Letter from Birmingham City Jail

by Martin Luther King Jr.
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In "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," how does King deal with the argument that civil rights activists are too impatient?

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In "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," King says that those who call civil rights activists "impatient" are guilty of "paternalistically" believing that they have the right to control the freedom of other people.  King says that clergymen have urged him to "wait" for a better time to stage nonviolent protests; however, King says that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."  In the letter, King goes on to outline the history of injustice inflicted on black people in America:  he says that black people have been waiting for more than 340 years for justice.  Then, King goes on to offer personal examples of the discrimination he endures daily such as being refused service at motels and having to explain discrimination to his children.  King makes this appeal to give the clergymen concrete reasons that negate the claim that he and other civil rights activists are being "impatient."  Basically, King argues that black people in America have waited long enough.

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