Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his controversial “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in Harlem on April 4th, 1967, 50 years ago today. There was an immediate upheaval. The day after the speech, “an estimated 168 newspapers attacked King.” The NAACP failed to support him. A year later he was assassinated.
The concepts of oppression, poverty, and militarism that King spoke about 50 years ago, are just as relevant and troubling today…
50 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr defied his advisers and declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. Liberal supporters immediately abandoned him.
“… King worried out loud about the fate of American troops forced to participate in this corrupt enterprise. ‘Before long, they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese,’ King said, ‘and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.’ King called for an immediate end to the bombing, the removal of American troops, and — to thunderous applause — support and encouragement for conscientious objectors in the United States…” ~ Brian Jones
Be aware. Be fair.