Exhibit one, Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?
With Selma and the Voting Rights Act one phase of development in the civil rights revolution came to an end…For the vast majority of white Americans, the past decade—the first phase—had been a struggle to treat the Negro with a degree of decency, not of equality. White America was ready to demand that the Negro should be spared the lash of brutality and coarse degredation, but it had never been truly committed to helping him out of poverty, exploitation of all forms of discrimination….
When Negros looked for the second phase, the realization of euqality, they found that many of their white allies had quietly disappeared. The Negroes of America had taken the President, the press and the pulpit at their word when they spoke in broad terms of freedom and justice. But the absence of brutality and unregenerate evil is not hte presence of justice. To stay murder is not the same thing as to ordain brotherhood….
Up to Selma there had been unity to eliminate barbaric conduct. Beyond it the unity had to be based on the fulfillment of equality, and in the absence of agreemtn the paths began to inexorably move apart.
Just to keep handy the next time someone blathers on about MLK and misuses the “content of their character” quote.