Martin Luther King Jr. Was Adamantly Opposed to the Vietnam War, Under Constant Watch by the FBI
Every year on Dr. King's birthday, the media makes him look like a gentle, charismatic man who had a dream. But he was so much more than that. In addition to fighting racism, he also fought for social and economic justice. And he was adamantly opposed to the Vietnam war. President Bush celebrated King's birthday at a high school in Washington DC today, but if King were alive today, Bush would have denounced him.
In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, King called the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and said the U.S. was in Vietnam to "occupy it as an American colony."
He said: "I speak as a citizen of the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
While the media should air excerpts of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech today, it sure would be nice to hear excerpts from his speech about the Vietnam War -- especially now. I'm not very hopeful because the media denounced it. Time magazine called it "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The Washington Post wrote that "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."
Dr. King paid a personal price for speaking out. He spent his entire activist life being hounded by the FBI and was assassinated on April 4, 1968 -- exactly one year after his "Beyond Vietnam" speech.