Monday, January 17, 2005

On 8/28/63, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an incredible speech about the Vietnam War, the fear of communism, and the American government's destruction of a poor country and it's even poorer, citizens.
Substitute Iraq, and the fear of terrorists, and Martin Luther King's words ring clear and true in 2005, from the place where his spirit lives. As we take the time to honor him on this day, through his inspiring words, he continues to send us love, encouragement, and HOPE.

AUGUST 28TH 1963
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. 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. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
....Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. 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.............................. if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube.
,,,,,,And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.....
....................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. 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.

Yes, it is.
The entire text of Martin Luther King Jr.,'s speech, "A Time To Break The Silence" can be found
Some people have said about the Iraq War, that every generation has to learn the same lessons all over again. As if somehow, we lost all memory of the Vietnam War, and of how it divided our country. We did not forget, though.

What makes the war against Iraq even more horrendous and it's basis even more despicable, is that the men who initiated it grew up in the time of the Vietnam War. The pain, and loss of life, the destruction, the slaughtered people, all of that, they remember, and are very familiar with. And they did not turn away from that evil, they embraced it, for they are it. And they must NOT be allowed to win. Thank you for shining your beacon of light on us today, Mr. King


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