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Beyond Vietnam by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beyond Vietnam

A Time to Break Silence

by Martin Luther King, Jr.


Title Details

Running Time
55 Min.
User Rating
  5.0  Stars Based on 8 ratings


"We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight."

-Martin Luther King Jr.

This speech was delivered 4 April 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.

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Reviews & Ratings
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Hands down, King's most imporant and least heard speech
Reviewer oslin
 August 06, 2006
Sadly (and eerily), one can listen to this speech and replace almost every occurrence of the word 'Vietnam' with the word 'Iraq' and still have a relevant and accurate speech that could have been given yesterday. Two years ago I made it a new family tradition for us to play this speech on the MLK holiday. I have also copied it to audio CD and distributed it to local high school media personnel in the hopes that teachers will resurrect this important speech for the youth of today who are likely only to hear the "I Have a Dream" speech. Kudos to whoever got it on this web site!

The more things change....
Reviewer cliffwhitaker
 February 17, 2006
After listening to this speech, I understand why the FBI was investigating Dr. King. This speech, delivered one year before his assassination, is the speech in which he comes out publicly against the war in Vietnam. Many people would call what he had to say unpatriotic. However, Dr. King felt that he was simply following his faith. He could not preach non-violence at home and support violence used by our county in a foreign country. He could not stand against oppression and support oppression abroad.

When listening to this speech, I could not help thinking about our war in Iraq. Though the situations are different, Dr. King reasoning for being against the war still resonates. Dr. King points out that funding the war in Vietnam took money away from helping people in this country. He further points the people dying in the war was primarily poor blacks and whites. He also points out that during the history of Vietnam we had been supporting the oppressors of the people of Vietnam and that the Vietnamese did not think of us as liberators. Dr. King gives other reasons why the Vietnam War was wrong, but these seem to be most relevant today. If we were not tied down in Iraq, would we have responded better when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the gulf coast. The people, today, who are fighting and dying in Iraq are people who need to go into the military to get the money to go to college or to get training so they can get a job. And it is certain that the majority of Iraqis wish we would get out of their country.

What ever you stance on the Iraq or the Vietnam war, you should listen to this speech so that who can understand why some people are against these wars. Dr. King makes a powerful argument against the Vietnam war, that you should overcome before supporting the war in Iraq.

More Details

  • Published: 1967
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: B007369