Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Creator of the ‘I Have a Dream and owner of an extraordinary Ph.D. from Boston University, in the Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963) was to address criticisms directed against him by individuals who unarguably should have known better during the times of discrimination. Dr. King used historic information, pathos, ethos, and logos. Dr. King writes this letter to his eight fellow clergymen and the apathetic people of the United States after a nonviolent racial protest. Dr. King illustrates why he felt disrespected by the unjust treatment he faces because of the color of his skin and wished to be treated equally. He uses logical statements, pathological statements, and ethological statements to describe his arguments in the letter. Dr. King felt disrespected by the unjust treatment he faces because of the color of his skin and wished to be treated equally. Dr. King primarily describes the agony of African American people who must live in a racist society.
Dr. King uses this statement as one of the many emotional appeals (Pathos) ‘We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressor.” During times of discrimination and segregation, colored people had to fight mentally and physically for what they needed. They also had to fight to get what they deserved. The period of segregation and discrimination were times that colored people were human beings but getting treated like they were animals or items that white people could just walk over. The blacks couldn’t even stand up for themselves without being thrown in jail or beaten by white people including the police. ‘When… find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no one will accept you… hunted by night by the fact that you are a negro.” ‘When you suddenly find yourself tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that had just been advertised on television and see tears swelling up in her eyes when she is told that funk town is closed to colored children.” It wasn’t fair that the color of your skin determines where you eat, sleep, drink, work, play and even use the restroom. It was humiliating and a bad picture for the younger black children growing up to have this animosity towards white people and living in an ‘airtight cage of poverty amid an affluent society.”
Dr. King used this statement as an appeal to logic in his letter. ‘We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights.” Colored people have been through unimaginable pain which involved slavery throughout time. When slavery was abolished colored people were supposed to be treated ‘the same but then segregation came along. Segregation was a racial condition of inequality that was going to last until someone made a change. Martin Luther King wanted everyone to have equal rights with the white community, he wanted to let them know everyone was equal and not different he wanted everyone to know that we were brothers and sisters in Christ, and we need to love each other equally.
Lastly, Dr. King uses an ethological appeal, which states ‘I am in the rather unique position the son, the grandson, and the great-grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists’’. Blacks not necessarily believed but knew whatever a white person could do mentally and physically without privilege they were the same just different skin color. Throughout time blacks have been through a lot to get to where they are but it still wasn’t enough. But they were still going to fight with Dr. King to get what they proudly deserved and what the Future kids’, doctors, teachers, pastors, etc. proudly deserved.