Rediscovering Lost Values, Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther, King, Jr. day, this is an excerpt from his sermon Rediscovering Lost Values, delivered at Detroit's Second Baptist Church in 1954. The full sermon is available at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.

That’s the prevailing attitude in, in our culture. (Come on) No matter what you do, just do it with a, with a bit of finesse. (All right) You know, a sort of attitude of the survival of the slickest. Not the Darwinian survival of the fittest, but the survival of the slickest—who, whoever can be the slickest is, is the one who right. It’s all right to lie, but lie with dignity. [Laughter] It’s all right to steal and to rob and extort, but do it with a bit of finesse. (Yes) It’s even all right to hate, but just dress your hate up in the garments of love and make it appear that you are loving when you are actually hating. Just get by! That’s the thing that’s right according to this new ethic.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.