Monday, January 21, 2008

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: the speech we need

This is the speech we need to read, or listen to, today. The link has both text and audio.

I've put this up on all the course websites for my students. Texts of it began circulating again after we got into the latest war(s). Note the careful analysis in there. It is a much more dangerous and radical speech than "I Have a Dream."

MLK was assassinated a year to the day after giving it.

It's called "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." Riverside Church, April 4, 1967. Forty years ago.

Read it. Listen to it.

P.S. I posted this around noon but am amending the time because I had to repost the video below and I want you to see the MLK material when you first arrive. This message brought to you by the tech repair crew at Acts of Hope.


Doorman-Priest said...

Thank you for this. Of course there is much on American blog-sites today about MLK, but I enjoyed your particular take on it. Much food for thought.

Jane R said...

Thanks, DP. A pleasure to have your visit on this holiday! The speech was timely then (it was given to the group then known as Clergy and Laymen [later Laity] Concerned Against the War) and it is (alas) timely now.

Paul said...

One cannot help a sad shaking of the head at how slowly we learn (or learn not at all). We seem not to have listened then or since. I pray we eventually will.

Ken said...

No surprise in Rev. King's speech especially since Iraq has become an updated Vietnam: the names are almost interchangeable. We substitute one criminal war for another, and either takes the poor and thrusts them into violent activity so they can come home (if they come home) and be prepared for nothing except more violent activity. We see how an underclass is maintained.

Even years ago we knew why King was assassinated. It had nothing to do with Black people. It had to do with his outreach into the greater concerns of social justice that encompassed all races. As long as MLK was focused on the Black community he was a limited threat. But when he saw beyond his own people and recognize the Monster as social and economic, then he became dangerous, and then he had to be put away. Prophets rarely die in bed. Archbishop Romero is another who followed King in prophecy and an early grave.

We're not done yet. There are people who loathe Barak Obama and feel threatened by him. If he becomes a serious candidate, if he becomes a front running, I fear that he will be killed.

No, it's not race. If John Edwards (my personal preference) recovers his momentum, I truly believe he will be killed as well. Does anyone think that the Big Pharma and Insurance companies Edwards has been assaulting will allow this man to become President? He is a clear and present danger.

King saw beyond race. Obama is not about being Black. Edwards is not about his sleek appearance. All of them are or were about the message, upsetting a structure that is dangerous to a handful of people dedicated to expanding the permanent underclass. If we are able to relieve the misery of a citizenry, some of those members are Untouchables, who will clean our toilets? King, Obama, and Edwards are (are because King's ghost walks through this land) very, very dangerous.

Jane R said...

I fear you are right about the risk of killing, Ken. I said this in someone's comments section a couple of weeks ago. And you are absolutely right about what is threatening -- and about King's presence.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Another excellent speech by MLK. How many marvelous words of his are there? They seem endless for a life cut short.

johnieb said...

Thank you, Jane, this is the speech I need, though I had to read it; I couldn't make the audio work for some reason.

Lord, have mercy; I feel another post gestating. You'll get a link as soon as I learn how.

johnieb said...

Here tis:

And thanks again for the link to a most profound sermon, IMRVHO

Algernon said...

Emphaticaly, yes. This is the speech.