You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham.
But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.
There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers.
Birmingham Campaign 1963 Essay Introduction Of A Term Paper
But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.
Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates.
Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary.
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.
But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.