Responding to Criticism Every writer has some sort of drive when writing a piece of work. Whether that drive comes from a creative source or a need to prove a point, it exists. For Martin Luther King Jr. , that drive was the need to put an end to racial injustice that seemed to be everywhere. From the beginning of time, the promoters of social Justice utilize rhetorical strategies to persuade their opponents of their claims. The proponents of the movement for civil rights for African Americas have made an intensive use of those strategies to advocate their cause. On April 16, 1963, from a Jail in Birmingham,
MLK wrote an extensive letter to eight clergymen who had attacked his work for civil rights in a public statement released on April 12, 1963. Dr. King primarily aimed this letter at those eight leaders of the white Church of the South. However, the eight clergymen’s letter and the response from Dr. King were publicly published. Dr. King wanted to convince of his utility of his commitment in this particular area at this specific moment. To persuade his readers, King predominantly employs Aristotle’s three types of persuasion that are appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos. First, he ppeals to his own reputation and wisdom.
Second, he tried to arouse emotions in the readers. Finally, he appeals to logic, supported with evidence and citations from other influential thinkers. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to be the spokesperson of the African American community in the United States of America. His intention was to prove to his opponents he has sufficient authority to promote the civil rights cause on behalf of the black community. The first example that illustrates Dr. Kings use of this strategy is present in the second paragraph of his letter: “l have the honor of serving s president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference”.
Thus, he reminds his interlocutors of his position of leadership in the religious community. This allowed him to stand in the case of equal qualifications with the eight clergymen. Furthermore, in the third paragraph, he states, “Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid”. Consequently, he contends he is a prophet for freedom like Paul, but also like Jesus in the same paragraph. This provides him with the highest level of in the religious filed. He suggests he has support from God to end this injustice. Therefore, since God has chosen him, it implies he is of higher moral standards.
Finally, in the fourth paragraph, he advances, “Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states”. Martin Luther King, Jr. wants to remind his readers of his belonging to a group of high citizens. Consequently, he has the necessary wisdom to voice his opinions. Martin Luther King Jr. intends to create a feeling of emotion and sympathy for the civil rights cause. His purpose is to create emotion in his readers, both Wasp and African American communities, to calm the aggressiveness coming from the Wasp itizens and revive the nonviolent example in the African American minds.
Dr. King emphasizes the injustice in the daily life of the members of the African American community in the fourteenth paragraph. However, he intends to give the WASP reader an insight into the difficult situation in which the African Americans have. He wants to sprinkle sparks of rejection against immortal behaviors. Moreover, in the King wants his audience to imagine the pain and the humiliation of ill-treatments. Likewise, he desires to provoke a moral rebellion against hatred and condescendence acted out towards the demonstrators.
Lastly, in the forty-seventh paragraph, he stresses the heroism performed in minute contestations against the oppression. Dr. King aims at commending achievements and encourages their increase through the African American community. He wants to create a feeling of pride in anti- establishment actions. Martin Luther King Jr. is a heavy user of logic, notably to Justify why each of his contemporaries should compel with the authority of God. The sixteenth paragraph is a conspicuous illustration of appeals to evidence from permanent philosophers.
His demonstration commences with the explanation of the airness of law. To support his affirmation, he quotes St. Thomas Aquinas who reached the same conclusions several centuries earlier. Subsequently, he cites Martin Buber, a Jewish philosopher, to explain why unfair laws abase the segregationists. Finally, Martin Luther King Jr. mentions Paul Tillch, an illustrations detestable but also sinful. Dr King’s purpose in the religious and philosophic fields. He searches to prove that every citizen must abide by the American laws enacted by the Supreme Court.
Neverthless, he maintains a firm position for yielding to a higher uthority: morality. Dr. King’s letter desires to Justify the importance and especially the legitimacy of his participation in the events in Alabama to erect his ethos as respectable to his audience. Indeed, he must establish his authority as both a minister and a representative for African Americans to establish equality between him and the eight clergymen to be credible to his audience and erase all potential condescendence. Furthermore, he plays with emotions to decrease opposistions and reinforce his vision of the fight for Civil Rights.
Martin Luther King aim’s is to create a eeling of identification with the civil right’s cause in the mind of his readers in order to expunge any Manichean thinking. Finally, his audience is in a spirit of concillation and therefore is ready to listen to his discourse. After this, MLK demonstrates the veracity of his claims and the legitimacy of his fght thanks to evidence and logic. In this way, he discloses his personal ability for debating but also the African American’s capacity for defending positions in forthcoming discussions. Martin Luther King, Jr. utilizes reason to construct reconciliation with the WASP community as well.
Actually, he reminds the WASP community of its anterior fights against both the British oppression and the Nazi regime. Thus, he intends to illustrate with analogies that the fght for African Americans’ civil rights is not so far from the WASP community prior demands. Consequently, he obliterates the false dichotomy that runs rampant in the WASP community, namely the requirements for civil rights are not as Justifiable and moral as the independence of the thirteen or the suppression of the Nazi anti- Semitism. An important element of this Letter from Birmingham Jail is that Martin Luther King Jr. ncludes his missive with an appeal to peace and unity. With those words, if the readers have Just forgotten the entire discourse, the readers keep in minds his motivation for appeasement and concord. Dr. King also responds in a positive, but powerful form to the criticism of the Clergy men and gives many valuable points to his letter. King Jr. , Martin Luther. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail. “Birmingham News [Birmingham, Alabama] 16 April 1963, first edition 2nd paragraph. Print. King Jr. , Martin Luther. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail. “Birmingham News [Birmingham, Alabama] 16 April 1963, first edition 3rd paragraph.
Print. King Jr. , Martin Luther. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail. “Birmingham News [Birmingham, Alabama] 16 April 1963, first edition 4th paragraph. Print. King Jr. , Martin Luther. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail. “Birmingham News [Birmingham, Alabama] 16 April 1963, first edition 16th paragraph. Print. King Jr. , Martin Luther. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail. “Birmingham News [Birmingham, Alabama] 16 April 1963, first edition 45th paragraph. Print. King Jr. , Martin Luther. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail. “Birmingham News [Birmingham, Alabama] 16 April 1963, first edition 47th paragraph. Print.