Dr. King Speech
DR. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of many accomplishments. From lighting the torch that helped changed the way we blacks and whites communicated, to sparking the civil rights movement. it’s safe to say that Dr. King was well Involved in helping change racism. During Dr. King’s life, he had written many letters, but none were Ike the letter he wrote to his fellow clergymen. The letter that King wrote to his fellow clergymen was a reply to the statements made by the clergymen stating that Dr. King’s actions were “unwise, and untimely’. Now according to Dr.
King, he rarely ever ook time to reply to negative backlash he received from others. but this particular criticism made a rather large impact in Dr. Kings life. upon receiving the criticism, King wrote a very passionate letter stating In so many words that men In their position should have more compassion, wisdom, and positive impacts in America, instead of promoting, and condoning the negative behaviors.
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While writing this letter to the clergymen, King used a lot of detail, passion, and rhetoric, such as Logos, Ethos, and Pathos which I will convey in this paper. ill show examples of King’s use of the hetoric terms, as well as describe the effectiveness and Importance of them. During Kings letter to the clergymen he uses logos in many ways, he makes a lot of great points, and he also backs up those points with great logic, which leads me to the following statement written by King “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others? The answer lies in 2 the fact that there are two types of laws: Just and unjust. I would be the last to advocate disobeying Just laws”.
In this statement I believe that King is making the point that, although it may be a law, that doesn’t make it morally correct. It is our job as people to follow Just laws, but It Is not an obligation to follow the unjust laws. Although there were laws preventing Negro’s from their constitutional and god-given rights, doesn’t make It morally Incorrect to disobey them, In fact it would be morally incorrect to abide by those unjust laws. King believed it was our Job as people to come together and work on changing them, just in a non-violent way.
In King’s letter, he describes the difference between a Just, and unjust law. King states in his letter that “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law Is a code that Is out of harmony with the moral law’. In that statement , King is basically saying that a Just law preserves the constitutional and god-given rights we have as people, no matter the color of our skin. An unjust law is just the opposite. it goes against the constitutional and God-given rights we have as people, and we are not obligated to follow an unjust law according to King.
I believe that King made great points, and backed up his points with a great deal of logic. In my opinion King made his points very effective in his letter. It was effective because ‘OF3 ever be denied, but King also uses the fact that people in the clergymen position is held to a certain standard in which they contradicted by making the statements they made. It was important for King to use logos in his letter because no argument is valid without the logic to support it.
When persuading an audience, it is important to present facts and while presenting those facts, you must have logic supporting those facts and I believe King did a great Job doing so. In addition to King’s use of logos, there was also a great display of ethos in the letter written by King. Although King has a reputation, and a list of accomplishments anging from his education, to his 3 up-bringing, as well as the leadership positions he’s held in many organizations, King’s personal accomplishments are well known, and goes without saying.
There are few times in the letter where King lets his accomplishments and leadership positions known, King states, “l have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights”. This statement is a rare, but necessary display of credibility by King in the letter. I believe that King doesn’t say to much about his personal accomplishments because his reputation speaks for itself.
There is a point in the letter in which King uses an appeal to authority, as stated “we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. ” In that statement, King uses the authority of the Supreme Court’s in his his favor, which is a brilliant plan. Although the use of ethos is scarce compared to the use of the other terms, it is still used in a very effective way.
Similar to the use of logos, and ethos, pathos is used a lot, and in an effective way. Here is an example of King’s use “Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly’. In this statement King sums up his belief in the power of Justice, and the effect that injustice can have. I believe that King uses a lot of passion in his letter because the statements ade by the clergymen impacted him in a very deep way.
Here is another example of pathos used by King, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people”. In this statement King is saying that it is horrible for people to commit hateful actions,and say hateful things, but it is even worse to see these 4 things and remain silent throughout it. Although it is important to use logic, and credibility, it is probably more important for King to use passion in his letter because significance and emotions in his writing.
King’s use of pathos was very effective because it not only conveyed his dedication to the subject of change, but it also showed his willingness to go above and beyond for what he believed in. In conclusion, King’s letter to the clergymen was extremely effective as a whole. It was effective ultimately because as people we have come a long way from the state of racism that we were in. The progression that we have made as people certainly proves that all the work, and dedication King unveiled was useful and effective. With that being said, I believe that King served his purpose fully and his work will never be second guessed.