1.03.2013

Something to mull over in 2013: MLK Jr.'s Riverside speech


From Abagond:
“Beyond Vietnam” (1967) is a speech Martin Luther King, Jr gave at the Riverside Church in New York exactly one year before he was shot dead. He came out against the Vietnam War, calling it immoral. It burned his bridges with the president. The Washington Post said it “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”

King could no longer remain silent – as a minister of Jesus Christ, as one of God’s children, as an American, as a believer in non-violence, as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. As a black man:
  • How can he ask a young black man with a Molotov cocktail in his hand to put it down because violence is not the answer – when his own government thinks violence is the answer in Vietnam?
  • How can he ask him to fight for freedom in Vietnam when there is no freedom in East Harlem?
  • How can he ask him to fight alongside a white man in Vietnam when he cannot live alongside him on the same block in Chicago?
  • How can he ask him to fight in a war where he is more likely to die than a white man?

How come white folks never quote speeches like these from MLK?

See Also

Civilization of Blood

9 comments:

  1. Because truth is never welcomed. Hence why this speech is never mentioned because it still speaks to today. This is the speech that showed that Malcolm and Dr. Martin Luther King were on the same path.

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    1. All that you said. There's no way they're going to wreck the Jolly Negro Santa Claus myth they've constructed about Dr. King.

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    2. there is nothing better than when a white person quotes the "I have a dream speech" after they've been called out for doing something racist

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  2. Loved that speech.

    This just reminds me of something my uncle told us what a Vietnamese opponent told him during his stint in Vietnam War:" This is not your war". instead of shooting him to death.That man was right. Why should any Black or any minority soldier be in war that that they didn't start and/or didn't benefit them as equals? It really showed how people from other countries knew how bad race were during that period.I'm glad that Dr.King made this speech.Let those White racist tell you, fighting the war with racism in our neck of the woods wasnt a big deal.

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  3. My New Years resolution is to go to other countries and experience other cultures in a place where there isn't 200+ years of racial baggage. This whole article is just another reason in my list of reasons to go see the US from another perspective.

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    1. I wish more people of color ventured to other countries to experience other cultures, to see how the U.S. is truly viewed (not always a pretty picture), and see how it is to be treated as a person first. Not that there isn't racism, sexism, and all the other isms out there. It is just so HEAVY in the in United States. It is amazing how it affects you. Go EVERYWHERE your pocketbook will allow and save up to go to the other places that you don't have money for. Its worth it.

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    2. Oh I will! First stop Canada this spring! I know, I know, not too crazy, but I'm dipping my toe into the water before cannon balling in!

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  4. >>>>> This is a very interesting article. Thank you @ankhesen for posting this. :) It gives me more motivation for us to want and do better.

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  5. MLK and Malcolm X always in my mind.

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