Myths

In order to develop massive action programs, we’ve got to get rid of one or two myths that are quite prevalent and that we hear a great deal around various communities.  One is what I often speak of as the myth of time.  I’m sure that you’ve heard this.  This is the argument that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice.  Only time can bring integration into being.  And so those who set forth this argument tend to say to the Negro and his allies in the white community, just be nice and just be patient and wait 100 or 200 years and the problem will work itself out.  I think there is an answer to that myth.  That is that time is neutral, it can be used either constructively or destructively.  And I’m absolutely convinced that in so many instances the forces of ill will in our nation, the extreme righteous of our nation have used time much more effectively than the forces of good will.  — MLK, Speech at Illinois Wesleyan University, 1966

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