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Dr. King Decries Slow Pace of Civil Rights Progress

Sept. 12, 1962 - Dr. Martin Luther King (pictured with Cardinal Spellman and Governor Rockefeller) decried tonight the pace of civil rights progress in the United States. He also said that “no President can be great, or even fit for office, if he attempts to accommodate injustice to maintain his political balance.” Dr. King spoke at a dinner in New York marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. His remarks were made in the presence of Governor Rockefeller, who also addressed the dinner meeting. Dr. King said: “The simple fact is that the relative progress in undeveloped sectors of the world in human rights races ahead at jet-like speed, while we strain in a horse and buggy for advancement. We are not moving in the world tempo of change. Floods of consumer goods, superhighways, supermarkets, and Telstars do not obscure the existence of racial injustice,” he asserted. Dr. King said the South had been “in ceaseless rebellion” against the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Supreme Court.


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