One of Martin Luther King’s most powerful and insightful speeches exposed the cruelty and stupidity of the U.S.’s war in Vietnam. His “Beyond Vietnam” speech on April 4, 1967 (exactly one year before he was murdered) put the war in the context of the U.S.’s long-standing foreign policy — and also in the context of the U.S.’s failure to provide real democracy for African Americans in our nation, even while our government falsely claimed that we were creating democracy in Vietnam. The speech was very, very controversial at the time because many people did not yet understand the connections.
Every now and then, I re-read his speech. If you have not read it for several years, I strongly encourage you to read it. Here is a link to the text: https://www.crmvet.org/info/mlk_viet.pdf
On January 20, 2022, Glen Anderson was interviewed on Kim Dobson’s “Parallel University” program on KAOS FM 89.3. Glen summarized King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech. You can listen to the radio interview at this link: Parallel U 1-20-22.mp3
How the Vietnam War pushed MLK to embrace global justice, not only civil rights at home:
It is a radical concept of love that demands we embrace those we know and those we don’t, to acknowledge, as King said, “that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny.”
TWO FILMS: (1) “The Boys Who Said No!” and (2) “The Movement and the Madman”
“The Boys Who Said No!” highlights how the principled nonviolent resistance of a few early on sparked greater opposition to the Vietnam war and ultimately helped end a disastrous conflict. And now, thousands of Russian men are reportedly saying no to being conscripted into an unjust war, while unarmed Ukrainians are blocking tanks and taking other brave nonviolent actions, inspiring hope. This film is being distributed more widely now, especially to educational institutions and some community screenings. The producers are actively pursuing international broadcast and/or streaming deals. Info: http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/bosn.html
“The Movement and the Madman” will tell for the first time the dramatic impact of two unprecedented antiwar demonstrations in the fall of 1969: the nationwide Moratorium in October and the massive Mobilization rallies in Washington, DC, and San Francisco in November. Our film shows how these actions – the largest demonstrations in American history at the time – thwarted Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the war by threatening the North Vietnamese with a “savage, decisive blow,” including a possible nuclear strike. Nixon called this his “madman strategy.” Told as a “political thriller,” the film is a David-and-Goliath tale that pits a sprawling and robust popular movement against a devious and increasingly desperate president. Though the impact of these peaceful protests was not publicly known until many years later, they saved countless Vietnamese and American lives.
This is an inspiring story. Often, those of us who participate in peaceful demonstrations feel frustrated afterwards because we don’t always see the impact of our actions. “The Movement and the Madman” offers a powerful counter narrative. The producers hope to complete the film sometime in the first half of 2023. Info: www.movementandthemadman.com