John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
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Ten random things: August 28

Ten Martin Luther King Jr. quotations:

  1. Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time — the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts… Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1964
     
  2. This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. Speech at Riverside Church in New York City, 1967
     
  3. In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963
     
  4. As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1967
     
  5. The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.... The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. "Strength to Love," 1963
     
  6. We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. ...And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity. Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, 1968
     
  7. A riot is the language of the unheard. Address given in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963
     
  8. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together. Speech in Memphis, Tennessee, 1968
     
  9. Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated. Stride Toward Freedom: the Montgomery Story, 1958
     
  10. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. Address at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, at which The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech that would later be recognized as the top American speech of the 20th century. Read it or listen to it and see if you agree.

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