In “A Call For Unity’ the clergymen state that some of the demonstrations have been “directed and led in part y outsiders” (Carpenter, et al. Par 3). One can safely assume, such as King does in his response letter, that the Clergymen are accusing King of being an outsider. Farther into their letter, the Clergymen stress that the local problems should be handled locally and that the people should “unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham” (Carpenter, et al. Para). This is a very obvious attempt for them to stress that they feel as though only local citizens should handle this problem.
This could either be because they want to try to fix the problem themselves or because hey believe things were fine the way they were and they do not like outsiders coming to town and causing a ruckus. In Kings response letter, “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” he refutes the Clergyman’s accusation of King being an outsider. He states that he is the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (King, par 2).
This is an organization that operates with other Christian groups throughout the South. He also says that he was invited by one of the groups his organization is associated with.
By doing this King also informs the Clergymen of his authoritative role throughout the South. He may to be a citizen of Birmingham but he was invited by some of the citizens of Birmingham to help their cause. This Just further proves that King is not a random outsider looking to stir the pot in someone else’s town; he is Just helping his alliances. The Clergymen bring up the nature of the demonstrations happening in Birmingham. They claim that they “incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be” (Carpenter, et al. Are). They are saying that while the demonstrations are in fact peaceful that they cause violence, therefore they are violent and harmful to the community. They also go on to call these demonstrations and sit-ins to be “extreme measures” (Carpenter, et al. Par 5). King calls these violent demonstrations a “type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth” (King, par 10). The whole point of creating these situations is to eventually lead to some type of negotiation, not outright violence and increased hatred in Birmingham.
King also says that in some situations extreme measures are needed. Just because one is labeled an extremist does not make him bad rather his intentions behind such extreme actions are what can determine whether he is good or bad. He references many Christian extremists that fought for the good of the situation they were in. The main violent group of people in this situation consists of the white public and A King ‘ law enforcement. That is also the group of people that the Clergymen handling these events so calmly and protecting the city from violence al. AR 6). King then uses examples of police restraining protests in a way: pushing women, using dogs, and inhumane treatment in the city actions were someone considered necessary to control sit-ins then ye enforcement is very non-violent in public situations. The Clergymen believe that the better option instead of sit-ins and take matters to court. They say “when rights are consistently denied, a be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and streets,” (Carpenter et al. Par 7). They also claim that the courts pea blacks equally.
King claims that Negro leaders have tried to negotiate with the city would not comply. The one time they did have a breakthrough they De stores would remove their racists sign and in turn the demonstrations fore too long the signs were replaced if they were even taken down place (King, par 7). No action was taken to enforce the white citizens’ s agreement. Since the Negroes attempts to negotiate seemed to be futz resort to direct action. Some of the arrests made during demonstration the only because the people involved were Negroes. King was arrested of without a permit.
He says that there is nothing wrong with that except his First Amendment was only done in order to prevent desegregation instances are very good examples of how the law did not regard black I -r to whites. The Clergymen claim to recognize the impatience of the Negro com however, they doe not agree with the timing of their demonstrations. They are unwise. They may be untimely for the Clergymen and the hi because they Just do not want desegregation to ever happen but the lot of thought into when they would plan their demonstrations.
They protest local businesses around a time when a lot of business occurs. Knowing it would have the greatest impact on the businesses so their mean more. They also waited until after the Mayoral election to take a actions may have been ill timed for the people opposing desegregation ere perfectly timed for the supporters of desegregation. Throughout the Clergyman’s letter they are very impersonal. It is al generic letter written to any protester in Birmingham. They hardly SSH understanding towards the cause.
Only one-sided points are made, w because they do not know what is really going on in Birmingham or b refuse to acknowledge it. Regardless, they should have either learned what has been happening in their community or set an example for t community and at least acknowledged the other side of this issue. The to talk down to King. It was like they assumed superiority over him not of his color but because they did not know his authority or education was almost like they talked to him as if he was uneducated.
On the other hand, King’s letter was very well thought out. He touch point the Clergymen brought up in their letter and he addressed a fee well. He was very kind in his letter. He never talked down to the Clergymen like they did to him. At the end of his letter he hopes that it finds them in good faith and he says that he would like to meet them as a fellow Christian Brother. He is very personal in this letter. He shares personal experiences, like when he has to explain segregation to his children (King, par 14). Kings letter is more convincing by far.
He does not give generic answers to very serious issues. He addresses everything that the Clergymen bring up. He uses personal experiences to make the reader sympathize towards him. He actually shows compassion in his letter. The Clergymen would most likely struggle to write a response to “Letter From Birmingham Jail” that could even slightly compare in quality. Also, King does not necessarily address both sides to each argument but he disputes ACH of the Clergyman’s in a way where the reader can tell that he understands both sides.
Cite this A King vs. His Clergymen
A King vs. His Clergymen. (2018, Jan 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-king-vs-his-clergymen/