Themain idea in the chapter Racismand the White Backlashis that without a demand, power does not concede anything. Thechapter basically deals with racism, where in the first section, Kingstates that a sustained commitment to justice for African Americanshas never existed while at the same time asserting that a backlashexisted at the time when he was writing. The backlash interruptedforward movement for people with African American backgrounds andalso pushed their status backwards. The chapter states that thebacklash has continued to take place many times and the authordescribes racism as a philosophy that is founded on contempt forlife.
Thechapter further argues that a variety of academic, intellectual,political, religious and economic systems have been involved increation of codes of practice, law and belief which support andencourage the oppression of Native and African Americans by the WhiteAmericans. Consequently, the backlash comes into play whenprogressive movements such as The Fifth Amendment, The Civil RightsBill as well as Voting Rights Act among others are perpetuallyfollowed successful and active endeavors to undermine and restrictthe effect of the progress.
Thelast section argues that the church, along with other religiouscommunities have a part to play in eliminating or supporting racismsince they have special and ethical obligations to teach andencourage justice and equality for everyone. According to thechapter, vigorously enforcing civil rights will assist in endingsegregation in public facilities, but it will not be able toeliminate irrationality, pride, prejudice and fears which are themain obstacles to a society that is integrated.