Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, April 4, 1967 - Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
Every year, almost like clockwork around his birthday, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" gets airplay. The charismatic orator is frozen on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. No doubt it was a great and historic presentation, profoundly moving and full of dazzling poetry and inspiring images. But he was to give another very significant speech that is often obscured. That was to come on April 4, 1967 in Riverside Church in New York. There King demonstrated his deep understanding of how the system works. He moved beyond a simple race analysis to include class and foreign policy issues. He forcefully denounced the war in Vietnam. He called the U.S. "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" and he deplored the "giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism." Exactly one year later King was assassinated in Memphis where he had gone in solidarity with striking sanitation workers.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is one of the 20th century's most enduring figures. He advocated and practiced civil disobedience and non-violence. He said, "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics." He rose to national prominence during the epic Montgomery bus boycott and then went on to spearhead a movement which ended juridical apartheid in the U.S.
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Resources and links to related material
1) Transcript of MLK's incredible speech:
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967
2) PBS Tavis Smiley Reports - MLK: A Call to Conscience
Democracy Now, March 29, 2010: Tavis Smiley on Rev. Martin Luther King and His Opposition to the Vietnam War
Black Agenda Report, Glenn Ford - Dr. King’s Televised Challenge to Obama: Tavis Smiley's Anti-War MLK
Tavis Smiley has done history and the current crop of humans a huge service. Like a pre-emptive bolt of truth from the ancestors, Smiley’s PBS special “MLK: A Call to Conscience” begins the anniversary week of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination with a focus on the April 4, 1967 speech that marked his definitive break with President Lyndon Johnson and U.S. imperial wars. Any sane and honest person exposed to the magnificent reasoning of Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” address, would forever recoil at comparisons between the martyred champion of peace and human rights and the incumbent imperial warlord and Wall Street Lord Protector, Barack Obama. Hopefully, Tavis Smiley’s timely intervention with the scheduled airing of the program on Wednesday, March 31, will inoculate viewers from the howling King-Obama nonsense that has polluted the slain leader’s birth and death days since the onset of the Obama phenomenon.
We hear Dr. King’s indictment of the United States that has held true for 43 years: that it is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” In the presence of that voice and those words, who can escape the reality that Barack Obama is today engorged in unfathomable violence like no other human on the face of the Earth?
In truth, it is impossible to escape the radical meaning of Dr. King’s pro-democracy, anti-war, anti-imperialist, and anti-rule-of-the-rich politics, unless one actively resists understanding King’s voluminous writings and speeches. Only through a willful or imposed ignorance can one arrive at the conclusion that Martin Luther King and Barack Obama could in any way be found on the same side of history. The commander-in-chief of the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” cannot be an ally of peace, or of social and economic justice.
Bob Herbert, New York Times - We Still Don’t Hear Him
3) Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004)
4) The US and China: One Side is Losing, the Other is Winning by James Petras
Talks, Debates, Interviews
Apr 06, 2010, 18:57:27
Number of files
36m 43s ago