Monday, January 27, 2014

Taking Freedom

World Analysis
       In Kolvenbach’s “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” the goal of Jesuit commitment of faith and justice were very poignant. He states that faith is not about a pushing but rather a proposal of a relationship with God. Where a proposal is more passive, the ideals on justice are not. Justice must be an active pursuit and not a thought or an imaginary concept. 
Kolvenbach says the Jesuit commitment of faith is, “Not to impose our religion on others, but rather propose Jesus and his message of God’s kingdom in a spirit of love to everyone.” When a man proposes there is a pregnant silence in which his fate can turn in the direction of life commitment, or a broken heart. Kolvenbach seems to represent that the Jesuits are in a constant balance with that frozen moment, not taking someone’s ability to choose, but revealing themselves wholly and hoping people accept them. 
While in attendance at a Jesuit college in Washington the idea of acceptance of Jesus had a interesting history. The school was built with the express allowance of the Spokane Tribe that inhabited the land. The Jesuits built the school to educate and hopefully one day convert the Native Americans to their way of life. Their seduction of the tribe was not one of traditional conquering, though as history usually goes some advantage was taken of the tribe, it still goes with Jesuit ideal of faith as a allurement rather than forceful.
The college also had a Native American house and club. Many people did not know it was even there. Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham jail” made a point that freedom will not be given to those who do not take it. And awareness of the Native American population would not be made known without the determination of one girl who took me under her wing. With her determination and leadership she took the opportunity to raise awareness of the Native American history and continual treatment in the world. She was given the opportunity to find justice by the Jesuit campus but nothing was being done with the power the group was given without any action being taken. 

Literary Analysis 
       The voice is very interesting that Dr. King uses in “Birmingham Jail”. King writes as if he is having a direct conversation with the naysayers of his movement, it is just as if a letter had would be written. It is very similar to “The Adventures of Huck Finn” Mark Twain uses the vernacular of the day to make some interesting commentary on societies view on race. King opens the dialogue with his current position, sitting in a jail for his nonviolent demonstrations against segregation, and goes on to defend his position. He then closes again with a humble admission that his simple, yet lengthy letter might take up too much time, but his attitude and seemingly sarcastic remarks show evidence that his casual writing is effective in demonstrating how poignant his points are. 
Two claims made against him were that his demonstrations were “unwise and untimely.” He paints a picture of African Americans being degraded to objects rather than humans. With his words he draws men and women growing more vocally discomforted by the conditions in which they live. His claims of a willing audience he has tried to appease from growing violently unrestful with negotiations and hope of change. But all promises of a politically charged change have been betrayed by the white men in charge. He explains to his doubters that he is not unwise in his actions, his lengthy patience has just come to an end. He writes plainly, “..but I would say in more emphatic terms that it is even more unfortunate that the white power structure of this city has left Negro community with no other alternative.” He knows that the African American freedom will not be willingly handed to them, that they must take actions upon themselves to achieve their goals.
With a call to action it seems that King would move his followers immediately, yet he explains that great precision was taken in the choosing of the date for the demonstration; in fact the date was moved several times. But it did have to occur, they waited until after the elections and moved before the new administration could enact any of their plans. His reasoning was that he was there for a pre-emptive strike. People could not just wait for change to happen, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” King gives valid reasoning for his choices of the demonstration. 
King may seem relatively unrelated to a children’s tale of adventure by Twain, but it is the simplicity and frankness which King speaks connects the two. King speaks directly to his audience, wanting to reasonably explain his actions. Twain uses plain language to express a real condition of the idea of freedom. King writes in a prison while Twain places Jim in a prison, but it is revealed that both men live in a society that is in fact the real prison. King cannot overcome the social injustices in which he lives. And though Jim is considered free he is chained by society. He could have escaped the shack he was being held in several times over, and in fact left it to help Huck and Tom move a rock, but he always had to return. They are both placed in prisons they cannot escape. It is not until Jim takes his own freedom and gives it up to help Tom Sawyer, it is the moment where he is in complete control of his freedom. The same goes for Dr. King, he will not be free until he makes the decision to take his own life and give up his freedom, to be jailed, for the pursuit of a true freedom. 

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