The stranglehold of oppression cannot be loosened by a plea to the oppressor’s conscience. Social change in something as fundamental as racist oppression involves violence. You cannot have progress here without violence and upheaval because it is a struggle for survival for one and a struggle for liberation for the other. Always the powers in command are ruthless and unmerciful in defending their position and their privileges. This is not an abstract rule to be mediated upon by Americans. This a truth that was revealed at the birth of America and has continued to be revealed many times in our history. The principle of self-defense is an American tradition that began at Lexington and Concord.
Robert F. Williams
Negros With Guns
Chapter 7–Self-Defense: An American Tradition