“A Riot is the Language of the Unheard”

Martin Luther King, Stanford University speech, 1967

…Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention…

– Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

This entry was posted in activism, equity, justice, politics, social justice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “A Riot is the Language of the Unheard”

  1. mhorvich says:

    Heavy-hearted. Wasn’t gone just a little more transparent for a while with COVID 19. False sense of security!

  2. ellen S simon says:

    MLK’s speech was so eloquent. No need to add anything.

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