“All of us are on trial in this troubled hour.”
–MLK Jr. (1968)
King on police brutality:
“We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” –MLK, Aug. 28, 1963
“The white man does not abide by the law… His police forces are the ultimate mockery of law.” –MLK (1968) #ReclaimMLK
“We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity.” –MLK, Aug. 28, 1963
“We have got to go all out to deal with the question of segregation justice. We still have a long, long, way to go.” –MLK (1965)
“How long will justice be crucified and truth buried, how long?” –Martin Luther King Jr. (1962)
“Wounded justice lying prostrate on the streets of our cities.” –Martin Luther King Jr. (1962)
“The beating and killing of our… young people will not divert us. The arrest and release of known murderers will not discourage us.” MLK
“When we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people … we won’t kill anybody.” –MLK (1968)
“I believe that the dignity & the worth of human personality will be respected one day. I believe this and I live by it.” -MLK (1964)
King on confronting systemic racism:
“The first thing that must be on the agenda of our nation is to get rid of racism.” –MLK Jr. (1968)
“The thing wrong with America is white racism.” –Martin Luther King Jr. (1968) #ReclaimMLK
“Large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility & the status quo than about justice & humanity.” MLK
“However difficult it is to hear, however shocking it is to hear, we’ve got to face the fact that America is a racist country.” MLK (1968)
“Racism is a philosophy based on contempt for life.” -MLK Jr. (1967)
“We must come to see that the roots of racism are very deep in our country.” –MLK Jr.
“There must be something positive & massive in order to get rid of all the effects of racism & the tragedies of racial injustice.” –MLK
“White America has allowed itself to be indifferent to race prejudice.” –MLK (1968)
“I am sorry to have to say that the vast majority of white Americans are racists, either consciously or unconsciously.” MLK (1967)
1/2: "The doctrine of white supremacy was imbedded in every textbook and preached in practically every pulpit…" MLK
2/2: "… It became a structural part of the culture." –Martin Luther King Jr. on white supremacy (1967)
“The great majority of Americans… are uneasy with injustice but unwilling yet to pay a significant price to eradicate it.”
“There aren’t enough white persons in our country who are willing to cherish democratic principles over privilege.” –MLK Jr.
King on the importance of direct action and civil disobedience:
“The blanket of fear was lifted by Negro youth. When they took their struggle to the streets a new spirit of resistance was born.” -MLK
“When [Black youth] cheerfully became jailbirds & troublemakers… they challenged & inspired white youth to emulate them.” –MLK
“We have, through massive non-violent action, an opportunity to avoid a national disaster & create a new spirit of class & racial harmony.”
“I’ve just come to a conclusion that our country doesn’t really move on these issues until a movement is mobilized.” #MLK (1968)
“I’m talking about poor people’s power. That is what is needed.” –MLK Jr. (1968)
“Everyof humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits [his or her] convictions, but we must all protest.” –#MLK
“There must be more than a statement to the larger society; there must be a force that interrupts its functioning at some key point.” #MLK
“Non-violent protest must now mature to a new level… The higher level is mass civil disobedience.” –MLK (1967)
“Our power lies in our ability to say nonviolently that we aren’t gonna take it any longer.” –MLK (1967) #ReclaimMLK
“I’m worried today when there are those who try to silence dissenters.” –MLK Jr.
“We aren’t going to let this attempt to crush dissent turn us around.” –Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)
“Our experience is that marches must continue over 30-45 days to produce any meaningful results.” MLK
“I believe in dissent. We must never lose this.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
“The greatness of our nation–and I don’t want to see us lose it–is that… it does keep alive the opportunity to protest and dissent.” MLK
King on economic justice and ending poverty:
“The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
1/2: “The nation doesn’t move around questions of genuine equality for the poor and for black people…”
2/2: “… until it is confronted massively, dramatically in terms of direct action.” –MLK Jr.
“Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
“In the final analysis, the rich must not ignore the poor because both rich and poor are tied together.” -MLK
“I choose to identify with the poor…. This is the way I’m going. If it means suffering a little bit, I’m going that way.” #MLK (1966)
“I think it is absolutely necessary now to deal massively and militantly with the economic problem.” –MLK, 10 days before assassination
“I still have to ask, why do you have 40 million people in our society who are poor? I have to ask that question.” –#MLK (1966)
“Poverty, the gaps in our society, the gulfs between inordinate superfluous wealth & abject deadening poverty have brought about… despair”
“There’s going to have to be more sharing in this world.” –Martin Luther King Jr. (1967)
King on the question of “riots”
“Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. There is no other answer.” –#MLK (1967)
“Riots are not the causes of white resistance, they are consequences of it.” –#MLK (1967)
“There are many persons who wince at a distinction between property & persons—who hold both sacrosanct. My views are not so rigid.” –#MLK
“Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper.” –MLK Jr.
“It is clear that the riots were exacerbated by police action that was intended to injure or even to kill people.” –#MLK (1968)
“Our summers of riots are caused by winters of delay.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
King on interconnection and linking issues and movements:
"It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated.” –MLK #ReclaimMLK
“The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes…” (1/2) –MLK
(2/2) “… It is, rather, forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws: racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism.” –MLK (1968)
“Local problems are all interconnected with world problems.” –Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)
“I’m still convinced that the struggle for peace and the struggle for justice… happen to be tied together.” –#MLK (1968)
“We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” –MLK
Drew Dellinger © 2016