The trouble is that nonviolence is so often defined as refusal to fight, and that is the American definition of cowardice. In fact, marching unarmed against the guns and dogs of the police requires more courage than does aggression. The perverted idea of manhood coming from the barrel of a gun is what keeps people from understanding nonviolence.
On the political front, of course it's a zero-sum game. If it's all white males holding positions, you bring 10 women in, then it's, 'Women are coming!' Get 10 blacks and it's, 'Blacks are coming!' 'Hispanics are coming!' Zero-sum game. The seatmates might change but the chairs don't move. In the economy, the number of chairs can actually increase.
How can you have in our country that is based upon liberality and liberation, be so anti-liberal. That's toxic waste to our consciousness. It's hard to be an American conservative because that's a contradiction in terms. Now if you take away freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of protest, and lock people out based upon their race, their language and their religion, that's conservative and fascist. America is a liberal idea.
Dream big dreams! Others may deprive you of your material wealth and cheat you in a thousand ways, but no man can deprive you of the control and use of your imagination. Men may deal with you unfairly, as men often do; they may deprive you of your liberty; but they cannot take from you the privilege of using your imagination. In your imagination you always win!
Those powers that control the tent are not threatened at all by any activity that you engage in, in the shadows, that's not moving toward the tent. And I am rather convinced that we have a generation that is so preoccupied with life in the shadows, they never even focus on getting to the sunlight where you open up the big tent.
Politicians argue for abortion largely because they do not want to spend the necessary money to feed, clothe and educate more people... There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of higher order than the right to life. I do not share that view... That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to concerned.
We must face the No. 1 critical issue of our day. It is youth crime in general and black-on-black crime in particular. There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved. After all we have been through, just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating.
The question becomes what kind of coalition can we build that will make a transition and empower the people of Iraq? The American soldiers' presence there is an act of provocation. There's a big red ball on the back of every American soldier in that country, so our being there contributes to the crisis, it does not resolve the crisis.
We blacks were the first people embracing Obama, long before the people at expensive fundraisers were supporting him. We gave him his first love, 96 percent of blacks voted for him in 2008. Yet today we are the number one in unemployment, with 16 percent of American blacks out of work.
In Afghanistan, there is a plan to build democracy; hundreds of thousands of troops are protecting it. There is a plan to rebuild and reconstruct there. But many thousands of Americans die from violence and poverty every year and we don't have a plan for reconstruction at home.
Look at the coded language the Right is using against President Barack Obama. Openly calling him a liar in Congress, saying he is 'not a Christian, he was not born here, he is not one of us.' That makes addressing such issues trickier for the first African-American in the White House.