"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government", Jones said. "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".
By 1967, the greatness of King that America honors annually rested largely in his rearview mirror.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Memphis in March 1968 during the sanitation workers' strike.
In the interview, Pressley also spoke with former NAACP General Counsel Secretary Kim Keenan regarding her thoughts on the speech and the impact of society today.
President Trump's very first budget blueprint, which proposes an increase in defense spending for 2018 of $54 billion (a 10 percent increase) with $54 billion in cuts to programs serving the poor and vulnerable and addressing basic needs and other non-defense discretionary spending to pay for it, plainly shows Dr. King's message is not being heard or heeded.
The country has reconciled itself to much of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. - to the point where the King of the early and mid-1960s is embraced by conservatives and liberals alike. But they ask, and rightly so, "What about Vietnam?"
Wisconsin Republicans claim that their state is broke, and have used that claim to justify stripping state workers of their collective bargaining rights. "Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live".
Dr. King said 50 years ago, "We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls 'enemy, ' for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers". It was April 4, 1967 when King delivered a bold speech called "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence".
Veterans for Peace Director Jack Gilroy says Dr. King's words still ring true to this day.
Dr. King promised to return and he did, but he would never march again.
"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", King said at Riverside. "If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read 'Vietnam'". During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of USA military advisors in Venezuela.
In order to sustain a protracted war, sacrifices must be made elsewhere.
At least seven we know of: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
America is once again shirking its commitment to those on the underside to bolster an enterprise that is void direction or goal. An example of this issue can be seen at El Bethel Arms Inc & Terrace, a 350-unit senior housing facility that was developed specifically for African Americans.
In saying plainly that the country was wrong to be in Vietnam, King may have been out in front of mainstream opinion but he was not all by himself. The tragic irony is that prophets are usually appreciated more ex post facto. "When I got word of his assassination, my first reaction was they finally got him".
Our goal has been to offer the speech for consideration to the Lehigh Valley community to help others discover the wisdom and care for the beloved community that was the focus of King's life.