Freedom of speech is useless without freedom of thought. And I fear that the politics of protest is shutting out the process of thought, so necessary to rational discussion. We are faced with the Ten Commandments of Protest:Thou Shalt Not Allow Thy Opponent to Speak. Thou Shalt Not Set Forth a Program of Thine Own. Thou Shalt Not Trust Anybody Over Thirty. Thou Shalt Not Honor Thy Father or Thy Mother. Thou Shalt Not Heed the Lessons of History. Thou Shalt Not Write Anything Longer than a Slogan. Thou Shalt Not Present a Negotiable Demand. Thou Shalt Not Accept Any Establishment Idea. Thou Shalt Not Revere Any but Totalitarian Heroes. Thou Shalt Not Ask Forgiveness for Thy Transgressions, Rather Thou Shalt Demand Amnesty for Them.
I am old enough to know that victory is often a thing deferred, and rarely at the summit of courage... What is at the summit of courage, I think, is freedom. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that no earthly think can break you.
I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself. My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice who constantly says 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action' who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for someone else's freedom who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a 'more convenient season.'