I can't believe I forgot to give a shout-out to Martin Luther King yesterday. Whenever I read his writing, I am amazed by how fresh, relevant, and radical it still is. I think he's one of the smartest people who ever lived, and he is one of my personal heroes (yeah, I know that that is not really original). Happy birthday.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
I am aware that there are many who wince at a distinction between property and persons--who hold both sacrosanct. My views are not so rigid. A life is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man.
Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.
When we ask Negroes to abide by the law, let us also declare that the white man does not abide by law in the ghettos. Day in and day out he violates welfare laws to deprive the poor of their meager allotments; he flagrantly violates building codes and regulations; his police make a mockery of law; he violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions of civilservices. The slums are the handiwork of a vicious system of the white society; Negroes live in them, but they do not make them, any more than a prisoner makes a prison.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.