To bait fish withal: if it feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge! If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry has been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
I am a Filipino - inheritor of a glorious past, hostage to the uncertain future. As such I must prove equal to a two-fold task- the task of meeting my responsibility to the past, and the task of performing my obligation to the future. I sprung from a hardy race - child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers. Across the centuries, the memory comes rushing back to me: of brown-skinned men putting out to sea in ships that were as frail as their hearts were stout. Over the sea I see them come, borne upon the billowing wave and the whistling wind, carried upon the mighty swell of hope- hope in the free abundance of new land that was to be their home and their children's forever.
This is the land they sought and found. Every inch of shore that their eyes first set upon, every hill and mountain that beckoned to them with a green and purple invitation, every mile of rolling plain that their view encompassed, every river and lake that promise a plentiful living and the fruitfulness of commerce, is a hollowed spot to me.
By the strength of their hearts and hands, by every right of law, human and divine, this land and all the appurtenances thereof - the black and fertile soil, the seas and lakes and rivers teeming with fish, the forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber, the mountains with their bowels swollen with minerals - the whole of this rich and happy land has been, for centuries without number, the land of my fathers. This land I received in trust from them and in trust will pass it to my children, and so on until the world no more.
I am a Filipino. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes - seed that flowered down the centuries in deeds of courage and defiance. In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that sent Lapulapu to battle against the alien foe that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into rebellion against the foreign oppressor.
That seed is immortal. It is the self-same seed that flowered in the heart of Jose Rizal that morning in Bagumbayan when a volley of shots put an end to all that was mortal of him and made his spirit deathless forever; the same that flowered in the hearts of Bonifacio in Balintawak, of Gergorio del Pilar at Tirad Pass, of Antonio Luna at Calumpit; that bloomed in flowers of frustration in the sad heart of Emilio Aguinaldo at Palanan, and yet burst fourth royally again in the proud heart of Manuel L. Quezon when he stood at last on the threshold of ancient Malacañang Palace, in the symbolic act of possession and racial vindication.
The seed I bear within me is an immortal seed. It is the mark of my manhood, the symbol of dignity as a human being. Like the seeds that were once buried in the tomb of Tutankhamen many thousand years ago, it shall grow and flower and bear fruit again. It is the insigne of my race, and my generation is but a stage in the unending search of my people for freedom and happiness.
I am a Filipino, child of the marriage of the East and the West. The East, with its languor and mysticism, its passivity and endurance, was my mother, and my sire was the West that came thundering across the seas with the Cross and Sword and the Machine. I am of the East, an eager participant in its struggles for liberation from the imperialist yoke. But I also know that the East must awake from its centuried sleep, shape of the lethargy that has bound his limbs, and start moving where destiny awaits.
For, I, too, am of the West, and the vigorous peoples of the West have destroyed forever the peace and quiet that once were ours. I can no longer live, being apart from those world now trembles to the roar of bomb and cannon shot. For no man and no nation is an island, but a part of the main, there is no longer any East and West - only individuals and nations making those momentous choices that are hinges upon which history resolves.
At the vanguard of progress in this part of the world I stand - a forlorn figure in the eyes of some, but not one defeated and lost. For through the thick, interlacing branches of habit and custom above me I have seen the light of the sun, and I know that it is good. I have seen the light of justice and equality and freedom and my heart has been lifted by the vision of democracy, and I shall not rest until my land and my people shall have been blessed by these, beyond the power of any man or nation to subvert or destroy.
I am a Filipino, and this is my inheritance. What pledge shall I give that I may prove worthy of my inheritance? I shall give the pledge that has come ringing down the corridors of the centuries, and it shall be compounded of the joyous cries of my Malayan forebears when they first saw the contours of this land loom before their eyes, of the battle cries that have resounded in every field of combat from Mactan to Tirad pass, of the voices of my people when they sing:
Land of the Morning,Child of the sun returning…Ne'er shall invaders trample thy sacred shore.
Out of the lush green of these seven thousand isles, out of the heartstrings of sixteen million people all vibrating to one song, I shall weave the mighty fabric of my pledge. Out of the songs of the farmers at sunrise when they go to labor in the fields; out of the sweat of the hard-bitten pioneers in Mal-ig and Koronadal; out of the silent endurance of stevedores at the piers and the ominous grumbling of peasants Pampanga; out of the first cries of babies newly born and the lullabies that mothers sing; out of the crashing of gears and the whine of turbines in the factories; out of the crunch of ploughs upturning the earth; out of the limitless patience of teachers in the classrooms and doctors in the clinics; out of the tramp of soldiers marching, I shall make the pattern of my pledge:
"I am a Filipino born of freedom and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto my inheritance - for myself and my children's children - forever.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.
One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.
So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.
So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.
The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
I will rest here, awhile. His face! His face! Not comely now. There is no beauty in it. It is scarred into my heart. It is burned into my soul and never will it lift from me until I die. Die? Will death quench the flames which consume me? Traitor, not endless years in hell can even pay the crime of murdering the son of God.
And last night, he dealt with me so gently. He washed my feet. He bade me to put my hand into the cup with his, while in my purse there jingled the coins which bought his blood. It was better for that man that he had never been born. Who? Who but I, who but I, I who betrayed him!
“What you do, do it quickly.” He knew, and kept my sin a secret.
“Friend, where unto have you come, Judas, Judas, do you betray the Son of God with a kiss?”
Friend! Friend! He called me his friend. The man I betrayed called me his friend. How hell must have laughed. Why did not the mountains fall on me?
Why did not the earth gape and swallow me up? Why did not the sea overwhelm me? Friend. Ha! Ha! Friend. Ha! Ha! Ha! The world will know Judas as the friend.
The world will point to Judas as a by word, and as a pledge of broken faith!
Do you think Judas you can hide from the father of your friend Jesus? Not even in hell can I escape. Not in the grave for the earth will spurn my corpse. Not in the heavens for Jesus the friend is there.
What hope for Judas? What hope for Judas? Not even in hell can I escape for he called me devil, and devils cried out: torment us not, Jesus, Judas, faithless friend, devil, one of whom it would have been better not to have been born. There is no hope for you, no hope, no hope…
With all the force and vigor at my command, I contend that we have relaxed our vigilance, that we have allowed ourselves to deteriorate. I contend that we have lost our pride in the Philippines, that we no longer consider it a privilege and an honor to be born a Filipino.
To the Filipino youth, nothing Filipino is good enough any more. Even their Filipino names no longer suit them. A boy named Juan does not care to be called Juanito anymore. No, he must be Johnny. A girl named Virginia would get sore if she was nicknamed Viring or Biñang. No, she must be Virgie or Ginny. Roberto has become Bobbie; Maria, Mary or Marie.
And because they have become so Americanized, because they look down on everything Filipino, they now regard with contempt all the things that our fathers and our fathers’ fathers held dear. They frown on kissing the hands of their elders, saying that it is unsanitary. They don’t care for the Angelus, saying that it is old-fashioned. They belittle the kundiman, because it is so drippingly sentinmental.They are what they are today because their elders – their parents and their teachers – have allowed them to be such. They are incongruities because they cannot be anything else! And they cannot be anything else because their elders did not know enough, or did not care enough to fashion them and to mold them into the Filipino pattern.
This easing of the barriers that would have protected our Filipinism, this has resulted in something more serious, I refer to the de-Filipinization of our economic life.
Let us face it. Economically speaking, we Filipinos have become strangers in our own country.
And so, today, we are witnesses to the spectacle of a Philippines inhabited by Filipinos who do not act and talk like Filipinos. We are witnesses to the pathetic sight of a Philippines controlled and dominated and run by non-Filipinos.
We have become untrue to ourselves, we have become traitors to the brave Filipinos who fought and died so that liberty might live in the Philippines. We have betrayed the trust that Rizal reposed on us, we are not true to the faith that energized Bonifacio, the faith that made Gregorio del Pilar cheerfully lay down his life at Tirad Pass.
I’m proud of my dirty hands. Yes, they are dirty. And they are rough and knobby and calloused. And I’m proud of the dirt and the knobs and the callouses. I didn’t get them that way by playing bridge or drinking afternoon tea out of dainty cups, or playing the well-advertised Good Samaritan at charity balls.
I got them that way by working with them, and I’m proud of the work and the dirt. Why shouldn’t I feel proud od the work they do – these dirty hands of mine?
My hands are the hands of plumbers, of truckdrivers and street cleaners; of carpenters; engineers, machinists and workers in steel. They are not pretty hands, they are dirty and knobby and calloused. But they are strong hands, hands that make so much that the world must have or die.
Someday, I think, the world should go down on its knees and kiss all the dirty hands of the working world, as in the days long past, armored knights would kiss the hands of ladies fair. I’m proud of my dirty hands. The world has kissed such hands. The world will always kiss such hands. Men and women put reverent lips to the hands of Him who held the hammer and the saw and the plane. His weren’t pretty hands either when they chopped trees, dragged rough lumber, and wielded carpenter’s tools. They were workingman’s hands – strong, capable proud hands. And weren’t pretty hands when the executioners got through them. They were torn right clean through by ugly nails, and the blood was running from them, and the edges of the wounds were raw and dirty and swollen; and the joints were crooked and the fingers were horribly bent in a mute appeal for love.
They weren’t pretty hands then, but, O God, they were beautiful – those hands of the Savior. I’m proud of those dirty hands, hands of my Savior, hands of God.
And I’m proud of my hands too, dirty hands, like the hands of my Savior, the Hands of my God!
There is a thought that comes to me sometimes as I sit by my window in the evening, listening to the young men’s guitars, and watching the shadows deepen on the longs hills, the hills of my native land.
You know, we are a remarkably poor people; poor not only in material goods, but even in the riches of the spirit. I doubt we can claim to possess a truly national literature. No Shakespeare, no Cervantes has yet been born among us to touch with immortality that which is in our landscape, in our customs, in our story, that which is most original, most ourselves. If we must give currency to our thoughts, we are focused to mint them in the coinage of a foreign tongue; for we do not even have a common language.
But poor as we are, we yet have something. This pauper among the nations of the earth hides two jewels in her rages. One of them is our music. We are sundered one from another by eighty-seven dialects; we are one people when we sing. The kundimans of Bulacan awaken an answering chord of lutes of Leyte. Somewhere in the rugged north, a peasant woman croons her child to sleep; and the Visayan listening remembers the crane fields of his childhood, and his mother singing the self-made song.
We are again one people when we pray. This is our other treasure; our Faith. It gives somehow, to our little uneventful days, a kind of splendor; as though they had been touched by a king. And did you ever notice how they are always mingling, our religion and our music? All the basic rite of human life – the harvest and the seedtime, the wedding, birth and death – are among us drenched with the fragrance and the coolness of music.
These are the bonds that bind us together; these are the souls that make us one. And as long as there remains in these islands one mother to sing Nena’s lullaby, one boat to put out to sea with the immemorial rowing song, one priest to stand at the altar and offer God to God, the nation may be conquered, trampled upon, enslaved, but it cannot perish. Like the sun that dies every evening it will rise again from the dead.
Life is a Warfare: a warfare between two standards: the Standard of Christ and the Standard of Satan. It is a warfare older than the world, for it began with the revolt of the angels. It is a warfare wide as the world; it rages in every nation, every city, in the heart of every man. Satan desires all men to come under his Standard, and to this end lures them with riches, honors, power, all that ministers to the lust and pride of man. Christ on the contrary, invites all to fight under His Standard. But He offers no worldly allurement; only Himself. Only Jesus; only the Son of Man; born an outcast, raised in poverty, rejected as a teacher, betrayed by His friend, crucified as a criminal. And therefore His followers shall not be confounded forever; they are certain of ultimate victory; against them, the gates of Hell cannot prevail. The powers of darkness shall splinter before their splendid battalions. Battle-scarred but resplendent, they shall enter into glory with Christ, their king. Two armies, two Standards, two generals… and to every man there comes the imperious cry of command: Choose! Christ or Satan? Choose! Sanctity or Sin? Choose! Heaven or Hell? And in the choice he makes, is summed up the life of every man.