Ministers think Martin Luther king is being unwise and untimely and that he really shouldn’t be protesting now and so Martin Luther king wants to respond to them in this letter to tell them why he’s right and what he’s doing.
Martin Luther king came to Birmingham because one, he was invited and two, he has an office there.
But more basically he was there because injustice was there and here he compares himself to a prophet and the apostle Paul, so he was there to fight for freedom.
He states The discrimination taking place in Birmingham as facts of racial injustice and he got an opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham’s economic community where they agreed to stop demonstrations if the white store owners take down the racist signs. But the signs soon returned.
So they decided to put themselves forward and protest, they undertook a process to prepare themselves. They began a series of workshops, and they scheduled their program for the Easter season because its one of the main shopping periods but the kept waiting for the elections to be over and then finally, they decided they couldn’t wait anymore and they had to act.
By protesting, having sit-ins and marches they hope to make things so tense that people say “fine we’ll negotiate it”.
He says freedom was never voluntarily given and that he had heard the word “wait” a plenty of times and that they’ve waited for 340 years now. He compares Asia and Africa on how they’re moving fast to gain political independence.
He even discussed the impacts on his 6 year old daughter he even makes reference to that when she wants to go to Fun land however it is only for white children and he talks about how disappointed she is and the emotional impact that’s upon her.
But the idea of just sitting back and not taking any actions, that’s a problem and he even references the fact that hitler and his actions were were deemed legal in Germany and he’s says again that an unjust law is not a law and it needs to be confronted.
Martin Luther king then discusses on how he was called an “extremist” and later embraces this term as Jefferson, Lincoln and Jesus Christ were considered extremists too.
He wraps up this letter by expressing his sincere disappointment with the white churches who have really done nothing and he’s really encouraging them to take action and to stand with them