It will enhance any encyclopedic page you visit with the magic of the WIKI 2 technology. The New York Times calls it wasteful and self-defeating. He turned that into a great speech when he got out of the hospital. Mr. SMILEY: Yeah. A Call to Conscience. Not only were they fighting for their own rights in 1976, but … King spoke strongly against the U.S.'s role in the war, arguing that the U.S. was in Vietnam "to occupy it as an American colony" and calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood. The film is the second episode of Tavis Smiley Reports. And I believe everyone has a duty to be in both the civil-rights and peace movements. Let me say this right quick: The comparisons between what King was addressing then about militarism, poverty and racism sound familiar 45 years later. (That is exactly one year before he was assassinated.) And I think that if nothing else what we need to wrestle with in a contemporary sense, Neal, is the question of whether or not there is another way that King would have us consider were he allowed to do. Check your local listings. Through his use of imagery, diction, and parallel structure, Martin Luther King Jr associates the war in Vietnam with injustice in his famous speech, "Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence. So Martin's advisors basically said, if you are intent on giving the speech, at least allow us to craft a speech and to create a setting that will allow you to speak to clergy members and laity so at least before you get to this rally that we know is going to be controversial, we could at least roll this thing out with a different kind of a crowd. But there was a great turnout for the speech. When he saw those pictures, there's a very famous picture, Neal, that we all know of a Vietnamese girl running naked in the streets who had just been, you know, had been victimized as had her village by these napalm attacks. The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. P. 418-425. Full-Text and Audio Excerpts of Martin Luther King's speech "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967 - Riverside Church, NYC, available on this site. We have created a browser extension. And that's the issue that King was raising. WALT (Caller): Yes. Mr. SMILEY: Neal, thank you for the opportunity. But Martin understood very clearly that what we ought to be doing at home is being - we are being distracted, rather, by our engagement around the world. Through his use of imagery, diction, and parallel structure, Martin Luther King Jr associates the war in Vietnam with injustice in his famous speech, “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence.” Martin Luther King Jr. applies imagery throughout his speech in order to illustrate the horrors of the war to arouse anger at its atrocities and injustice. Howard's calling us from South Bend. "[9] He stated that North Vietnam "did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had arrived in the tens of thousands", and accused the U.S. of having killed a million Vietnamese, "mostly children. That Vietnam was a mistake. But this is, again, precisely what King was concerned about, putting the lives of everyday Americans on the line in a fight that was not winnable and a war that was unjust. United States House Select Committee on Assassinations, Martin Luther King Jr. Records Collection Act, King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis, The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306, Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, Joseph Schwantner: New Morning for the World; Nicolas Flagello: The Passion of Martin Luther King. It's a powerful refrain, Neal, about what would've happened in his life, what he would've missed if he had sneezed at that very moment. Keep in mind now that 1967, Neal, as you know, is the same year that Muhammad Ali, the world champion, decides to not accept that draft to go and fight in Vietnam. Martin Luther King 4 April 1967 Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my … I just wanted to say that I was an 18-year-old Marine in Vietnam when the speech was given, and I didn't hear it until three or four years ago. King followed with an historical sketch outlining Vietnam’s devastation at the hands of “ deadly Western arrogance, ” noting, “ we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor ” (King, “ Beyond Vietnam, ” 146; 153). This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. King had read Marx while at Morehouse, but while he rejected "traditional capitalism", he also rejected communism because of its "materialistic interpretation of history" that denied religion, its "ethical relativism", and its "political totalitarianism. "[10], King also criticized American opposition to North Vietnam's land reforms. MLK Beyond Vietnam – Excerpts from Speech “Beyond Vietnam – A Time To Break Silence” was delivered in New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4th, 1967, one year to the day before Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. His house was bombed. Excerpts from this speech are used in the songs "Together" and "Spirit" by Nordic Giants. This is where people started to break away. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" was a powerful and angry speech that raged against the war. 50 years ago, on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church, in NYC, Martin Luther King delivered his powerful and most controversial speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”. AFP/AFP/Getty Images And secondly, so many civil rights leaders were opposed to him giving it because LBJ had been the best president to black people on civil rights. So when the president suggests - and whether directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally diminishes in that Nobel speech Martin's powerful, nonviolent philosophy, it tweaked some people, and you'll see that in the presentation Wednesday night. (Unintelligible) on this program about, you know, the chances he took and even, you know, speaking truth to power to LBJ helped him so much in civil rights. It was a wonderful, I think, place to give the speech in the sense that it's pretty cavernous. "[15] Of course, the Nobel Peace Laureate, a man who clearly believed in nonviolence down to his very soul... CONAN: ...but he'd wanted to give that speech two years earlier. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. It will enhance any encyclopedic page you visit with the magic of the WIKI 2 technology. Some, like civil rights leader Ralph Bunche, the NAACP, and the editorial page writers of The Washington Post[3] and The New York Times[4] called the Riverside Church speech a mistake on King's part. 800-989-8255. Black Protest: History, Documents, and Analyses, 1619 to the Present. "[23] ", After King delivered the speech, Smiley reports, "168 major newspapers the next day denounced him." Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? CONAN: We're talking with Tavis Smiley about his PBS special, "Tavis Smiley Reports MLK: A Call to Conscience." There are people who have come to see the moral imperative of equality, but who cannot yet see the moral imperative of world brotherhood. He had fallen off already the list, as you mentioned, had already fallen off the list of the most admired Americans as tallied by Gallup every year. "[15][16], The "Beyond Vietnam" speech reflected King's evolving political advocacy in his later years, which paralleled the teachings of the progressive Highlander Research and Education Center, with which he was affiliated. "[25] King quoted a United States official who said that from Vietnam to Latin America, the country was "on the wrong side of a world revolution. On April 15, 1967, King participated and spoke at an anti-war march from Manhattan's Central Park to the United Nations. He was stabbed at one time. In Joanne Grant (Ed.) By the time King made the "Beyond Vietnam" speech, Smiley tells host Neal Conan, "he had fallen off already the list of most-admired Americans as tallied by Gallup every year." That's what set so many of them off. A portion of this speech is used in the track "Wisdom, Justice, and Love" by Linkin Park, from their 2010 album A Thousand Suns. And about a month after that speech was given, I was wounded. [25], King's stance on Vietnam encouraged Allard K. Lowenstein, William Sloane Coffin and Norman Thomas, with the support of anti-war Democrats, to attempt to persuade King to run against President Johnson in the 1968 United States presidential election. [20][21], In a 1952 letter to Coretta Scott, he said: "I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic ..."[22] In one speech, he stated that "something is wrong with capitalism" and claimed, "There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism. The address was part of a conference held by CAL-CAV (Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam), an organization working to bring the war in Vietnam to an end. He summed up this aspect by saying, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. And after I was wounded, we had four or five 100-pound bomb dropped on us, and 10 Marines were killed outright and 24 were wounded. Relevance to U.S. Wars and Militarism Today. And King was prescient on this. So it was a great turnout. 16, 1967 in New York. Mr. SMILEY: He'd wanted to give it two years earlier and had attempted a dry run at this speech, to your appoint, Neal, a couple of years prior to when he gave it. And thirdly, I think the main point here in this MLK "Beyond Vietnam" speech is that there is another way. But they didn't stay for the speech in its entirety. He guarded his language in public to avoid being linked to communism by his enemies, but in private he sometimes spoke of his support for democratic socialism. Life magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi",[9] and The Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people. And at that march, he knew there would be people, as you point out in the film, waving Vietnamese flags and chanting... CONAN: ...Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is going to win, and that sort of thing and it would clearly be taken in a very different context. And I think most Americans know the "I Have A Dream" speech. To change course, King suggested a five point outline for stopping the war, which included a call for a unilateral ceasefire. HOWARD: How are you doing, Tavis? "[25] King condemned America's "alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America", and said that the U.S. should support "the shirtless and barefoot people" in the Third World rather than suppressing their attempts at revolution. But it ends up being the most controversial speech. Published on May 4, 2013 Many folk have heard that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. made the comment that the U.S. government was … Dr. Benjamin Spock (2nd-L), Martin Luther King, Jr. (C), Father Frederick Reed and Cleveland Robinson lead a huge pacifist rally protesting U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, Mar. King Jr. delivered a speech called “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence”, at a meeting of concerned clergy at Riverside Church in New York City, New York. Not everyone who supported equality was opposed to the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King’s Purpose in His Speech Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break Silence [Internet]. Obery M. Hendricks Jr., Ph.D. (January 20, 2014). All rights reserved. Mr. SMILEY: That's right. At the time, civil rights leaders publicly condemned him for it. "[8] He connected the war with economic injustice, arguing that the country needed serious moral change: A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. Delivers a speech called Beyond Vietnam He Initiates, ‘War Is not the answer. That's the problem with it. Check your local listings. Indeed, you play parts of President Obama's speech to the Nobel Committee there in Stockholm where he received the award. 2018 Apr 06 [cited 2021 Jan 8]. [1][5], King was long opposed to American involvement in the Vietnam War, but at first avoided the topic in public speeches in order to avoid the interference with civil rights goals that criticism of President Johnson's policies might have created. However, Martin Luther King Jr. supported equality and opposed the Vietnam War. And the last poll taken in his life by Harris, the Harris Poll, Neal, found that nearly three quarters of the American people, nearly three quarters, had turned against Martin on this issue, and 55 percent of his own people, black folk, had turned against him. At what cost? The Washington Post says he has done a discredit to himself, to his people, to his country. He did say he was going to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, so he's kept that promise. GradesFixer. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in … You could also do it yourself at any point in time. But most Americans, I think, do not know this speech, "Beyond Vietnam.". Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a speech that may have helped put a target on his back. The problem was that practically everyone in his inner circle - not all, there was James Bevel and a couple of others - but practically everyone in his inner circle advised him strongly not to give this speech. Excuse me. That speech, entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence, was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict. Mr. SMILEY: Yeah. It was, to your earlier point, the most controversial speech he ever gave. According to the report, the government has imposed restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. CONAN: Oh, the audio is terrible, though. Mr. SMILEY: We - let me just tell you this. You can also join the conversation at our Web site. King Jr delivered his “ Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence ” in 1967 in NewYork City. I would like to see the fervor of the civil-rights movement imbued into the peace movement to instill it with greater strength. CONAN: "MLK: A Call to Conscience" premieres on PBS tomorrow night. So even McNamara eventually comes around to that point. After he gives it, 168 major newspapers the next day denounce him. And I can't tell young black men, who are being denied right here in the streets of America, that they should offer themselves up and to sign themselves up to go - to do harm to people around the world who they do not know. In its 2004 report on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. State Department characterized Vietnam's human rights record as "poor" and cited the continuation of "serious abuses." NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. He would no longer be respected. “There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war” declared Rev. The speech began conventionally. And let's see if we can get another caller on the line. And so he does in New York City. Smiley continues, "it was the most controversial speech he ever gave. After giving his Beyond Vietnam speech, Martin Luther King Jr. lost some of his allies who had once been strong supporters of his cause. CONAN: Tavis Smiley, author, journalist, political commentator, host of his talk show on PBS, joins us today from the Sheryl Flowers Studios in Los Angeles. Recent reports regarding human rights in Vietnam. And he said these three issues of racism and poverty and militarism are going to destroy this nation. But for those who presently choose but one, I would hope they will finally come to see the moral roots common to both. It basically ruined their working relationship. But I'm hoping that people will get a chance, once they see the speech, they'll be moved to go read the speech and to make comparisons, Neal. English: Martin Luther King, Jr, Ph.D. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was a Baptist minister and political activist who was the most famous leader of the American civil rights movement. CONAN: Indeed, it was Oslo. "[9], King opposed the Vietnam War because it took money and resources that could have been spent on social welfare at home. 2nd ed. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence Rev. "Above and Beyond" is a memorial made of 58,000 replica dog tags that honors fallen Vietnam War veterans at the Harold Washington Chicago Public Library is on display until April 2020. In April 1967 American civil rights leader Martin Luther King delivered his best known anti-war speech, dubbed ‘Beyond Vietnam’: “I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. And King gives a great speech out of that hospital called "If I Had Sneezed." In honor of MLK Day this year, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some paragraphs from Martin Luther King Jr's speech titled "Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence" delivered on April 4, 1967. "The press is being stacked against me", King said,[14] And when you see the piece on "Lens" tonight that's the part of the speech that set off so many of those who are in King's inner circle, so many scholars who have written about King. He gave a famous speech about the fact that he - when stabbed in New York at a book signing, the blade was just a scintilla away from his aorta. But when he turns the corner and then says, essentially, that Martin's philosophy wouldn't work in today's world, he goes on to say that Dr. King didn't know al-Qaida, as if to suggest that Martin didn't understand evil, that Martin didn't understand violence, that he himself had not been subjected to it. Answered Dec 05, 2018. AD Exactly one year before his assassination, on April 4, 1967, Rev. Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea! CONAN: And one thing that I was unaware of was the timing of the speech in that he had wanted to say something along these lines. [13] The message directly challenged the president who'd taken great political risks to support civil rights legislation and also challenged many of his colleagues in the movement who've called it a tactical mistake. Martin Luther King Jr is an African American preacher and civil rights activist that along with every other African American male and female in 1976 was waging a war in America for their not-so-natural born rights. Well, it was taken in that context, anyway. I've always argue that Dr. King is the greatest American we've ever produced. hide caption. Let's go to Walt(ph). [17][18] Had the president stopped by giving Martin King his just respect - as he did, to his credit - it would have been okay. "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence", also referred as Riverside Church speech, is an anti-Vietnam War and pro-social justice speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. The major speech at Riverside Church in New York, New York, followed several interviews and several other public speeches in which Dr. King came out against the war in Vietnam and the policies that created the war. Hundreds of folks listened outside on loudspeakers. The full text is available to read online at The Riverside Church donated largely with Rockefeller money. That speech, entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence, was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict. [11], King's opposition cost him significant support among white allies, including President Johnson, Billy Graham,[12] union leaders and powerful publishers. I have not urged a mechanical fusion of the civil rights and peace movements. Tavis Smiley joins us today from the Sheryl Flowers Studios in Los Angeles. King contemplated but ultimately decided against the proposal on the grounds that he felt uneasy with politics and considered himself better suited for his morally unambiguous role as an activist.[26]. To install click the Add extension button. If Dr. King were to say to the organizers of these events, I'd like to show up at your church on Sunday morning, at your rally this weekend, and here's what I want to say, there is a good argument to be made that Dr. King himself might not be welcome - might not be allowed to say what was in his heart, what his conscience really was, given the political correctness of the world that we live in today. Thank you. But certainly one of the greatest orators of our time. It was written by activist and historian Vincent Harding. MLK’s Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. We're talking with Tavis Smiley. CONAN: And there's an interesting point you also make in the film that - or at least some of the participants in your film make - that were he alive today and saying the kinds of things you would expect him to say, given that speech, he probably would not be invited to many Martin Luther King Day celebrations. CONAN: Indeed. So, that's all I had to say. This speech was enormously controversial. So this was a huge, huge speech that got Martin King in more trouble than anything he had ever said or done. If you remember the speech, tell us what it meant at that time, and does the principle of nonviolence apply in the age of al-Qaida? Afghanistan, not so much. Mr. SMILEY: Indeed, he did. And so I think most Americans, Neal, know the "I Have A Dream" speech. However, you argue strongly in the film that it was completely consistent with the nature and the character of Dr. King and something he needed to say. CONAN: Walt, thank you. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. I guess the question now is whether or not Afghanistan is a war of necessity or a war of choice. PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley's new documentary, MLK: A Call to Conscience explores King's speech. We appreciate that. April 30 "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" May "To Charter our Course for the Future" Frogmore, SC 800-989-8255, email us talk@npr.org. One of his great advisers and great admirers, Stanley Levison, who was always with Dr. King in his corner, was against Martin giving this speech. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, D.C. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, San Jose, Martin Luther King High School (disambiguation), Lycée Martin Luther King (disambiguation), Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, John F. Kennedy's speech to the nation on Civil Rights, Chicago Freedom Movement/Chicago open housing movement, Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, Council for United Civil Rights Leadership, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, List of lynching victims in the United States, Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. A speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., given at Riverside Church in New York City, April 4, 1967, and sponsored by Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. And his argument, basically, was that I cannot, as a practitioner and a true believer in nonviolence, espouse that nonviolent philosophy in our movement and then somehow sit idly by when I see violence being engaged around the world. I feel that Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali are two of the, you know, greatest Americans we've ever had. [6] At the urging of SCLC's former Director of Direct Action and now the head of the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, James Bevel, and inspired by the outspokenness of Muhammad Ali,[7] King eventually agreed to publicly oppose the war as opposition was growing among the American public.[6]. For as popular as King was, he was a Nobel laureate, there were only one or two news crews who actually came to see the speech that night, Neal. [19] So all that we have is less than 10 minutes of video of the speech. Of course, he's assassinated in Memphis a year to the day later after giving this speech. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence is an anti-Vietnam war speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1967. MLK: Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence (Full), Martin Luther King, Jr. -- Beyond Vietnam, King speaking to an anti-Vietnam war rally at the. And they, as news crews tend to do, they stayed to get just enough B-roll, as we call it... Mr. SMILEY: ...for the news that night. But Carson makes a powerful point in the special that you just identified, about whether or not Martin King himself would be welcome in some of these mega-churches, at certain political gatherings. CONAN: Howard, thanks very much for the call. And Walt's with us from Cortez in Colorado. This speech was written and basically read word for word so that they could have a copy to give to mainstream newspapers across the country for their consideration, because King did not want to be misquoted... Mr. SMILEY: ...or misunderstood, although that didn't work. All they wanted was “to save the soul of America” (King, Beyond, 42). That's at npr.org, click on TALK OF THE NATION. Martin built his speech that night, Neal, around three major points: around increasing militarism, around escalating poverty and around the issue of racism. "[24], King also stated in "Beyond Vietnam" that "true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar ... it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. And he starts out in the opening line at Riverside Church by saying: I am here tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. And so the question was, Martin, why would you antagonize the president who has been our friend? He passed the Voting Rights Act. Many misconceptions held by the status quo are raised during this interview, yet despite Dr. King's answers, those misconceptions have persisted. Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam. The New York Times editorial suggested that conflating the civil rights movement with the anti-war movement was an oversimplification that did justice to neither, stating that "linking these hard, complex problems will lead not to solutions but to deeper confusion." [27], In 2010, PBS commentator Tavis Smiley said that the speech was the most controversial speech of King's career, and the one he "labored over the most".[28]. I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like. And Tavis, nice to have you back in the program. Mr. SMILEY: Indeed he did, Neal. A few other Americans know, of course, the "Mountaintop" speech given the night before he's assassinated in Memphis. 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