When I was working on Bystander, I kept running across different quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. He would often express the same idea in subtle variations. Dr. King issued an indictment against the tyranny of silence, reminding us all of our responsibility to speak up. King believed in the common good. He had an abiding faith in his fellow man. If only we would stand up to be heard, then justice and democracy and human kindness would surely prevail over cruelty and prejudice.
Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from Dr. King:
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”