45 Years ‘Beyond Vietnam’

Angela Keaton, April 05, 2012

Long time antiwar activist Phil Restino of Central Florida Veterans For Peace sent us this letter on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination:

Hello All,

It was 45 years ago today on 4 April 1967 at the Riverside Community Church in Harlem, NYC that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his powerful speech condemning the U.S. government’s illegal and immoral war of aggression in Vietnam. The speech was entitled “Beyond Vietnam – A Time To Break Silence” and some believe that it sealed his fate as far as being murdered in Memphis a year to the day later on 4 April 1968.

To read the entire speech as well as access the audio recording of the speech, go to [here] and please share it with others.

It was members of Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam who were hosting Dr. King and it was from their promotions that Dr. King borrowed the statement “There comes a time when silence is betrayal”, which has been repeated and used by activists ever since. However, the second half of the statement added by Dr. King was “and that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam” making very clear that the betrayal of silence in regards to the American people, and in particular the religious and civil rights leaders, not strongly speaking out against the United States’ war on Vietnam.

Somewhat early into the speech, Dr. King was relating his experiences of traveling the United States over the past 2-3 years and visiting the ghettos of various cities and how it was some young disadvantaged black men who questioned him as to why he wasn’t speaking out about the violent war of aggression our government was inflicting on the poor people of Vietnam. The following is how Dr. King related the experience to the audience that day:

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 have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. 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. 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.

It was this quote from Dr. King that inspired myself and weekly columnist for The Black Commentator and veteran of the Black Panther Party, Larry Pinkney, to name our new monthly radio program We Cannot be Silent: with Phil Restino and Larry Pinkney. It was only fitting that our first broadcast of “We cannot be silent” was on 15 January 2012, the actual birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and that part of our discussion was on Larry Pinkney’s recent column tying together the first Black American President’s signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on 31 December 2011 which would give the President the legal authority to turn the U.S. military on the people of the United States with Dr. King’s bold condemnation of President Johnson’s use of the U.S. military in an aggressive war on the people of Vietnam.




3 Responses to “45 Years ‘Beyond Vietnam’”

  1. Gunther Glass must have heard King's speech. too.

  2. Dear Phil Restino,
    It's so noble about non-violent struggle. I myself have been following and applying this path and philosophy in my own movement against the totalitarian regime in Vietnam. However I know by my own experience that no one can think of peaceful solution while bombs are still dropping on their houses, a foreign army still smashing their doors, harassing their mothers, their wives, their sisters, their daughters, while a foreign army is still humiliating and taking away their fathers, their husbands, their brothers, their sons, while foreign secret agents are still planting explosives on their bridges and roads. It’s hell. Do you understand this?
    There’s a proverb saying that “those feet in water are different from the ones are in fire”
    NKPTC

  3. C?n s?t giàn ph?i qu?n áo
    Không gian ch?t h?p khi?n nhi?u h? gia ?ình ph?i b?ng kho?n lo l?ng khi s?p x?p không gian nhà ? m?t cách h?p lý. gian phoi do
    ?ây c?ng là n?i lo chung c?a nhi?u ng??i trong cu?c s?ng hi?n ??i, ??c bi?t là nh?ng ai sinh s?ng trong các ?ô th?. Không ch? mang l?i ti?n ích, các s?n ph?m nh? gian phoi qu?n áo thông minh hay t? âm t??ng còn ?em l?i s? thông thoáng cho không gian gia ?ình b?n và ph?n nào tô ?i?m c?n nhà c?a b?n. V?i nhi?u ng??i Vi?t Nam, giàn ph?i thông minh còn khá xa l? nh?ng v?i nh?ng n??c phát tri?n nh? các n??c ? B?c M? và ?ông Âu thì s?n ph?m này ?ã tr? nên quen thu?c và ???c r?t nhi?u ng??i s? d?ng. giàn ph?i thông minh&

    Nh? nghiên c?u và t?n d?ng các công ngh? hi?n ??i, giàn ph?i ?? thông minh ?ã ???c ra ??i sao cho v?a hi?n ??i, v?a ti?n l?i nh?ng v?n g?n gàng và d? s? d?ng. giàn ph?i thông minh
    ?u ?i?m b?c nh?t c?a giàn ph?i ?? thông minh là ti?t ki?m không gian, ?i?u mà m?i gia ?ình trong cu?c s?ng càng ngày càng ?ông ?úc, nhà c?a càng thu h?p l?i ?ang r?t c?n. gian phoi
    Nói v? ?? ti?n d?ng thì không ai có th? ph? nh?n r?ng giàn ph?i thông minh là s?n ph?m c?n nh?t cho m?i gia ?ình hi?n nay. Không nh?ng ti?t ki?m ???c không gian s?ng, giàn ph?i còn giúp m?i ng??i thoát kh?i d? b?n lòng v? m?t m? qu?n áo ? ??ng không có ch? thông thoáng ?? ph?i móc. giàn ph?i ??
    Dân s? th? gi?i hi?n nay ?ang t?ng v?i t?c ?? nhanh và còn ti?p t?c t?ng trong nh?ng n?m s?p t?i. Chính vì v?y, c?nh ??t ch?t ng??i ?ông ?ang ngày càng tr? nên ph? bi?n, ??c bi?t là t?i các n??c ?ang phát tri?n và phát tri?n. Trong s? ?ó, t?p trung nhi?u nh?t ? các thành ph? hay khu v?c có ?i?u ki?n thu?n l?i cho kinh t? phát tri?n. Di?n tích sinh ho?t c?a ng??i dân b? thu h?p. giàn ph?i
    Không ít ng??i ph?i s?ng trong nh?ng c?n h? ch?t nít và bé tí. M?i ho?t ??ng ?? duy trì cu?c s?ng bình th??ng c?ng c?n ph?i s?p x?p không gian sao cho h?p lý và hi?u qu?.
    tinh d?u d?a
    Tr??c th?c tr?ng nh? hi?n nay, giàn ph?i qu?n áo thông minh ???c thi?t k? và ra ??i ?? giúp khách hàng ti?t ki?m không gian sinh s?ng sao cho phù h?p nh?t. ?ây c?ng là m?t ch?n l?a nh?m gi?i quy?t không gian ph?i qu?n áo trong gia ?ình ?ang ???c ?ông ??o khách hàng tin dùng. gian phoi