Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
The sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.
The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.
We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the postive affirmation of peace.
We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
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.
Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt.
A riot is the language of the unheard.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.