A Letter From Birmingham Jail: An Outsider In The U.S. Essay, Research Paper
Outsider in the U.S. Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay, A Letter From Birmingham Jail has become a classic for good reason. Martin Luther King was an excellent writer and speaker, appealing not only to the logical side of most people, but also to their emotional side. He was an intelligent man, keeping up with all the current events of not only the nation but the world, and was well read in issues of the past. What he said and wrote came from deep inside him and was influenced by his belief in God and Jesus Christ. His essay took his knowledge and his talents of persuasion, and summed up what he was working for and what he believed in. When he stated, “Anyone who lives inside the U.S. can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds…” he was saying that Americans are people made up of many cultures and backgrounds. He was celebrating America’s diversity, which makes the United States such a wonderful place to live. He would be ashamed and sorrowful if he saw how citizens of The United States treated each other today. If we had to take a million immigrants in, say, Zulus, next year, or Englishmen, and put them in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate? Patrick Buchanan is outspoken on many subjects, immigration is one of them. Buchanan believes that there should be a 200 mile fence built along the U.S. Mexican border, and that Congress should pass a five-year moratorium on legal immigration. He also feels that an Executive Order should be signed which would abolish federally mandated minority programs and affirmative-action plans, plans that were put in place during the Civil Rights Movement which King helped to lead. Buchanan is the same man who stated that women were “simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed.” Yet, if he becomes President he will re-instate prayer and Bible study classes because he believes that family values and morals are non-existent in American society today. Is this guy for real? What happened to equality? How can someone be religious and still go around declaring that some people are better then others? Supposedly our country was to have gotten rid of all its racists notions during the 60’s and the 70’s. Apparently not. Buchanan is creating outsiders within the U.S. Measure 9 and Measure 13, measures, had they been passed, would have caused discrimination on a public scale, legal in Oregon. It would have isolated gays and lesbians as freakish groups who live their lives differently then the main stream, and therefore should be punished for their uniqueness. The founders of these measures, Lon Maybon and the Oregon Citizens Alliance, are so determined to pass such a measure that they are thinking of putting a third measure on the ballot next November. The OCA believes that they have the right to declare homosexuals as dirty people because it says so in the Bible. That, because they have intercourse with members of their own sex, homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children, or to become legally married. That God has damned them for eternity and that they should be treated accordingly. The OCA is creating outsiders within the U.S. The Crips and the Bloods are two widely known gangs in America. They are centered in the Los Angeles area, but they have groups all across the United States in nearly every city. The Crips and the Bloods are only two of hundreds of growing gangs that are surfacing nation wide. The gangs are prominently located in the inner-cities, the poorer areas of large cities. The gangs play on the idea that they are a family. If anyone attacks my brother, then I’m here to fight back for him. Occasionally, they kill an innocent bystander or two. The kids (Kids they are. Gangs have been known to recruit children between the ages of 10 and 13.) that become members commonly have problems at home, abuse or neglect are prevalent. They feel that the only place left to turn is to the streets, and to the brotherhood of the gangs. Gangs are commonly associated with drugs and violence, for good reason. They attack each other for violation of territory and for interference in each others business, causing a vicious circle of revenge. The result of this violence is fear and anger felt by their victims and neighborhoods. It also leads to a separation between the inner-cities and the suburbs, and stereotyping of whites to blacks. When people think of gangs, they think of inner-city young black males with sawed-off shotguns and drugs. Gangs are tearing apart our communities and our nation. Gangs are creating outsiders within the U.S. G. Gordon Liddy, the Watergate showman-convict and host of the nation’s second most widely heard radio talk show, told his listeners that if federal agents invade their homes, they should shoot at their heads because of the agents’ protective vests….he reconsidered. The head is too hard to hit. ‘So you shoot twice to the body…center of mass. And if that does not work, then shoot to the groin area.’ Time Magazine. May 8, 1995. p.45 The Oklahoma bombing last May brought to light the idea of terrorists within the United States. Many people wondered how a fellow American could kill hundreds of innocent people just because of where they worked, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. To other Americans it came as no surprise, some even said that it was about time retaliation came for the 70 Davidians who died in Waco, Texas at the hands of the FBI and the ATF in 1993. Located throughout the United States, Survivalists, Patriots, Militias and other groups such as the Aryan Nation, the Christian Identity, the Posse Comitatus, and Wise Use all have a common bond, the United States government is out to get them and the first thing that it will take will be their Second Amendment right, the right the bear arms. What each group has done about this government threat is what separates them. Some have started their own militias, these groups are arming themselves to defend the Constitution, which they believe is being threatened by the government. Others simply talk about what they believe, either over local access stations, short wave radios, or nationally brodcasted AM radio shows, and TV stations. Mark Koernke and G. Gordon Liddy are classic examples. These people seem to make concerned people, concerned about water- and land-use policies, concerned about NAFTA and GATT as causes for lost jobs, concerned about the United Nations and the United States role in world-wide affairs, angry and afraid. There are militia groups who believe that the government has installed electronic devices in car ignitions to stall autos on the day the new world takes over, and that the U.N. plans to conquer the U.S. using the National Guard and L.A. gangs to disarm the public. These people are adamant about getting their points across and do so in any way they can, Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building so that his point would be heard. Militant militias and people overly paranoid about the government are creating outsiders within the U.S. Random acts of violence happen every day. A few women are raped, people are killed, someone is beaten. People are fearful of a person they see walking down the street. It is now a matter of personal safety not to help someone who is stranded alongside the road, you just do not know. Citizens of large cities, and even smaller sized communities, keep their doors locked at all times and talk to people through chains and bolts. What happened to the friendliness of the 50’s where doors did not have to be locked, and people trusted each other? Fear seems to control the American life, all because of random acts of violence? It is shown in recent studies that more people will be killed by someone they have never met before then ever before. Random acts of violence are creating outsiders within the U.S. Martin Luther King Jr’s goals of equality among all people has been met, to some extent. There is still hatred held by some, and fear, which fuels hatred, by others. When King spoke those words, “Anyone who lives inside the U.S. can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds,” he knew nothing about people like Buchanan and Liddy, the OCA or the Crips. What we need today is a modern day King, one who can unite us all and make sure that there really are no outsiders within the U.S.