I can think of no better way to celebrate, honor the good doctor than learning something new about him and/or the causes he fought for. It’s a good day.
I admittedly miss the Travis/Cornell roadshow. Their support for Glen Ford and his take down of establishment tool Micheal Dyson both on Democracy now and in his Article, Wall of Words-Glenn Ford, analyzing that intellectual beating…… is just great!
Dr. King is one of my top ten Political Superheros.I had/have great respect for his understanding of how to get something accomplished against overwhelming forces. I believe King’s miraculous accomplishment of transforming an incredibly racist group of people just enough to start effecting change, was a high point in the history of mankind. I equate the images of the peaceful protesters being savaged by the police, and its ability to make someone say “we lost our way,this is terrible, I don’t support that”, to the Buddhist Monk setting him self on fire to protest the Vietnam war. Dr. King’s righteous opposition to that war affected, negatively, how his own community viewed him.
His need to advocate for the Vietnamese people was for me the defining issue. His strong moral compass did not let him separate the oppression his government was subjecting the Vietnamese People to from the oppression it was subjecting his community too- that is a very profound set of facts indicative of a very, deeply moral individual. Worthy of everyone’s admiration.
The Dr. Knew what waited for him on the other side of a declaration against the Vietnam War, everything derogatory and the kitchen sink. That he chose to do it anyway is inspirational.
King also opposed the Vietnam War because it took money and resources that could have been spent on social welfare at home. The United States Congress was spending more and more on the military and less and less on anti-poverty programs at the same time. He summed up this aspect by saying, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death”. He stated that North Vietnam “did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had arrived in the tens of thousands”, and accused the U.S. of having killed a million Vietnamese, “mostly children”. King also criticized American opposition to North Vietnam’s land reforms.
King’s opposition cost him significant support among white allies, including President Johnson, union leaders and powerful publishers. “The press is being stacked against me”, King said, complaining of what he described as a double standard that applauded his non-violence at home, but deplored it when applied “toward little brown Vietnamese children”. Life magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi“, and The Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.
Democracy Now Debate