Program Highlights

Beyond Vietnam Speech in its Entirety: Celebrate MLK by Seeking to Understanding his Ideological Framework of 4/4/1967

Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4/4/1968. Exactly one year before on 4/4/1967, he delivered what many of us believe was his most important speech, Beyond Vietnam A Time to Break Silence. According to the PBS documentary MLK: A Call to Conscience (2010), the speech was denounced by 168 newspapers across the country. Dr MLK implored us to study history and then follow our conscience even if takes us to dissent against majority opinion.

“Why are you joining the voices of dissent?” “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,” they say. “Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people,” they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment, or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.” MLK understood the malady of our foreign policy with the words that “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — (was) my own government”.“To save the soul of America.” We must understand the impact of our foreign policy forays around the world and “move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history”. This is what we honestly seek to pursue on BLID.

It is “the brotherhood of man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances”….Therefore, “I speak as a citizen of the world” and DR King implored us to “search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion”, while MLK warns us to not “again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long.” In which we are right and everyone else is so wrong that we need to sanction 1/3 of the world’s population.

MLK teaches us not to hate but seek to understand our ‘enemy’ as he describes “the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow”….Are we on “the wrong side of a world revolution”? as MLK warns “the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch antirevolutionaries”

What must we do to retake our country? To correct its foreign policy that presently is driven by “a far deeper malady within the American spirit”, “and if we ignore this sobering reality… then have we failed God? This speech is a starting point for deep reflection and pursuit of accountability for our government impact on the world. Please join us tonight to hear this speech in its entirety. Don’t be Late!