Where Do We Go from Here Quotes

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Where Do We Go from Here:  Chaos or Community? Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King Jr.
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“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look at thousands of working people displaced from their jobs with reduced incomes as a result of automation while the profits of the employers remain intact, and say: “This is not just.” It will look across the oceans and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” 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 the 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. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to schoolteachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the fires of justice. Let us be dissatisfied until they who live on the outskirts of Hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heap of history and every family will live in a decent, sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be
transformed into the bright tomorrows of quality integrated education.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Yet the average white person also has a responsibility. He has to resist the impulse to seize upon the rioter as the exclusive villain. He has to rise up with indignation against his own municipal, state and national governments to demand that the necessary reforms be instituted which alone will protect him. If he reserves his resentment only for the Negro, he will be the victim by allowing those who have the greatest culpability to evade responsibility. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. There is no other answer. Constructive social change will bring certain tranquillity; evasions will merely encourage turmoil. Negroes hold only one key to the double lock of peaceful change. The other is in the hands of the white community.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“In the days ahead we must not consider it unpatriotic to raise certain basic questions about our national character.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Freedom is not won by a passive acceptance of suffering. Freedom is won by a struggle against suffering. By this measure, Negroes have not yet paid the full price for freedom. And whites have not yet faced the full cost of justice.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Anyone leading a violent rebellion must be prepared to make an honest assessment regarding the possible casualties to a minority population confronting a well-armed, wealthy majority with a fanatical right wing that would delight in exterminating thousands of black men, women and children.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“the absence of brutality and unregenerate evil is not the presence of justice. To stay murder is not the same thing as to ordain brotherhood.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“A final victory is an accumulation of many short-term encounters. To lightly dismiss a success because it does not usher in a complete order of justice is to fail to comprehend the process of full victory. It underestimates the value of confrontation and dissolves the confidence born of partial victory by which new efforts are powered.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“First, the line of progress is never straight. For a period a movement may follow a straight line and then it encounters obstacles and the path bends. It is like curving around a mountain when you are approaching a city. Often if feels as though you were moving backwards, and you lose sight of your goal: but in fact you are moving ahead, and soon you will see the city again, closer by.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Let us be those creative dissenters who will call our beloved nation to a higher destiny, to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“This is why many liberals have fallen into the trap of seeing integration in merely aesthetic terms, where a token number of Negroes adds color to a white-dominated power structure. They say, “Our union is integrated from top to bottom, we even have one Negro on the executive board”; or “Our neighborhood is making great progress in integrated housing, we now have two Negro families”; or “Our university has no problem with integration, we have one Negro faculty member and even one Negro chairman of a department.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Truth is found neither in traditional capitalism nor in classical Communism. Each represents a partial truth. Capitalism fails to see the truth in collectivism. Communism fails to see the truth in individualism. Capitalism fails to realize that life is social. Communism fails to realize that life is personal. The good and just society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of Communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“I wept for my children and all black children who have been denied a knowledge of their heritage; I wept for all white children, who, through daily miseducation, are taught that the Negro is an irrelevant entity in American society; I wept for all the white parents and teachers who are forced to overlook the fact that the wealth of cultural and technological progress in America is a result of the commonwealth of inpouring contributions.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“The greatest blasphemy of the whole ugly process was that the white man ended up making God his partner in the exploitation of the Negro. What greater heresy has religion known? Ethical Christianity vanished and the moral nerve of religion was atrophied. This terrible distortion sullied the essential nature of Christianity.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“The Black Power advocates are disenchanted with the inconsistencies in the militaristic posture of our government. Over the past decade they have seen America applauding nonviolence whenever the Negroes have practiced it. They have watched it being praised in the sit-in movements of 1960, in the Freedom Riots of 1961, in the Albany movement of 1962, in the Birmingham movement of 1963 and in the Selma movement of 1965. But then these same black young men and women have watched as America sends black young men to burn Vietnamese with napalm, to slaughter men, women, and children; and they wonder what kind of nation it is that applauds nonviolence whenever Negroes face white people in the streets of the United State but then applauds violence and burning and death when these same Negroes are sent to the fields of Vietnam.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. I”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“White supremacy can feed their egos but not their stomachs.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“But dignity is also corroded by poverty no matter how poetically we invest the humble with simple graces and charm. No worker can maintain his morale or sustain his spirit if in the market place his capacities are declared to be worthless to society. The”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Communism is a judgment on our failure to make democracy real and to follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal opposition to poverty, racism and militarism.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“The great majority of Americans are suspended between these opposing attitudes. They are uneasy with injustice but unwilling yet to pay a significant price to eradicate it.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Often white liberals are unaware of their latent prejudices....

....Yet in spite of this latent prejudice, in spite of the hard reality that many blatant forms of injustice could not exist without the acquiescence of white liberals, the fact remains that a sound resolution of the race problem in America will rest with those white men and women who consider themselves as generous and decent human beings....Nothing can be more detrimental to the health of America at this time than for liberals to sink into a state of apathy and indifference.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“Nonviolent coercion always brings tension to the surface. This tension, however, must not be seen as destructive. There is a kind of tension that is both healthy and necessary for growth. Society needs nonviolent gadflies to bring its tensions into the open and force its citizens to confront the ugliness of their prejudices and the tragedy of their racism.

It is important for the liberal to see that the oppressed person who agitates for his rights is not the creator of tension....How strange it would be to condemn a physician who, through persistent work and the ingenuity of his medical skills, discovered cancer in a patient. Would anyone be so ignorant as to say he caused the cancer? Through the skills and discipline of direct action we reveal that there is a dangerous cancer of hatred and racism in our society. We did not cause the cancer; we merely exposed it. Only through this kind of exposure will the cancer be cured.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on….” We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
“First, it is necessary to understand that Black Power is a cry of disappointment. The Black Power slogan did not spring full grown from the head of some philosophical Zeus. It was born from the wounds of despair and disappointment. It is a cry of daily hurt and persistent pain. For centuries the Negro has been caught in the tentacles of white power. Many Negroes have given up faith in the white majority because “white power” with total control has left them empty-handed. So in reality the call for Black Power is a reaction to the failure of white power.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

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