Words: “The Ultimate Weakness of Violence …”

From the last book written by Martin Luther King, Jr. — WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: Chaos or Community? (Beacon Press 2010 edition) — there are two passages confirm his continued relevance in today’s world, pointing us in the right direction regarding “the ultimate weakness of violence” and giving us hope…

“In the guilt and confusion confronting our society, violence only adds to the chaos. It deepens the brutality of the oppressor and increases the bitterness of the oppressed. Violence is the antithesis of creativity and wholeness. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Where Do We Go From Here, p. 63)


“Are we seeking power for power’s sake? Or are we seeking to make our world and our nation better places to live. If we are seeking the latter, violence can never be the answer.

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

The beauty of nonviolence is that in its own way and in its own time it seeks to break the chain reaction of evil. With a majestic sense of spiritual power, it seeks to elevate truth, beauty and goodness to the throne. Therefore, I will continue to follow this method …”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE,p. 64-65)


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

Civil rights leader, Orator
Husband, father
pastor, activist, humanitarian
Leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement
Nobel Peace Prize recipient, 1964


Below The Salt Digest has more MLK quotes  — HERE

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