The question on whether it is the right time to fight for freedom or not is the very core source of inspiration for the overall message of Martin Luther King in his written letter. Relatively, it could be realized that his position regarding the ongoing demonstrations on the streets of Birmingham have been strongly affected by the different assumptions of social liberty that he believed in. For one, he specifically mentioned how important it is for a community to realize the real essence of freedom and be able to gain the benefits that come from it. He exposes the supposed anomalies of the rule against demonstrations and how it suppresses the real meaning of freedom is a direct form of irony that jeopardizes the real meaning of liberty thus setting aside the benefits of being human due to the laws created by humans themselves.
The supposed provision given by the clauses of liberty and human rights directly insists on the process by which all people are supposed to be equally treated especially in a community governed by the rules of democracy. America is one country that remains to be the epitome of democracy at the time, and yet, King mentions that the role of the American government in recognizing the rights of the people has been neglected by the idea suggested through the separation of the blacks from the whites. The superior placing of the white race has made it possible for particular conditions of discrimination to spur out and become the cause of several chaotic events in the community.
Notably, King points out that it was the suppression of the rights of the black individuals by the white Americans simply pushed the oppressed community into a sense of wanting back what was seemingly lost from them in the first place. The call for unity and the demonstrations in the street are mere reactions to how the other members of the society treat the supposed minorities in the country. This reaction, although seemingly causes certain chaotic situations in the community should not be considered as rebellious acts. Instead, they simply hope to call for attention and give an implicative call to those who are in the authority of doing something about the matter.
This is the reason why he points out that the members of the black American communities around the nation are asked to unite together and be a strong team. With such stand, it is imposed in the latter that they could fight against oppression, to be ready to face adversities to be able to welcome better sources of social confidence that could give them the chance to realize the rights to freedom that they are due. Through the non-violent campaign [characterized by demonstrations on the street], King argues that the people are simply exercising the condition of expression that they are supposedly allowed to mandate for the sake of sending out a message to the people living alongside them.
The consideration over the fact that what one American feels is felt by the whole nation [although in an indirect manner]. The consideration over this particular principle entails to create a sense of balance in the manner by which the right of the people to define their rights as recognized by the authorities and all the members of the community as well. The letter of King sends a message that does not only influence his people before. Moreover, as America faces a new age of development based on the different conditions of global change, it needs to continuously recognize the said principle that the message of King echoes to the authorities who have the power to change the situations in the country. Recognizing the rights of the people [regardless of their race] should be given attention to by the government hence providing provisions that each individual is due.
Snow, M. (1985). “Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as Pauline epistle”. Quarterly Journal of Speech 71 (3): 318–334.
Rieder, Jonathan (2013). Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail. Bloomsbury Press.