The Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence speech given by Martin Luther King at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967.
Join us Thursday, April 4, 2019 for Break the Silence: Yes to Peace! No to NATO! A Commemoration of the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Minnesota state capitol in St. Paul at 12:15 pm. Details below.
“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, ‘What about Vietnam?’ They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” —MLK, Jr.
Thursday, APRIL 4, 2019: Gather at 12:15 on the capitol steps for a program and VFP bell ringing and commentary from Mel Reeves, TC activist, writer, social justice organizer, and educator, and at 1:30 in the Rotunda to hear about MLK’s legacy with August Nimtz, U of MN African-American Studies, and Todd Pierce, M.A. in Politics, the New School, emphasis on U.S. imperial history. Music by Brigid McDonald, readings from the Beyond Vietnam speech by students and others during the program.
Dr. King’s words linking the three evils of American society: Militarism, Racism and Poverty. and his deeply profound remark that every bomb that falls on other countries is a bomb dropped on our inner cities, reveal the deep-rooted relationship between militarism and the social, racial, economic and environmental injustices that have impoverished cities and rural communities for a long time. On April 4, 1967 King delivered his Beyond Vietnam speech; exactly one year later he was assassinated. NATO was established on April 4th 70 years ago. An examination of NATO’s relevance is long overdue.