What would our nation look like in these times had Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr had survived to lead the African-American community? Instead we’ve been left with his underlings who quickly became much more liberal socially than Dr. King ever was. They also became much less forgiving of their opponents…
I contend that the cry of “black power” is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.
WALLACE: How many summers like this do you imagine that we can expect?
KING: Well, I would say this: we don’t have long. The mood of the Negro community now is one of urgency, one of saying that we aren’t going to wait. That we’ve got to have our freedom. We’ve waited too long. So that I would say that every summer we’re going to have this kind of vigorous protest. My hope is that it will be non-violent. I would hope that we can avoid riots because riots are self-defeating and socially destructive. I would hope that we can avoid riots, but that we would be as militant and as determined next summer and through the winter as we have been this summer. And I think the answer about how long it will take will depend on the federal government, on the city halls of our various cities, and on White America to a large extent. This is where we are at this point, and I think White America will determine how long it will be and which way we go in the future.
WALLACE: Even Sen. Jacob Javits asked the question recently. He said that he was a slum resident, but he and some of his fellow Jews were able to make it out of the ghetto on the lower East Side of New York. The same thing is true with lots of Irish, Italians, and he asked the question why the Negro finds it so difficult to make his own way up out of the ghetto? You did.
KING: Number one, no other racial group has been a slave on American soil. It’s nice to say other people were down and they got up. They were not slaves on American soil. The other thing is that the Negro has had high visibility, and because of the prejudices existing in this country his color has been against him. It’s been against him and they’ve used this to keep him from moving up. In the final analysis, when you say to a man that you are in this position because of your race or because of your color, you say to that man that he can never get out of it. Other racial groups have been able maybe to change their accent or to change their names, but the Negro can’t.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com