“Separation, it seems to me, is the chief sin precisely because violence is automatically the result of separation and ostracism between individuals or groups or nations, and my point was that whenever there is such separation and such automatic violence it is naive to believe that you can deal with this violence without challenging people and without bringing that violence to the surface. And when each physical and psychological violence is brought to the surface, the pacifist would be prepared to take it unto himself and to recognize, as Jesus did, that you cannot take a stand for truth and justice without automatically involving other people and causing some suffering for them any more than you or I could be COs where our mother or father was opposed to us without causing for them great travail in their local community. And yet we sometimes fail to reckon with all these factors.”


Excerpted from I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters Rustin to Beverly White May 3, 1950

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