Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt.
The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.
Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.
We must use time creatively.
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
A riot is the language of the unheard.