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I SHALL NOT SCREAM NOR PREACI-I .
I have a lacl lo reporl. A recenl poll reporls lhal racial and religious preiudice
is again on lhe upswing. I have somelhing lo say. Please Iislen. Whal I have lo say
will lake only a lillle lime. I shall nol scream nor preach, allhough lhal ugly lacl is
as near lo me and as personal wilh me as my own skin. I shall only lalk a lillle . . .
I cannol lell ol how insidious lhis halred is and has always been, any beller lhan
counlless olhers have lold il in lhe pasl. So I shall only lalk ol whal I have lound lo be
lrue, in my own lile, in sevenleen years.
I have lound lhal people have a greal deal lo give. People can give so much lhal
is warm and human, so much ol lhe rich experience lhal is parl ol living. So much is
being wasled. I lhink lhere is no grealer experience on earlh lhan lhal ol meeling
each person as a dilferenl, unique individual. When we iudge people singly, only
by whal lhey prove lhemselves lo be, we enrich ourselves many limes over.
And we lose lhis opporlunily every day ol our lives. We lhrow il down a long,
never ending drain ol human wasle. We are limid or resenllul because we are lhe
oppressed, and we draw ourselves inlo our sullen, narrow lillle shells ol hale, and
judge lhe many by lhe aclions ol lhe lew.
Or we consider lhose who have commilled lhe unlorlunale blunder ol being
born "dillerenl," sub-human.
ll is all lhe same. I-lalred is a lwo-edged sword, and lhe hand which holds il
always bleeds. I-lale is all lhe same-wilh an ugly sameness.
Bul we as people are nol all lhe same, Each generalion is dillerenl. And ours
musl be lhe mosl dillerenl, beller in lhis respecl lhan any olher. We have inheriled
loo much lo have il any olher way.
There is somelhing very promising in lhe air-somelhing low bul slrong, some-
lhing akin lo a murmur. ll is more lhan iusl lhe speeches lhal are made, lhe arlicles
lhal are wrillen. There is a yen,-iziwjy lo a wrong, lhe realizalion lhal lhere is an
injuslice and lhal as long as some are nol sale, none are sale. This age is one in which
lhe oppressed have more freedom, more dignily, more happiness lhan ever before.
We have behind us many lhings ol which lo be ashamed, bul lhere is also a record ol
progressive improvemenl. Ahead ol us lhere is lhe vasl, pressing need ol compleling
lhe iob . . . as quickly as possible.
We have loughl lwo wars lo remain free. Now we are laced wilh lhe job ol
selling democracy. We musl improve our producl lirsl. We musl speak oul aboul
whal is righl and wrong. We musl praclice whal we so ollen preach. We musl make
lhe "iuslice lor all," which we promise in our pledge ol allegiance lo lhe flag, an
everyday realily in our republic. We musl judge each individual and each counlry
separalely and carelully.
This is nol an easy way. Bul we have lo make il our way. No one else will ever
care as much as we do.
8 SENIOR ECHOES”