Why We Can't Wait Quotes

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Why We Can't Wait Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King Jr.
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Why We Can't Wait Quotes (showing 1-30 of 34)
“Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Find a voice in a whisper.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“The conservatives who say, "Let us not move so fast," and the extremists who say, "Let us go out and whip the world ," would tell you that they are as far apart as the poles. But there is a striking parallel: They accomplish nothing; for they do not reach the people who have a crying need to be free.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to work to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Unity has never meant uniformity.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“We did not hesitate to call our movement an army. But it was a special army, with no supplies but its sincerity, no uniform but its determination, no arsenal except its faith, no currency but its conscience.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“The words 'bad timing' came to be ghosts haunting our every move in Birmingham. Yet people who used this argument were ignorant of the background of our planning...they did not realize that it was ridiculous to speak of timing when the clock of history showed that the Negro had already suffered one hundred years of delay.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Lamentably, it is a historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Perhaps…the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“This Revolution is genuine because it was born from the same womb that always gives birth to massive social upheavals - the womb of intolerable conditions and unendurable situations.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Even today there still exists in the South--and in certain areas of the North--the license that our society allows to unjust officials who implement their authority in the name of justice to practice injustice against minorities. Where, in the days of slavery, social license and custom placed the unbridled power of the whip in the hands of overseers and masters, today--especially in the southern half of the nation--armies of officials are clothed in uniform, invested with authority, armed with the instruments of violence and death and conditioned to believe that they can intimidate, main or kill Negroes with the same recklessness that once motivated the slaveowner. If one doubts this conclusion, let him search the records and find how rarely in any southern state a police officer has been punished for abusing a Negro.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“We were all involved in the death of John Kennedy. We tolerated hate; we tolerated the sick stimulation of violence in all walks of life; and we tolerated the differential application of law, which said that a man's life was sacred only if we agreed with his views. This may explain the cascading grief that flooded the country in late November. We mourned a man who had become the pride of the nation, but we grieved as well for ourselves because we knew we were sick.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“No one can pretend that because a people may be oppressed, every individual member is virtuous and worthy.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Soon”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“The amazing aftermath of Birmingham, the sweeping Negro Revolution, revealed to people all over the land that there are no outsiders in all these fifty states of America. When a police dog buried his fangs in the ankle of a small child in Birmingham, he buried his fangs in the ankle of every American. The bell of man's inhumanity to man does not toll for any one man. It tolls for you, for me, for all of us.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Human beings with all their faults and strengths constitute the mechanism of a social movement. They must make mistakes and learn from them, make more mistakes and learn anew. They must taste defeat as well as success, and discover how to live with each. Time and action are the teachers.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“The old guard in any society resents new methods, for old guards wear the decorations and medals won by waging battle in the accepted manner.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“...The straitjackets of race prejudice and discrimination do not wear only southern labels. The subtle, psychological technique of the North has approached in its ugliness and victimization of the Negro the outright terror and open brutality of the South.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. I had hoped that the white moderate would”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“When the injunction was issued in Birmingham, our failure to obey it bewildered our opponents. They did not know what to do. We did not hide our intentions. In fact, I announced our plan to the press, pointing out that we were not anarchists advocating lawlessness, but that it was obvious to us that the courts of Alabama had misused the judicial process in order to perpetuate injustice and segregation. Consequently, we could not, in good conscience, obey their findings. I intended to be one of the first to set”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“The slaveholders of America had devised with almost scientific precision their systems for keeping the Negro defenseless, emotionally and physically.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“The Negro’s economic problem was compounded by the emergence and growth of automation. Since discrimination and lack of education confined him to unskilled and semi-skilled labor, the Negro was and remains the first to suffer in these days of great technological development.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“When a police dog buried his fangs in the ankle of a small child in Birmingham, he buried his fangs in the ankle of every American. The bell of man's inhumanity to man does not toll for any one man. It tolls for you, for me, for all of us.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait
“When, for decades, you have been able to make a man compromise his manhood by threatening him with a cruel and unjust punishment, and when suddenly he turns upon you and says: “Punish me. I do not deserve it. But because I do not deserve it, I will accept it so that the world will know that I am right and you are wrong,” you hardly know what to do. You feel defeated and secretly ashamed. You know that this man is as good a man as you are; that from some mysterious source he has found the courage and the conviction to meet physical force with soul force.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can't Wait

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