I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. And in the final analysis, a riot is the Language of the Unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last few years; it has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met; and it has failed to hear that large segments of of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so, in a real sense, our nation's summers of riots are caused by our nation's winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.
What began 21 months ago in the depths of Winter cannot end on this Autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of Service, a new spirit of Sacrifice.