Alternative Radio on 03/29/11
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Beyond Vietnam (lecture)
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.
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.