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Martin Luther King Jr. says "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

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by

Subhash Ramesh

on 20 May 2015

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Transcript of Martin Luther King Jr. says "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Injustice
A central theme behind Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
King says...
"I am in Birmingham because injustice is here."
The history behind his words...
Martin Luther King Jr. - leader of the Birmingham Campaign, in year of 1963. (The Movement Intensifies).
King also says...
I submit that an individual
who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who
willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse
the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality
expressing the highest respect for law.
What does he mean?
Injustice anywhere...
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.
Martin Luther King Jr. says "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Birmingham - a city that practiced severe segregation against African Americans.
In the jail, King wrote a letter that explained why he was in Birmingham, and the unjust actions that were taking place.
King arrested for holding public civil rights demonstration on April 12, 1963 (The Movement Intensifies).
This violated court's rule prohibiting public civil rights movements (The Movement Intensifies).
Birmingham Campaign started on April 3, 1963.
The history behind his words (contd.)...
Birmingham Campaign
lunch-counter sit-ins
public meetings
City Hall marches
merchants boycotts
( Birmingham Campaign (1963) )
Bull Connor's response to these "prohibited actions", included
:
arrests
high-pressure hoses
police dogs
(Bull Connor)

Bull Connor
- a segregationist politician in Birmingham, who supported segregation (Bull Connor).
High-pressure hoses were used to respond to the Birmingham Campaign.
A picture of Bull Connors, a Birmingham politician and segregationist
A threat to justice everywhere?
King is conveying why injustice in Birmingham is a threat to justice everywhere.
King is expressing his concerns on the spread of segregation, influenced by Birmingham.
Martin Luther King Jr. believed if injustice in Birmingham is not put to an end, it will spread to other cities in the United States, and to other parts of the world.
Hence, the injustice in Birmingham affects its African Americans
directly
, while affecting African Americans in other parts of the world
indirectly
...
King is also implying the reason for his presence at Birmingham - the injustice in Birmingham still affects him in Atlanta,
indirectly
.
King is stating that refusing to accept an unjust law, is an act of respecting the higher moral law.
King is indirectly debunking the clergy's assumption of him disobeying the law.
King is implying that his act of disobeying the unjust law, is actually his conveyance of respect to the (moral) law.
Hence, King is conveying that his act is moral, since it actually
respects
the law.
thank you
for watching
Works cited?
Works cited
1. "Birmingham Campaign (1963)." Birmingham Campaign (1963). Web. 18 May 2015.
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_birmingham_campaign.

2. "Bull Connor". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.

3. “The Movement Intensifies: The King Center.” The King Center, 2012.Web. June 3 2012.
http://www.thekingcenter.org/movement-intensifies.

What is King trying to say?
Full transcript