There is something in the American ethos that responds to the strength of moral force.

I am reminded of the popular and widely respected novel and film To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch, a white southern lawyer, confronts a group of his neighbors who have become a lynch-crazed mob, seeking the life of his Negro client. Finch, armed with nothing more lethal than a lawbook, disperses the mob with the force of his moral courage, aided by his small daughter, who, innocently calling the would-be lynchers by name, reminds them that they are individual men, not a pack of beasts.

Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait, published 1964

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