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A Time Comes When Silence Is Betrayal

based on a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967

The calling to speak is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision. But we must speak. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls "enemy". For no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers. There will be no meaningful solution until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. A true revolution of values will say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate, or bow before the altar of retaliation. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who posses power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves in the long and bitter but beautiful struggle for a new world.

You have been reading excerpts from "We Must Speak!", a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can read the entire speech here: tinyurl.com/8n96r. Thanks to spiritofmaat.com.

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