Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.
"A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions....Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.