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King Writes As A Clergyman, An American Citizen, A Judeo-Christian

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King writes as a Clergyman, an American Citizen, a Judeo-Christian leader, a Christian Brother, a Political Moderate, a Nonviolent Direct Activist, and Anti-Segregationist, a United States Negro, a Creative Extremist, an Integrationist, and a Civil Rights Leader. All are intertwined by the common thread of moral and just activism for the betterment of Negroes in the United States, specifically Birmingham. As a member of all of these communities, he brings credibility to his argument and can speak on the behalf of both sides, even those that conflict with one another. He defines his own membership within each community according to the overall effect it will have on his refutations of the four main accusations in the public statement.…show more content…
In their letter, the clergy have indicated that protests, including any acts of civil disobedience, can result in violence and ultimately anarchy. King takes several paragraphs to explain in a systematic, logical way the methods of a nonviolent campaign. In paragraph 6, for example, he sets out the “four basic steps”—each thoughtful and disciplined. In subsequent paragraphs, he explains the political climate of Birmingham and how he and his community have been mindful of the individuals (he names several) and events (such as the mayoral election) in that community. His detailed and cerebral explanation of philosophy and method implies that the nonviolent campaign is the antithesis of protests that act precipitously without regard for the consequences. Form follows function in this case: the orderly explanation reflects the orderly process being explained.
King may have had several purposes for this juxtaposition, expressed through a vivid metaphor of “horse-and-buggy pace” with “jet-like speed.” For one, he appeals to the patriotic spirit of Americans who would not want their country to lag behind any others in any category, including social justice. Second, this juxtaposition alludes to the worldwide changes as people of color in the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa are demanding and winning
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