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We’re going there to engage in powerful nonviolent direct action to demand, to bring into being an attention-getting dramatic movement, which will make it impossible for the nation to overlook these demands. People ask me, “Suppose you go to Washington and you don’t get anything?” You ask people and you mobilize and you organize, and you don’t get anything. My only answer is that when you stand up for justice, you can never fail.
I told him that I had been ﬁghting too long and too hard now against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concerns.
And the fact is that justice is indivisible; injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And I say that if we will stand and work together, we will bring into being that day when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. All material copyright © Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr.; all material copyright renewed © Coretta Scott King and the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr.
And probably the most critical problem in the other America is the economic problem. The fact is that the black man in the United States of America is facing a literal depression. When there is massive unemployment in the black community, it’s called a social problem. For in the ﬁnal analysis, the riot is the language of the unheard. It’s failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.
By the millions, people in the other America ﬁnd themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. But when there is massive unemployment in the white community, it’s called a depression. Somewhere they will come to see that person working in the hospital—even if he happens to be a janitor in the hospital—he is in the ﬁnal analysis as signiﬁcant as the physician, because if he doesn’t do his job, germs can develop, which can be as injurious to the patient as anybody else. It has failed to hear that the promises of justice and freedom have not been met.
The fact is that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor.
It must be demanded by the oppressed—that’s the long, sometimes tragic and turbulent story of history.
You can read it in full in *** There are times, and I must confess it very honestly as many of us have to confess it as we look at contemporary developments, that I’m often disenchanted with some segments of the power structure of the labor movement. and the feeling that there are some unions left that will always maintain the radiant and vibrant idealism that brought the labor movement into being.
But in these moments of disenchantment, I begin to think of unions like Local 1199 and it gives me renewed courage and vigor to carry on . And I would suggest that if all of labor would emulate what you have been doing over the years, our nation would be closer to victory in the ﬁght to eliminate poverty and injustice. and I want to deal with all of this by using as my subject tonight “The Other America.” And I use this subject because there are literally two Americas.
You see, no labor is really menial unless you’re not getting adequate wages. ~~~ The problem with a riot is that it can always be halted by superior force, so I couldn’t advise that.
On the other hand, I couldn’t advise following a path of Martin Luther King just sitting around signing statements, and writing articles condemning the rioters, or engaging in a process of timid supplications for justice.