“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing’-oriented society to a ‘person’-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable to being conquered.”
“The dispossessed of this nation — the poor, both white and Negro — live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty.”
”Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation. They have deplored prejudice but tolerated or ignored economic injustice.”
”All too many of those who live in affluent America ignore those who exist in poor America; in doing so, the affluent Americans will eventually have to face themselves with the question that Eichman chose to ignore: How responsible am I for the well-being of my fellows?”
”Middle-class values stress the importance of career and money. These were not the values which led to the civil rights movement; these are not the values which lead to positive social transformation…They [the young blacks who made history in the early 1960s] abandoned those [middle class] values when they put careers and wealth in a secondary role. When they cheerfully became jailbirds and troublemakers, when they took off their Brooks Brothers attire and put on overalls to work in the isolated rural south, they challenged and inspired white youth to emulate them.”
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.