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The first of a two-part editorial was published in the Greenfield Recorder two days after the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The killing, followed by rioting in many African-American neighborhoods, seemed to destroy King's "dream" of non-violent change. The editors capture the pessimism of those months, declaring that "the moral condition of the nation has reached a deplorable state." They criticize the violent minority who "take the law into their own hands" but also the moderate majority who ignore "poverty and oppression."