My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.
In signing [the Voting Rights Bill of 1965], the President announced that “Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that’s ever been won on any battlefield… today we strike away the last major shackle of…fierce and ancient bonds.”
One year later, some of the people who had been brutalized in Selma and who were present at the Capitol ceremonies were leading marchers in the suburbs of Chicago amid a rain of rocks and bottles, among burning automobiles, to the thunder of jeering thousands, many of them waving Nazi flags.
A year later, some of the Negro leaders who had been present in Selma and at the Capitol ceremonies no longer held office in their organizations. They ha been discarded to symbolize a radical change of tactics.
A year later, the white backlash had become an emotional electoral issue in California, Maryland and elsewhere. In several Southern states men long regarded as political clowns had become governors or only narrowly missed election, their magic achieved with a “witches’” brew of bigotry, prejudice, half-truths and whole lies.
– Dr. Martin Luther King. Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community. “Where Do We Go From Here?” Pg. 2. Emphasis mine.
//One brief thought: This was published in 1967. We won’t progress out of racism. The subtitle of Dr. King’s book is “Chaos or Community.” Those are always the options.