Letter From Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis

Words: 1295
Pages: 6

Andres F Carmona
Daniel Moyer
COM 1103
Dr. King's Relentless Effort From the day our nation was established, America has always been ruled by the white man. With that power, racism over African Americans has been a key factor in the United States for the past 100 years. The period when racism was at its highest point was when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was at his reign. During that time, Dr King strived for a change in how Americans viewed each other. He believed segregation between blacks and whites must be stopped and for everyone to view each other as brothers and sisters. At one point King found himself locked up for no reason. While King was sitting in jail, a number of white clergymen from Alabama wrote to the black community
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King goes on to question the argument of the Clergymen stating that the demonstrations are at fault in Birmingham and not the social situation itself. “Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which…not a single Negro is registered” (“Letter from Birmingham Jail” 4) This attack on the truth of Alabama brings a harsh light to what happens and what is overlooked too many. King then continues to state that it was his “parading without a permit” (4), that landed him in the jail and while it is completely fine to have such an “ordinance…it becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest” (“Letter from Birmingham Jail” 4). This direct reference to the constitution of the United States and just and unjust laws proves a strong point for King's proposition of which helps to defend the equal rights African Americans are legally supposed to have. In the History Channel article “Civil Right Movement”, it is outlined that many white officials tried to find any possible way of targeting African Americans for just being black. And the reasons for them being targeted was just nonsense. In one …show more content…
King hits his point of persuasion when he uses loaded language. The element of pathos is used strongly when King describes the way the white community treats colored people. In the end of his letter, King states that the police brutality in Birmingham is at an all time high and government officials look the other way when wrong is done. “I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt you would commend the police force...if you were to watch them push and curse...kick and slap...and refuse to give food to negro individuals” (Letter from Birmingham Jail” 10). With this critical statement King sets a shadow over the police force. He proves a point to the clergy that the police have been mistreating these innocent individuals for no apparent reason. With King's statement comes a similar one done by History Channel. Outlining how inhumane police officers were with black protestors, officials used many actions to disperse large crowds of protesters. Those actions being the use of police dogs to intimidate and or physically harm people which is similar to MLK’s statement, fire hoses were used to disperse people from a certain area. These hoses sprayed at a fast speed, leaving behind red streaks on people's