Struggling Against Criticism and Opposition

This week’s readings included a particularly eloquent and fascinating writing by Martin Luther King Jr. In this chapter, Martin Luther King Jr. responds to an analysis made by another group of individuals. He speaks clearly and efficiently answers the questions or elaborates on the topics he means to discuss. One particularly interesting passage is his reasoning for coming to protest in Birmingham. He writes, “But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here… 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, affects all indirectly…” (Sernett 520). King does not appear to grow angry at the analysis to which he is responding, instead answering calmly and thoroughly. He explains that he is there not as a invasion of privacy or an imposition, but because he is there to stop the injustice. I cannot imagine how must patience and strength it must have required of him, to carry on despite all of his opposition. As he says, “If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work.” (Sernett 519-520). I always struggle, in the face of criticism, to carry on with a positive attitude and focus on improving. Martin Luther King Jr. faced unimaginable amounts of criticism and opposition and managed to keep striving for a better future, which I find incredibly inspiring.


Another quote I found eye-catching was the quote, “As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us.” (Sernett 521). I think many people have had the some occurrence of false hope, in which a bit of hope or joy was offered, then rescinded. I think everyone can empathize then to a certain degree, but few can truly understand what this moment must have been like. To have made progress, or at least to think that progress had been made, on so important an issue then to have it be stolen from you shortly after must be so heart-breaking, and I cannot imagine the courage and perseverance it must have taken each person involved in the struggle to make a change to carry on and continue to pursue justice.

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