Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 8pm Eastern / 7 Central
The second in a series of four reports by Tavis Smiley -- MLK: A Call to Conscience -- will air on PBS this week. This episode looks at Martin Luther King's stand against the Vietnam war as a defining moment in U.S. history.
On April 4th, 1967, MLK gave his Beyond Vietnam speech at Riverside Church near Columbia University in New York. In this speech he strongly condemned the war, declaring that his conscience left him no other choice but to do so. King described the war’s injurious effects on both America’s poor and Vietnamese peasants. He saw it as a moral imperative for the U.S. to take radical steps to stop the war through nonviolent means.
I heard this speech for the first time as I was driving home from the Washington, DC area this year on Martin Luther King Day. I remember thinking every time King said "Vietnam" that we could substitute "Afghanistan" and the speech would be as timely as it was in 1967.
You can check out the website for Episode 2 here. I couldn't get all the videos to load, but I did watch the segment from an interview with Vincent Harding, a co-writer of the Beyond Vietnam speech. Included are links to Harding's Veterans of Hope Project.
Looks like it could be an inspiring event for citizens concerned about our presence in Iraq, Afghanistan. In an interview this morning, Tavis had a lot of things to say about why he sees this speech as a defining moment. I'm really looking forward to seeing this show.
Cross-posted from Citizen, Inc.