It is also a much more dangerous and disturbing speech, which is … We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. HistoryNet Staff. He tries to make people see the other side of the picture where both black and white men were being pushed into hell without considering and questioning the outcome. I heard him speak so many times. ... A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. Is it among these voiceless ones? And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. So, what America is doing to other nations like Vietnam also matters. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Tax ID: 26-2810489. It is why while he attacks America’s intervention in Vietnam on the one hand, on the other he brings people’s attention towards the other side of life where America can become a beacon of hope and peace for the entire world including Vietnam. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" was a powerful and angry speech that raged against the war. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch antirevolutionaries. It is why he constructs an argument that will help people decide which side to stand with and which to not. King used his famous oration skills to point out the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign affairs in view of the sorry domestic state of equality in America. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. I still think this is probably the best.”, “It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor — both black and white — through the poverty program. Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us”. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. Martin Luther King’s ‘Beyond Vietnam’ Speech. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers. I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. He picks from history as well as politics and also supports his choices with philosophical wisdom. Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. “Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. I say it plain, Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. His use of imagery and diction is aimed at making people break their silence and express their anger clearly. Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, delivers a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam” in … Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. The war according to King Jr. is nothing more than a political game played for the sake of fun and ego. Harding recalled in an interview with Tavis Smiley, The Third Rail with OZY Wants You in the Audience. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word (unquote). I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a fervent anti-war speech, departing from his message of civil rights and railing against the Vietnam War. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. And yet I swear this oath — They will be concerned about Guatemala — Guatemala and Peru. Both religion and society condemn war and even popular religious figures have stood up to speak against it for the toll it takes upon human lives and for it is against the spirit of humanity and brotherhood. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Omar Khayyam is right: “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.”. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Rhetorical Analysis of MLK's Speech "Beyond Vietnam" Widely known for his work in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr eventually also gained momentum in the anti-war movement against the war in Vietnam. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church — the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate — leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight. Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. This directly relates to Dr. King’s title of his speech “A time to break the silence referring to all of the affects the United States fighting in the Vietnam War has had on the world. Somehow this madness must cease. We must rapidly begin…we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. Reflecting on what speech vietnam beyond jr luther martin king analysis s going on here. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. In this way, he appeals to the emotions of the audience and challenges the logic behind an unnecessary war. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops. What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? Read on for background on the historic speech, highlights and the speech in in its entirety. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. He includes various perspectives and addresses several counterarguments with the intention to prove the futility of war as a tool to address social, economic and political problems. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Read a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr’s Beyond Vietnam: Time to break silence. We must move past indecision to action. by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. w/ Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research January 12, 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle 4 April 1967 In April of 1967, the Rev. Or will there be another message — of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Meanwhile — Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. He drafted several speeches for King over the years and eventually became the first director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? The war with Vietnam was just as unjust as unnecessary. As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated: Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide, We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier: O, yes, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” We in the West must support these revolutions. Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. In his argument, King mounts a multi-pronged attack on America’s participation in the Vietnam war and also gains people’s sympathy for the Vietnamese. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. BACKGROUND This speech was given By Rev. Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. 2 In an article titled, “Beyond Vietnam-A time to Break Silence.”, he tries to provide compelling evidence and sound reasoning to decry America’s involvement in Vietnam war. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs. The actual speech begins at 1:41 in the recording. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. To make his claims stand out and have a deeper impact, he uses instances from Vietnamese history to show the level of injustice faced by its people how war has destabilized them. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism (unquote). The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.” “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate — ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another, for love is God. In addition to Martin Luther King, Jr., the church has hosted many prominent speakers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was executed in 1945 at a German concentration camp; Cesar Chavez, the Mexican-American civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association; and Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and former president of South Africa. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries. America is overlooking its own poor and pouring resources into a war which does not offer any political, economic or social advantage. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside church. Regarding choosing “Beyond Vietnam” for the title when the country was deep in the middle of the war, Harding recalled in an interview with Tavis Smiley, “this is more than a simple case of getting out of Vietnam. These are revolutionary times. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1954 — in 1945 rather — after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King delivered his first major public statement against the Vietnam War, entitled "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence." Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? Moreover, it is the poor and the helpless mainly who are falling prey to this war game. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. King, a gifted speaker who normally wouldn’t read from text, did read out Beyond Vietnam because he planned to submit it to publications and did not want to be misquoted. In Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam—A Time to Break Silence” (1967), Dr. King asserts that the war in Vietnam is totally immoral and has far reaching negative implications not only for Vietnam, but for The United States and the rest of the World as well. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: “Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?” “Why are you joining the voices of dissent?” “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,” they say. What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One? It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. While his I Have a Dream speech is considered his best one, his other speeches too offer a glimpse of his powerful rhetoric and his art of persuasion. His choice of diction and use of imagery help him deliver his point effectively in a manner that impresses both the audience’s heart and mind. We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. The essence of the speech focused on the war in Vietnam. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. Apart from highlighting the wicked nature of the war, King Jr ‘s speech also sets the urgency for protest. How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of “aggression from the North” as if there were nothing more essential to the war? Some would be uninterested and some not knowing what to do. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. The neo-gothic Riverside Church in New York City has a long history of progressive leaders and activism, dating back to its opening in October, 1930. Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. To construct a clear and strong picture and show how condemnable the war exercises in Vietnam were, King compared it with an arena of gladiators which even if it amuses and engages, is something absolutely animal and barbaric. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. This is a case of getting out of a certain frame of mind, of a way of thinking about ourselves and about the world.”. In part, we do not commemorate the aspects of Dr. King’s legacy that are wrapped up in “Beyond Vietnam” because a chorus of voices at the time condemned the speech as too radical, as communist, and as contrary to the interests of a Civil Rights Movement that was finally gaining traction on issues of social justice at home, and that stood only to lose by associating its cause with the most … The American intervention came at a time when the Vietnamese were expecting freedom and peaceful life and it came in a manner that was even devastating compared to the French occupation. Members get extended access to PBS video on demand and more. The problems being faced by either America or Vietnam were never going to be solved through rifles but through peaceful and nonviolent action. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence? His choice of words in the speech is meant to have a direct effect on the audience’s psychology. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. 2. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. The speech … When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. It is just a  continuation of the regimes that have been trying to oppress the Vietnamese. Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown He does it to engage people’s imagination and to awaken their consciences. Photo: Ad Meskens. In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. King’s main motive was to persuade people to see how war was destroying lives, society and economy and being silent meant being in approval of the war. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the North. He evaluates the psychological as well as social, political and economic implications of America’s participation in Vietnam war. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”, WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. Martin Luther King April 4, 1967 Riverside Church, New York City 2 Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The persuasive techniques utilized by King Jr are aimed at making people think over the outcomes of Vietnam war and if it was not against America’s integrity. He repeatedly stresses upon breaking the silence because in this situation being silent was a sin. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. Soldier of the 25th Infantry Division, c., 1969. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. BEYOND VIETNAM April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, NYC. He means to make people ask questions of themselves and ponder over the meaninglessness and uselessness of war and what would remain behind once the war was over. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States’ influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. Follow along with the transcript, below. Right at the outset, King involves religious figures to establish the credibility for his reason and to prove that war was improper and inhuman. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. 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