Revolution without hatred

Washington, August 28

Sore of foot but inspired in spirit, I was one of more than 200,000 people who marched and sang for freedom here today. The march was disciplined; throughout a long and wearisome day I saw not a single act of discourtesy, nor did I hear even one expression of irritation. But no one should be deceived by the serenity and orderliness of this mighty flow of men, women and children to the Lincoln Memorial. This march was an expression of deep purpose, and it resulted in still deeper resolution in support of civil rights "NOW!" People dressed in their Sunday best and others in work clothing, women carrying babies and fathers with young sons astride their shoulders, senior citizens and cripples with canes—and at least one man swinging along on crutches—all these marching souls were sustained by the conviction that their cause is just, that its time has come, that the Lord of history is behind that insistent, uncompromising "NOW."

On the day preceding the march I talked with a number of people on Capitol Hill, among them several congressmen. It is no exaggeration to say that their views on the march ranged from worry to fear and anger. Senator Thurmond's postmarch TV interview indicated that the obvious success of the enterprise had served to intensify his rejection of equal civil rights for Negroes, and it is probable that his reaction will be echoed by the Wallaces and Barnetts throughout the south. Such fear is understandable; the movement which marched today is designed to strip them of their power. The cheer which greeted the N.A.A.C.P.'s Roy Wilkins when he assured southern whites who support civil rights but fear to speak out that one goal of the Washington march was to emancipate them witnessed accurately to the breadth of the movement's purpose.