- Financial hypocrisy of racist America
«(...) "If you respect my dollar, you must respect my person." It simply says that we will no longer spend our money where we can not get substantial jobs. [applause]»
- American sin, and Black Love
«I am a man with dignity and honor. (Go ahead) I have a rich and noble history, however painful and exploited that history has been. Yes, I was a slave through my foreparents (That’s right), and now I’m not ashamed of that. I'm ashamed of the people who were so sinful to make me a slave. (Yes sir) Yes [applause], yes, we must stand up and say, "I'm black (Yes sir), but I'm black and beautiful." (Yes) This [applause], this self-affirmation is the black man's need, made compelling (All right) by the white man's crimes against him. (Yes)»
- Negroes prevented from reaping fruits of their hard labor
«This man was a fool because he said "I" and "my" so much until he lost the capacity to say "we" and "our." (Yes) He failed to realize that he couldn’t do anything by himself. This man talked like he could build the barns by himself, like he could till the soil by himself. And he failed to realize that wealth is always a result of the commonwealth. (...)
And oh my friends, I don’t want you to forget it. No matter where you are today, somebody helped you to get there. (Yes) (...)
In a larger sense we’ve got to see this in our world today. Our white brothers must see this; they haven’t seen it up to now. The great problem facing our nation today in the area of race is that it is the black man who to a large extent produced the wealth of this nation. (All right) And the nation doesn’t have sense enough to share its wealth and its power with the very people who made it so. (All right) And I know what I’m talking about this morning. (Yes, sir) The black man made America wealthy. (Yes, sir)
(...) that’s why I tell you right now, I’m not going anywhere. They can talk, these groups, some people talking about a separate state, or go back to Africa. I love Africa, it’s our ancestral home. But I don’t know about you. My grandfather and my great-grandfather did too much to build this nation for me to be talking about getting away from it. [applause] Before the Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth in 1620, we were here. (Oh yeah) Before Jefferson etched across the pages of history the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, we were here. (All right) Before the beautiful words of the "Star Spangled Banner" were written, we were here. (Yeah) For more than two centuries, our forebearers labored here without wages. They made cotton king. With their hands and with their backs and with their labor, they built the sturdy docks, the stout factories, the impressive mansions of the South. (My Lord)
Now this nation is telling us that we can’t build. Negroes are excluded almost absolutely from the building trades. It’s lily white. Why? Because these jobs pay six, seven, eight, nine and ten dollars an hour, and they don’t want Negroes to have it. [applause] And I feel that if something doesn’t happen soon, and something massive, the same indictment will come to America—"Thou fool!"»
In Why Jesus Called A Man A Fool Sermon delivered at Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois, on 27 August 1967.
- American arrogance
«(...) because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. "I must be first." "I must be supreme." "Our nation must rule the world." (Preach it) And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.
God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. (Preach it, preach it) God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.
But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. (Amen) The God that I worship has a way of saying, "Don't play with me." (Yes) He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, "Don’t play with me, Israel. Don't play with me, Babylon. (Yes) Be still and know that I'm God. And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power." (Yes) And that can happen to America. (Yes) Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening».
- White America's disease of racism
«I must say this morning that racial injustice is still the black man’s burden and the white man’s shame.
It is an unhappy truth that racism is a way of life for the vast majority of white Americans, spoken and unspoken, acknowledged and denied, subtle and sometimes not so subtle—the disease of racism permeates and poisons a whole body politic».
«(...) at the same time the nation failed to do anything for the black man, though an act of Congress was giving away millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest. Which meant that it was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor.
But not only did it give the land, it built land-grant colleges to teach them how to farm. Not only that, it provided county agents to further their expertise in farming; not only that, as the years unfolded it provided low interest rates so that they could mechanize their farms. And to this day thousands of these very persons are receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies every years not to farm. And these are so often the very people who tell Negroes that they must lift themselves by their own bootstraps».
«Now, when we come to Washington in this campaign, we are coming to get our check».
In Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution Sermon delivered at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., on 31 March 1968. Congressional Record, 9 April 1968.
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adaptado de um e-mail enviado pelo Jorge