Bigotry- the prejudice that is embedded in our veins and then cycled through our actions, thoughts, and ideas without a second notion. Negro. Wetback. Cracker. Dink. Terrorist. All derogatory racial terms that hold a sting of pain and ache of racism to those whom they refer to. But to the majority, they are indirect references to overtly unjust oppression.
Throughout history pioneers of open love and complete understanding have forfeited lives of solitude for the fight of freedom. Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Aoki, W.E. Dubois are only few of the thousand that have left behind an footprint for us to follow. Yet there is one who has roused attention to a much neglected minority, and has not only influenced the African American community but others, even till this very day. Martin Luther King Jr. has led a nation through the darkest of storms in the hopes of finding harmony amongst genders, ethnicities, sexual preferences, and religions. Speech after speech he established a voice of wisdom and intelligence for the unspoken generation, especially with the “Birmingham Speech.”
While critically refuting all accusations, Martin Luther King Jr. argues against the clergymen, his colleagues of God, to defend direct nonviolent action and the healing properties of such. Yet the clergymen are not the ones who have mulled over the letter’s meaning. Decades of the shaken, the fearful, the persecuted are the listeners of such a profound message. And as of this moment, the Communist Party of China has instilled an inferiority within its societies’ psyche. As scholars begin to notice the falsities with a communist government, they wish to morph it. Chinese students have then analyzed any sort of documentation that may provide direction in their quest, and the “Birmingham Speech” is one. But why is a speech, written in the 1960s, being applied to problems in this day and age? Why does it transcend through time, space, culture, and language? What makes it that “special”?
A heart that desires a brighter day or a silver lining is also desiring a better tomorrow, one of sanctity, compassion, and happiness. As a mother, you wish for your child to attend a school without a bully. As a teenager, you wish to have the freedom to express individuality. But as a human, you wish for a life beyond worth and about acceptance. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the fact that his overall mission is to be able to break free from the binds of inequality and bask in justice. His goodwill for the faith of humanity trumps all doubts and fears. To “live in monologue rather than dialogue” brings about a vision of negotiation, and soon compromise. Since all progression in societal values and social norms stems from a two-way give and take. Many countries who do not express the same sentiment, like China or Syria, have those who can relate to a text about submission and the resonating effects that last for a lifetime.
A mind sways once a methodical evidence is discovered. To create a great sense of understanding and knowledge, one must deconstruct historical events to find inconsistencies in the opposing argument. In return, it validates one’s own consistency and credibility as, in this case, a victim of prejudice in the 1960’s till the recent day. Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrates forensic logic within the speech by referencing to World War II, a time period forever studied on a worldwide scope. The Nazi Party constructed a set of laws under the advisement of one Adolf Hitler, which included heinous acts of gas chambers and human experiments. But since those actions were considered “legal”, it does not make them moral or just. Rather, it makes it more psychotic when banking on extreme hypocrisy and strong power to fulfill one’s wishes. By divulging such a disgusting truth, Martin Luther King Jr. claims that a government does not always have the best intentions in mind for their people. Instead, they are accomplishing their own selfish dreams of superiority and control. Till this day, the struggle between goodwill and personal gain is prevalent. To those who justify these actions of mass prejudice, the “Birmingham Speech” shows that there is a difference with just and unjust laws. And that it is not the fault of the person being persecuted, but the ones who forbid such freedoms to be played.
Emotion’s ying is to logic’s yang as they play with the heart as well as the mind. But once the two blend, it forms a text that many connect to, even if it is an implied relation. Such as how the protesters of “Occupy Wall Street” and the fighters of women’s rights are taking their reflection they may see, and applying it to their own lives. The moment where other can see themselves within a piece, it is history in the making.