By Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson
My attention to this was draw by a lady in the States who will be attending an anti-war protest today. I thought I ought to do a post as I wrote my own poem in memory to Martin Luther King or MLK as he is known.
A public holiday in the U.S.A, it is observed on the third Monday of January each year, celebrating his birthday which was the 15th January 1929, 94 years ago now. Monday the 16th is the day this year. This link explains something of the history of how the day came to be a public holiday.
If you don’t already know about him you can look up about him here to start with. I knew very little beyond his two main speeches ‘I have a dream’ and ‘I have been to the mountaintop’, the latter referencing Moses from the Old Testament who allowed to see but not enter the promised land of Canaan.
As regards MLK I do not propose to analyse his life in any great detail, but I think worth looking at his opposition to the Vietnam War. I use this link for reference.
I was only a teenager when it ended and had always taken side of the USA as I saw the communists as anti-freedom and ‘the enemy’, perhaps a legacy of WW2 when the US fought as allies with the UK and others to rid the world of the Nazi menace.
I did not realise as I do now that the Nazi menace was linked with communism as I had little knowledge its source, Marxism which arose out of Germany like Nazism.
I extract the following paragraphs from Wikipedia and comment as necessary.
Opposition to the Vietnam War
King was long opposed to American involvement in the Vietnam War, but at first avoided the topic in public speeches in order to avoid the interference with civil rights goals that criticism of President Johnson’s policies might have created.
At the urging of SCLC’s former Director of Direct Action and now the head of the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, James Bevel, and inspired by the outspokenness of Muhammad Ali, King eventually agreed to publicly oppose the war as opposition was growing among the American public.
During an April 4, 1967, appearance at the New York City Riverside Church—exactly one year before his death—King delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”
He spoke strongly against the U.S.’s role in the war, arguing that the U.S. was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony” and calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” He connected the war with economic injustice, arguing that the country needed serious moral change:
From my limited knowledge and research I now believe he was right. The US government has been in the business of creating subservient nations, colonies if you will, economically dominated by the USA. Perhaps all empires have been this in the end and the USA is no different.
Of course communism was at work in Vietnam, as elsewhere in the world, but it is a Godless creed ultimately devoid of true love and therefore exploitable by the greedy and control freaks.
Like capitalism too of course.
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.”
Which is very true. Note that as of 2022 8 of 10 top billionaires in the world are USA nationality according to Wikipedia.
Of top 100 according to link below, 39 are from the USA.
The link suggest 7 rather than 8 for the top 10 but the proportions are still very notable.
King 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.
The land reforms were quite a complicated issue as many supposed landlords and rich peasants were killed. It is estimated that around ¾ of those executed as being ‘evil’ were wrongly accused. See
Nowadays we see Bill Gates buying up farmland for some reason. Given what a nasty piece of work he is with his pushing of poisonous vaccines and the corruption of Microsoft and its updates for example, it will be for no good thing that is for sure.
As regards the war, it went on for 20 years, far, far longer than WW2, perpetuating war and funding the arms manufacturers insatiable appetite for money.
And justifying the industry’s existence.
The total numbers of dead are difficult to estimate but vary from perhaps 1,450, 000 to 3,595,000.
As to the injured perhaps this is anybody’s guess but the harm and trauma was immense, physical and mental. It’s no wonder people turn to drugs to ease the pain, but as ever big pharma profited.
Much like big pharma today, although their harm and killing is done under the guise of health and safety which, if possible, is far, far worse due its deceit.
And to my shame, I did not realise until 2020.
King’s opposition cost him significant support among white allies, including President Johnson, Billy Graham, 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 nonviolence 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.”
As regards Billy Graham this link says Billy Graham was a hypocrite sometimes.
“Graham occasionally preached racial tolerance and held integrated crusades during the civil rights era. But even some of his biggest supporters say Graham accepted segregation at some of his crusades, criticized marches and sit-ins, and would not risk his popularity by confronting segregation head-on.”
It seems he succumbed to the same sin as Peter when Peter stopped associating with gentiles and started only associating with so-called Jews. Paul the apostle takes him to takes on this.
As regards the media critics this is very limited.
However the link does say
“And so he spoke. King said he could no longer ask the youths rioting in the streets to lay down their weapons without also asking “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” — the United States — to put down its weapons in Vietnam. He said that, as a nation, we had become so arrogant as to believe that we had everything to teach the world but nothing to learn.”
This is perhaps one of the greatest points and why the USA has fallen so far and is in a great mess today.
The “Beyond Vietnam” speech reflected King’s evolving political advocacy in his later years, which paralleled the teachings of the progressive Highlander Research and Education Center, with which he was affiliated. King began to speak of the need for fundamental changes in the political and economic life of the nation, and more frequently expressed his opposition to the war and his desire to see a redistribution of resources to correct racial and economic injustice.
He guarded his language in public to avoid being linked to communism by his enemies, but in private he sometimes spoke of his support for social democracy and democratic socialism.
All -isms are ultimately a problem. Without a change of heart, any -ism becomes bad. If mankind is kind then the method of ordering life is almost irrelevant, except that ordered it must be as chaos leaves people confused and rudderless.
If mankind is not kind then evil arises and society collapses.
In a 1952 letter to Coretta Scott, he said: “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic …”
In one speech, he stated that “something is wrong with capitalism” and claimed, “There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”
I repeat, the trouble is that it is the heart of man that matters; the outward form is ultimately nothing. It is love that enables us to make the best of what we have for everyone concerned, our neighbour if you will.
As to what is love, well we have the parable of the Good Samaritan, tending for someone injured who would have been considered his enemy.
And Jesus said love your enemy.
But then that does not mean failing to challenge evil and corruption as if we don’t, evil prevails and people suffer unnecessarily.
King had read Marx while at Morehouse, but while he rejected “traditional capitalism”, he rejected communism because of its “materialistic interpretation of history” that denied religion, its “ethical relativism”, and its “political totalitarianism.”
Whatever traditional capitalism is. Well believe it or not anagram of these two words is
Perhaps this sums it up. As regards communism an anagram is
Icon MS mum
Perhaps this is symbolic of the rise of feminism.
Yet here is someone who lived under the realities of communism.
And this is interesting. See Brandon Ross answer. I understand he is from the States.
The last lines are very telling to today.
“Is Democratic socialism, socialism in disguise? Sure. And particularly, the welfare state is a carrot to persuade citizens to give up their rights, and rely on the government.
In many parts of the world, people think that’s a good idea. Where I’m from, we think differently.
Is it communism in disguise? No.
At least, not yet. However, if a communist party were so motivated, seizing power in a democratic socialist country would be much easier.”
And that in essence is what we have now, albeit one might say the same of capitalism which tends to monopoly when corrupt business men seek to control governments and politicians for their own false profit.
King stated in “Beyond Vietnam” that “true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar … it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” King quoted a United States official who said that from Vietnam to Latin America, the country was “on the wrong side of a world revolution.” King condemned America’s “alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America”, and said that the U.S. should support “the shirtless and barefoot people” in the Third World rather than suppressing their attempts at revolution.
It should be noted that the landed gentry of Latin America were essentially Roman Catholic (RC) and used the power and influence of the RC church to dominate the masses, the ‘peons’.
The same might be said in part of the USA, with roughly 23% of its population saying they are Catholic in 2018 according to Wikipedia.
Of course the percentage is well below that of Latin America. However, given that ultimately the RC church as an institution is based on man’s idea of authority rather than God’s, it creates a problem for society where true critical thinking is given up for a ‘Follow the authorities regardless as they know best’ attitude.
In the US there are also a large proportion with Germanic origins, not quite 13% in 2019 according to Wikipedia.
The Germanic tend to be rule followers, hence the issues in Germany with the World Wars. It may well explain in part issues today in the USA too.
Please also consider the fact that “About 250,000 German Jews had arrived by the 1870s, and they sponsored reform synagogues in many small cities across the country.” From last link above.
Reform synagogues support LGBTQ+ etc. No wonder they are syn-agogues!
King’s stance on Vietnam encouraged Allard K. Lowenstein, William Sloane Coffin and Norman Thomas, with the support of anti-war Democrats, to attempt to persuade King to run against President Johnson in the 1968 United States presidential election. King contemplated but ultimately decided against the proposal on the grounds that he felt uneasy with politics and considered himself better suited for his morally unambiguous role as an activist.
No doubt very wise.
On April 15, 1967, King participated and spoke at an anti-war march from Manhattan’s Central Park to the United Nations. The march was organized by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and initiated by its chairman, James Bevel. At the U.N. King brought up issues of civil rights and the draft:
I have not urged a mechanical fusion of the civil rights and peace movements. There are people who have come to see the moral imperative of equality, but who cannot yet see the moral imperative of world brotherhood. I would like to see the fervor of the civil-rights movement imbued into the peace movement to instill it with greater strength. And I believe everyone has a duty to be in both the civil-rights and peace movements. But for those who presently choose but one, I would hope they will finally come to see the moral roots common to both.
The problem with equality is that no one can ever be equal, but what must be sought is justice. The scales of justice as symbolised by the Old Bailey statue is what we need, a balance of equal measures where no one is unfairly treated.
The collecting of manna from the desert by the Israelites is another example, where each gathered according to their need and all had sufficient, neither too much or too little.
Seeing an opportunity to unite civil rights activists and anti-war activists, Bevel convinced King to become even more active in the anti-war effort. Despite his growing public opposition towards the Vietnam War, King was not fond of the hippie culture which developed from the anti-war movement. In his 1967 Massey Lecture, King stated:
The importance of the hippies is not in their unconventional behavior, but in the fact that hundreds of thousands of young people, in turning to a flight from reality, are expressing a profoundly discrediting view on the society they emerge from.
This is an important distinction; the youngsters, now perhaps in their 70’s, were fleeing from the corrupted society and false, hypocritical religion.
I was never in that world, but much of it seemed wonderful with beautiful music, much of it I like. But there was drug taking and so-called ‘free love’, really free sex.
The drugs opened up a can of worms, and increased the hallucinations and demons in people’s minds. Remember that demon is strictly ‘de mon’, ‘of my’ in French. We create our own demons.
Indeed, as the drugs led to big pharma increasing tremendously with its poisonous neuro-toxic medicines, it is not surprising ‘demons’ is also an anagram of ‘On meds’!!!
It really all is in the words.
Anyway, nothing is free as it all comes with responsibilities and ultimately the problem with people asserting their ’civil rights’ is they may have forgotten their civil responsibilities.
Words matter, and nowadays people are focused on these so-called rights, rather than the responsibility to love as laid down in the two greatest commandments to in essence love God and love your neighbour as yourself.
On January 13, 1968 (the day after President Johnson’s State of the Union Address), King called for a large march on Washington against “one of history’s most cruel and senseless wars.”
It certainly was, but then aren’t all wars ultimately cruel and senseless? As is written “You crave what you do not have; you kill and covet, but are unable to obtain it. You quarrel and fight.”
We need to make clear in this political year, to congressmen on both sides of the aisle and to the president of the United States, that we will no longer tolerate, we will no longer vote for men who continue to see the killings of Vietnamese and Americans as the best way of advancing the goals of freedom and self-determination in Southeast Asia.
Summary and final thoughts
He was assassinated on April 4, 1968. You read about it and the theory that actually it was the US government or at least certain persons within in that perpetrated this murder.
Given what I now know about the USA and its infiltration by both Nazis and communists (their networks are world over of course), I can well believe it to be true.
Anyway, I said I did a poem in memory of MLK, based on his famous speech, ‘I have a dream’. It was written as my alter ego, my true self if you will, a couple of years ago in rather strange circumstances which one day I may explain.
And he was right about moral change, really a change of heart. As it is written:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
I, the LORD, search the heart; I examine the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds deserve.
Like a partridge hatching eggs it did not lay is the man who makes a fortune unjustly. In the middle of his days his riches will desert him, and in the end he will be the fool.
But what shall we do with our hearts if they are deceitful? This has useful Bible quotes.
From the Letter to the Ephesians
I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
From the Letter to the Philippians
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…
As at last in 2020 I truly understood this and found out who I really am. I can testify to this as Faithful and True.
And thank you Martin Luther King (Jr).
P.S. These posts may be of interest.
Here’s my poem again.