Lesser-known Martin Luther King Jr. quotes celebrate his radical politics

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/18/lesser-known-martin-luther-kin.html


It seems to me that “lukewarm indifference is far more bewildering than outright rejection” explains so very many things in the world today.


I’m deeply moved by Dr. King and his radical message. I am outraged by a graphic designer who can do no better for Dr. King than to rip off artist Barbara Kruger’s work. If Dr. King’s words mean anything, he would be reluctant to sanction such a lack of integrity. The photos with text give credit neither to Kruger or the photographers who took the pictures. Has Kruger authorizes this? Why not just rip off Shepard Fairey? The audacity!

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Anything that questions the narrative that MLK made his I have A Dream speech in 1963 and then did nothing until getting assassinated in 1968 is a good thing.


I’ve commented to a few Christians that if they don’t believe in social justice, they haven’t read the Bible.


I don’t think the FBI’s attempt to get him to commit suicide fits into the narrative of him not making whites feel uncomfortable.


i’m sorry i’m not celebrating dr. king the way you want me to. but really, these days i’m really just happy we get to celebrate him at all.

To best understand your words without the benefit of body language or verbal nuance, are you speaking seriously?

Working the Barbara Kruger look.

Agree 100% with MLK dissing the white moderate as worse than useless. There is nothing more frustrating than having a moderate or centrist representing you in the face of outrageous behaviors from whatever “authority” is cracking down on you that day. That’s how things get out of hand. Beware the moderates and appeasers.

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Here are some quotes I’ve found to quote at colorblind reactionaries who only know that one excerpt from the I have a dream speech.

“A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro.”

“A section of the white population, perceiving Negro pressure for change, misconstrues it as a demand for privileges rather than as a desperate quest for existence. The ensuing white backlash intimidates government officials who are already too timorous.”

A Testament of Hope (anthology)

The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity.”

Where Do We Go From Here, 1967

It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.

— Sunday morning sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

And for those who think his non-violence was anything more than a strategy and that he did not sympathize with those like Malcolm X:

“If they continue to use our nonviolence as a cushion for complacency, the wrath of those suffering a long train of abuses will rise.”

— The Progressive, 1966 Issue

“Riot is the language of the unheard”

— 60 Minutes Interview, 1966


The problem with pull quotes is often times their meanings change with context. And also people like MLK had evolutions in thoughts. That is, what they said at one point might be different or changed 10 years later.

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