So today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States and so I thought maybe I would post my ethics rubric from this semesters course.
In response to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from Birmingham Jail, I will share of few of my thoughts on the letter. In a time when racial injustice was commonplace in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gives us an opportunity to see how a negative concept can be reformed into an ideal of positive growth and a catalyst for progress. The ideal for Dr. King’s proposal was not one to do with the bounds of some lesser law of the land. The ideal was much greater than that. It didn’t have as much to do about the differences between skin color or social standing or position. It had everything to do with a higher moral law. A law not of man, but of mankind. A law of humanity. This was the ideal that Dr. King Jr. was trying to convey. An ideal that superseded the fickle and wavering law of man. It is the law that preserves us all. The natural law. The law that every human being on this planet is born into this world in the same fashion; that every soul is born free. Dr. King Jr. speaks to those who would have his demonstration discontinued. He writes not because his words may be profound or because he feels he has something to gain by doing so. No, Dr. King Jr. writes this letter because it is necessary not only for the oppressed in his time but for the oppressed at all times. He writes this letter because in so doing he will invoke the reason and logic in the minds of those who cannot fight the urge to heed it. It is one thing for a man to hold on to ideas that may be in thought and word convincing, it is another to hold on to those ideals because the demonstration of them produces positive results in a tangible way. Dr. King Jr.’s letter is read today because of those ideals because those ideals yesterday and today still ring true. That mankind must listen to freedoms ring. That all those who strive to fulfill the American dream should know that it is rooted in freedom, dressed with the scars of the triumphant oppressed and honored with the stripes of the same red blood that flows through the veins of every human being on the planet. Justice is blind it sees no color, race, creed, sexuality or social status. Justice delivers its blow to the just and the unjust alike. There is no escaping its infallibility as it conducts its actions against the moral code. Dr. King Jr. spoke of how to obey an unjust law is a sin and to disobey an unjust law was our duty. To this ideal, I feel his letter gives us the magnitude of his words that should we be willing to uphold unjust laws for the sake of an “evil peace” than we are no better than those who condone the unjust law’s creation.