James Lawson Institute

“Give Us the Ballot, We Will Transform the South”

September 5, 2017 Essentials 0

By Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this speech, King makes a significant point: “avoid the temptation of being victimized with a psychology of victors.” Gandhi, too, was concerned to avoid triumphalism. . . . 

Mr. Chairman, distinguished platform associates, fellow Americans. Three years ago the Supreme Court of this nation rendered in simple, eloquent, and unequivocal language a decision which will long be stenciled on the mental sheets of succeeding generations. For all men of goodwill, this May seventeenth decision came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of human captivity. It came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of disinherited people throughout the world who had dared only to dream of freedom.

Unfortunately, this noble and sublime decision has not gone without opposition. This opposition has often risen to ominous proportions. Many states have risen up in open defiance. The legislative halls of the South ring loud with such words as “interposition” and “nullification.”

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