It thought that the 1 st amendment protected the

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vital concept to democracy even when is discussed non-governmental affairs. It thought that the 1 st Amendment protected the press from legal scrutiny. -This decision allowed the press to go too far, to corruption – unchecked assault was inflicted by the press on its citizens -The majority that thought the press should be protected were afraid to check its power due to the “Chilling Effects Doctrine.” Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail , April, 1963. -based in civil disobedience, Christian moral/religious belief, and the free/democratic nature of the ideals of American society justifies the very actions that resulted in his imprisonment and brings his rationale and purpose to national conscience in order to combat inequality and the widespread disregard for freedom. -at the time of his imprisonment, King was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. he was in Birmingham as a result of requests from organizational ties to support a non-violent, direct-action demonstration. -explains that his travel to Alabama was a result of his moral obligation to carry the gospel of freedom to wherever injustice existed. (relates his journey to that of the Apostle Paul) -“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -“What affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (concerning injustice against blacks) -King’s rationale, principles, and sense of morality were informed and shaped by his religious background and beliefs. this is a recurring thematic motif throughout his letter. -claims that Birmingham’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative but to demonstrate. he outlines the thought process below which was carried out to establish the lack of alternatives and to justify the demonstrations. -four steps in nonviolent campaigns: -determination of whether injustices exist based on facts. (ex: gross untreatment of Negroes in courts, large number of unsolved bombings of homes/churches) -negotiation -self-purification (held workshops on nonviolence before demonstrations) -direct action (sit-ins, marches, etc.) -verbal negotiations and agreements with leaders of the city’s economic community preceded direct action. (like promises to remove humiliating racial signs in stores) King’s organizations resorted to direct action only after these proved unsuccessful. -while King stresses the urgency of confronting injustice, he exercised patience in implementing direct action. he strategically planned demonstrations during a major
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consumer shopping period in the year (the Easter season), deliberately timing his program to pressure city merchants into change. -purpose of nonviolent direct action: to create such crisis and constructive, nonviolent tension that a community unwilling to seriously negotiate is forced to confront the issues at hand; to dramatize the issue so that it cannot be ignored any longer. this nonviolent tension helps society to grow out of prejudice and racism into understanding and brotherhood.
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