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How Did Martin Luther King Respond to People Who Told Him to Wait to Take Direct Action?

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King says that there is really never a “good time” to engage in direct action. He tells these men that he has heard he should wait for years but that word wait almost always means nothing will ever happen. He truly believes that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” He also says that African Americans have already been waiting for 340 years to be treated as equal, which is their Constitutional right. Nations like Asia and Africa have been moving toward this equality and political independence very quickly, but the US seems to be taking its sweet time with the same goals. It is easy to assume that these men that are telling him to wait or that this is not the right time are white because he states that “it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say wait.” King then goes on to give many accounts of the things that he has seen occurring to those in the black community in order to prove to these men that time for direct action is now. He says that he has witnessed mobs lynch mothers and fathers, drowning’s of sisters and brothers, and policemen curse, kick, brutalized, and even kill other blacks with impunity. Over 20 million African American men are in jail and black children are struggling to understand why they can’t go to certain places and be friends with certain people just because of their race. The children are also noticing how white people treat black people, and are being genuinely hurt by it. Hotels and motels won’t accept black visitors, so often times black travelers sleep in their cars. Buildings are always labeled based on race and black people are all called the same racial slurs by whites that don’t care about even knowing their real names. Blacks are constantly plagued by the fact they are black because of all the fears and injustices that come with the color of their skin. King states that when they finally…...

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