Just because the River is quiet does not mean the crocodiles have left
– African Proverb
‘That’s not a chip on my shoulder; that’s your foot on my neck.’
– Malcolm X
If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
– Frederick Douglas
First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
– Martin Niemoller
“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”
– Fannie Lou Hamer
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”
“A riot is the language of the unheard.”
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; …Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
When it comes to the cause of justice, I take no prisoners and
I don’t believe in compromise.
– Mary Frances Berry
There is a curse, incorrectly attributed to the Chinese, but very apropos which says ‘ May he live in interesting times .’ We are in those times today, as we have been every day, for as the African Proverb above states ‘ Just because the River is quiet does not mean the crocodiles have left‘ . We must heed the quotes above, let them speak to us, inform us, move us to action, both in times of violent unrest and times of quietude to address the injustices that have always been a part of this nation. As Dr. King so passionately stated and believed,
“ We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action .”