On MLK Day

The Ithaca Register recalls one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s later speeches.

Exactly one year before his death, from an altar in a New York City church, the civil rights champion put his campaign to end the war in Vietnam on center stage. The conflict showed America as a nation on the wrong side of global revolution; on the side of wealthy corporations rather than long-oppressed people yearning to be free.

He called the United States the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and warned the nation would lose its soul if its people did not abandon materialism as their ambition and war as their method. Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander” akin to attacks from Radio Hanoi and the Washington Post said the dreamer it once lauded had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”

Here’s the full text of Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.


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