News Release

Dr. King: Beyond the Dreamer


Quotes from speeches and sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr.
(full texts available at

From “The Drum Major Instinct”: Nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. “I must be first.” “I must be supreme.” “Our nation must rule the world.” And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit.

From “The Most Durable Power”: If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.’s_letter_to_American_Christians.html

From “Where Do We Go From Here?”: And a nation that will exploit economically will have to have foreign investments and everything else, and it will have to use its military might to protect them.

From “The Casualties of the War in Vietnam”: While the anti-poverty program is cautiously initiated, zealously supervised and valuated for immediate results, billions are liberally expended for this ill-considered war…. Curtailment of free speech is rationalized on grounds that a more compelling American tradition forbids criticism of the government when the nation is at war…. Nothing can be more destructive of our fundamental democratic traditions than the vicious effort to silence dissenters.

From “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”: There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right. I believe today that there is a need for all people of goodwill to come with a massive act of conscience and say in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “We ain’t goin’ study war no more.”

From “Beyond Vietnam”: I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.

Pastor at the Plymouth Congregational Church UCC, Hagler said today: “MLK has been reduced to a Hallmark card…. But the reality is, his prophetic stand is alive and needed now more than ever.”

Cash is the chair of the Montgomery Transportation Coalition in Alabama. Cooler is the organizer for the group and is recipient of this year’s King Spirit Award.

CHERI HONKALA, via James Pfluecke
Honkala is director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union which, in the tradition of the Poor People’s March that King organized near the end of his life, is helping to coordinate a “March for Our Lives” on Feb. 8 at the Winter Olympics for the rights of poor people.
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Smith is coordinator of Black Voices for Peace, which is holding events on Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; Norman Solomon, (415) 552-5378