A Perfect Response Essay, Research Paper
A Perfect Response
The earth is round, not flat. Almost everyone knows that this is a true statement and would never deny or oppose its credibility. If a person did not conform to this view, then they would be considered incredulous simpletons by anyone who is learned. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK Jr.) was a genius that had a gift for presenting undisputed arguments that any unprejudiced and reasonable person could not rebut. His response to the criticism of eight Alabama clergymen was very effective because of his ability to present a friendly argument in a professional manner, which unquestionably undermined the criticism in an undeniable fashion.
MLK Jr. was very adamant about displaying his love for the clergymen along with his for their views. All throughout his letter he maintains a loving and kind view of the clergymen, while completely destroying their arguments. From the beginning of his letter, he states that he does not write in response to criticism, but because of the clergymen’s apparent goodwill and kind intentions, he makes an exception. This helps to make MLK Jr.’s argument very persuasive right from the start. Another example of the friendliness in his letter is the style of writing that he uses. Although he very
convincingly poisons the criticisms of the clergymen, he uses kind words that help to lessen the sting of his venomous attacks. An example is the use of the words “I hope” many times in his letter. Also, when he ends his letter, he states that he “hopes” to find all of the men in good faith and wishes to meet each of them as a loving friend, not as an integrationist or civil rights leader. MLK Jr. ends his letter signing it “Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,” yet another example of the use of friendly words to strengthen his argument (King pp. 628-641).
Along with the kindness of MLK Jr.’s letter, the professionalism of it is outstanding. The professional way in which the letter is written makes it a very convincing argument. The clergymen wrote a one-page letter that had incomplete information. MLK Jr. wrote a multipage letter that had an astounding argument that still leaves present day readers in awe of his ability to write. He uses many dexterous phrases along with irrefutable facts to cleverly persuade not only the clergymen, but also all readers.
MLK Jr. forcefully undermines the clergymen’s criticism by quoting unquestionably correct sources and also by using the clergymen’s own words against them. The Bible, Socrates, and Martin Luther are just a few of the sources quoted in his letter, which subvert any criticism of his actions. The Bible is the most potent of his sources because the clergymen are men of the church and cannot deny the Bible of its truths. Socrates and Martin Luther are both very wise and pious men that people believe.
Only a fool would argue against the greatest minds of history. This fact adds fuel to the fire of MLK Jr.’s burning argument.
From the beginning of his letter he twists and turns the words of the clergymen to his liking. The clergymen refer to MLK Jr. as an outsider. MLK Jr. subverts these words in the first paragraph of his letter, undermining the clergymen. He states that he has eighty-five affiliate organizations and that the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights is one of his affiliates, which has invited him to come to Alabama. This makes the clergymen look wrong right from the start of the letter. Another example of MLK Jr.’s ingenious use of the distortion of the clergymen’s words is when he takes their phrase “untimely and unwisely” and uses it to show that they are completely wrong yet again (King pp.628-641). He goes on to explain that he and his affiliates delayed their demonstrations for political and economic reasons. He also states that he timed the demonstrations for days that would be most effective. These statements not only show that the demonstrations were wise but also timely.
MLK Jr. was able to prove that his actions were right and that the clergymen were wrong because of his friendly, professional, and crafty style of writing. He pointed out to everyone all of the injustices suffered by his people. Americans in turn diverted their mindset toward a free nation that treated men of all colors equally. MLK Jr. was influential in creating many just laws followed today. He was also very influential in creating another truth that no one contest: All men are created equal.