“We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
“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.
“The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act it is an attitude.
“We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.
“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'
“The question is no longer between violence and non-violence it is between non-violence and non-existence.
“If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, There lived a great people-a black people-who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.
“Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.
“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.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
United States charismatic civil rights leader and Baptist minister who campaigned against the segregation of Blacks (1929-1968)
“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
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