Today is MLK Day….we celebrate his activism for those without a voice….he chose the tactics of Gandhi….those of non-violence…..which is a good thing but if we celebrate those tactics why not then also celebrate is antiwar stance?
US jets bombed villages. US soldiers machine-gunned combatants and civilians. The Vietnam War had hit a fever pitch of death when Martin Luther King Jr. stepped onto the podium at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, and said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”
The speech, “A Time to Break the Silence,” cost him. Newspapers damned him. Friends distanced themselves. President Lyndon Johnson, angered by what he thought was betrayal, reportedly called King, “that goddamn n***** preacher.”
King risked isolation to speak hard truths. The US’s endless war had depleted the money needed to end poverty. The war was in support of a corrupt, authoritarian regime that suppressed a peoples’ desire to be free. The US was poisoned by its militarism; it was not the beacon of democracy but its destroyer.
King was a pacifist…… a peace-nik back in those days….he abhorred all forms of violence….and we should embrace his antiwar work if we embrace his non-violence tactics……
And yet many disrespect King by ignoring his work to stop war in all its forms.
If have spoken….so I have written……
Turn The Page!