






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davesdawgs
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His non-violent civil disobedience is a shinning model for those who seek remedy for social injustice. However, King was fortunate to have lived when he did. He was obviously a very religious man and his views would likely not play well in today's liberal progressive society.





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Taxing Authority
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

Should be required reading for every American in my opinion.
Absolutely.

But you can't have students in school read it. Mentions Jesus. Government endorsement of religion.
Signed,
Rex.






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jcole4lsu
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


hey hugo-
do you happen to post on a tech forum under the same name as here?






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Hugo Stiglitz
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Bitch, I'm From Louisiana
Member since Oct 2010
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

hey hugo-
do you happen to post on a tech forum under the same name as here?

nope.






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trackfan
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

He was obviously a very religious man and his views would likely not play well in today's liberal progressive society.

King was despised when he was alive, but he was despised by people on the right, not the left. It's amazing how the same folks who despised folks like MLK and Rosa Parks when they were alive are now trying to invoke their memories to champion right-wing causes.






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Porky
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


There's a whole lot of wisdom in that message.





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Taxing Authority
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Member since Feb 2010
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:


King was despised when he was alive, but he was despised by people on the right, not the left.


LINK

quote:

"I just can't see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man's terrible," Mrs. Kennedy said, as part of an oral history series of interviews released this month.








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real
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Member since Oct 2007
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


Yes and it's also amazing that it was mostly white democrats who put him down. Hell. But you keep trying. His own daughter has said he would probably be a conservative in today's world.





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CajunAngele
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Member since Oct 2012
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

Should be required reading for every American in my opinion.



I may fall over dead. You actually complimented a republican.






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The Dude's Rug
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re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


Awesome. I just got finished reading about this not long ago for my Poli Sci Independent readings class. We are focusing on black political thought.





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trackfan
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
17387 posts

re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

Yes and it's also amazing that it was mostly white democrats who put him down. Hell. But you keep trying.

I never used the word democrats or republicans. I said conservatives. Strom Thurmond was a conservative when he had a D behind his name and a conservtive when he had an R behind. It's all the same to me.
quote:

His own daughter has said he would probably be a conservative in today's world.

Please provide a link with the exact quote.



This post was edited on 2/1 at 2:22 pm


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HailHailtoMichigan!
Michigan Fan
Mission Viejo, CA
Member since Mar 2012
12087 posts

re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

King was despised when he was alive, but he was despised by people on the right, not the left. It's amazing how the same folks who despised folks like MLK and Rosa Parks when they were alive are now trying to invoke their memories to champion right-wing causes.
You're a fricking piece of trash.






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trackfan
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
17387 posts

re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


quote:

You're a fricking piece of trash.

You really hurt my feelings. My whole day is ruined now.






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real
LSU Fan
Dixieland
Member since Oct 2007
12717 posts

re: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" By Martin Luther King Jr.


Oh forgive me I'm wrong,it was his niece Alveda King.And she said her uncle was a Repulican and would be a Pro-life consevative if alive today.She say he'd mirror the same beliefs of Allen West. No wAy in helll can a man truly inspired by God could be on the side of baby killers and godless people who have enslaved blacks. Not inslaved in the chained way,but inslaved to a governmen whot controls their lives.


This post was edited on 2/3 at 1:51 pm


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