1. ) Facts a. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than any other cit in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. b. Lamentable, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileged voluntary. 2. ) Reference to Authority c. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis.
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal”. It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. e. Was not Jesus an extremist for love, was not Amos an extremist for justice, was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel, was not Martin Luther and extremist. 3. ) Concrete examples f. Then, last September, came the opportunity ti talk with leaders of Birmingham’s economic community.
In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants—for example, to remove the stores’ humiliating racial signs. g. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. 4. ) Anticipating consequences h. 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, effects all indirectly. 5. ) Refutation i. You deplore the somonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure tat none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals j. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me.
You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence”. I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would do quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you wee to watch them push ad curse of Negro women and young Negro girls; if you ere to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys