Monday, September 5, 2011

Non-Corporate News: Dr. Martin Luther King- 'Why I Am Opposed to The War in Vietnam'

Source:Beyond Capitalism Now- Dr. Martin L. King, speaking out against the Vietnam War, in 1968.

"Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. against the "triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism." Audio.  This speech was released by Black Forum records, a subsidiary of Motown, and went on to win a Grammy (in 1972, according to Wikipedia, in 1970, according to Grammy website) for the Best Spoken Word Recording. Excerpts of a Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967. Text of entire speech:The King Center." 

"The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war.  I’ve chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam today because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence is betrayal... 

The speech that Dr. Martin King gave back in 1968 on the Vietnam War, could be made today by Representative Dennis Kucinich, Representative Ron Paul, or community activist Ralph Nader of the anti-war Left today. Not as effectively or be heard by by as many people, but the sentiments are very similar. 

The speech is  basically this: "Why are we spending billions of dollars in a foreign nation in an unjust war? The Vietnam War back then and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq today: why are we spending all of this money destroying and then building another country, when we could spend that money building America?" 

Representative Paul's approach to building America is much different than Representative Kucinich, or Ralph Nader. Paul would want to use the money that we are spending attacking the enemy and building up Afghanistan and Iraq and use that money to give back to the American people and pay down our debt and deficit.

While Kucinich and Nader would use that money through the Federal Government, to bring about universal government-run health care, education, transportation, etc. And other social insurance programs, but the goals and questions are the same. 

The Libertarian-Right and Socialist-Left would be making the same argument: "We have our own problems here at home, our country isn't as great as it could be and we are not as free as we should be. So why are we interfering in other countries civil wars, when we have our own problems here at home that we need to address?" 

Dr King, Representative Paul, Representative  Kucinich and Mr. Nader, have an isolationist foreign policy: "We shouldn't be messing around in other countries. Especially while we have our own problems at home. That what we need to do is keep that money at home and mind our own business. Let them solve their own civil wars and keep our money home in our own country making our country better and making our people more free to live their own lives."

One of the shames of Dr. King being assassinated at the early age of 39 back in 1968, was what we missed out as a country, had he been able to live out a full-life. And lived into his 70s or 80s, the work he put into the 1950s and 60s, would've just expanded into the 70s. And I believe would've continued his work on civil rights. 

Had Dr. King lived a normal life in years, he would've expanded his work in the areas of poverty and helping poor people move up in the world. As well as education, workers rights, foreign policy, he would've been a big pain for President Nixon in the early 70s on the Vietnam War. As well as been a pain to President Reagan in the 80s with his military buildup, but of course we'll never know. Because he was assassinated by a man in James Earl Ray who felt left out and felt he needed more attention in life. 

But Dr. King what he was saying about the Vietnam War in the late 60s, pretty much sums up the anti-war movement and what they were feeling as well. The anti-war movement was very alive in the 1960s and to a certain extent still alive today, but not as vocal. And the feelings then are the same as they are today: "Why are we spending billions of dollars in a foreign nation and involved in another civil war, when we have our own problems at home."

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