Summary and Thoughts on Mlk's 'Beyond Vietnam'

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Date Submitted: 10/06/2010 12:39 PM

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T. C.

PoliSci 15B

Summary and Thoughts on MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam”

Obviously Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” given on April 4, 1967 was in direct conflict with America’s war in Vietnam. In the speech, Dr. King talks about what America was doing in Vietnam and how it was affecting the country in reality as opposed to what was being told by the media and the government. He criticized the reasons for the war, the excuses used for it, and how blind we can seem to our own problems in our own country. He talks about his ministry’s view as well as the view of other churches and organizations that were devoted to getting America out of Vietnam. King did not support our tactics of going after a “communist” population that in reality was less than 25 percent communist. Not only that, but America’s destruction of Vietnam’s crops, villages and most importantly, innocent people was repulsive to him. He spoke about the changes needed to the American morals and values and preached love towards all human beings. He claimed that we were just trying to protect our own interests as the real reason for the war.

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Protecting our nation’s own interests is what America does best and worst. This is the main topic and fight brought forth in just about any discussion, speech, article and newscast opposing the war in Iraq. Today, King would probably call for reform on our foreign policies and have our government rethink which regimes they are donating money to so we aren’t funding the same organizations that are spreading hate and oppression. I believe that Dr. King would have supported the United States protecting itself from “terrorists” such as Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda but he would have been adamantly against our occupation of yet another third world country and the destruction of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan people.