They also questioned why an 'outsider' should come to Birmingham to spread an agenda.
After reading this open letter, King decided to respond to them in his own open letter, titled Letter From a Birmingham Jail.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea.
Like Gandhi, King supported the practice of non-violent civil disobedience, or passively resisting laws that are unjust.
This practice resulted in him being put in prison dozens of times.
The letter basically took a critical approach toward King's practice of non-violent civil disobedience.
The clergymen urged King and his followers to follow 'legal' means to attain their goal of racial equality.
In other words, injustice can spread, and should not be tolerated anywhere.
Interconnectedness is a central theme of this statement.