beyond vietnam speech analysis

There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America”. The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality…and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. King Jr makes a strong statement against war and his speech successfully evokes compassion and sympathy for the poor and the weak in both Vietnam and America. In addition to Martin Luther King, Jr., the church has hosted many prominent speakers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was executed in 1945 at a German concentration camp; Cesar Chavez, the Mexican-American civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association; and Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and former president of South Africa. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Madison Grant Works of Dr. King Beyond Vietnam/ A time to Break silence Analysis Paragraph 2 “A time comes when silence is betrayal”. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours. However, all wanted clarity on the subject. Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of “aggression from the North” as if there were nothing more essential to the war? As Arnold Toynbee says: Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans. What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? However, the persuasiveness of his speeches does not come solely from his ability to connect with his audience’s emotions but from an extraordinary ability to reason and validate his point. ... A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. 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. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence? War makes the innocent lose hope and  leaves behind horrific memories for generations on both sides. In his argument, King mounts a multi-pronged attack on America’s participation in the Vietnam war and also gains people’s sympathy for the Vietnamese. King used his famous oration skills to point out the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign affairs in view of the sorry domestic state of equality in America. In this paper I will seek to determine the scholarly disregard of the rhetorical strategies that King adopted in his speech … It was his first major public antiwar speech and a powerful warning that a rise in racial hatred, militarism and … To get his point through and make the meaning clear, King uses phrases like “break the silence of the night”, “a vocation of agony”, ‘based upon the mandates of conscience’, ‘deeper level of awareness’. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. 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.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Soldier of the 25th Infantry Division, c., 1969. Through his use of imagery, diction, and parallel structure, Martin Luther King Jr associates the war in Vietnam with injustice in his famous speech, "Beyond Vietnam - … I speak of the — for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. This makes the irony explicit and that Vietnam being a smaller and weaker nation was being made to face injustice which it never deserved or desired. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. Harding recalled in an interview with Tavis Smiley, The Third Rail with OZY Wants You in the Audience. Some would be uninterested and some not knowing what to do. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. While those words from 1963 are necessary, his speech “Beyond Vietnam,” from 1967, is actually the more insightful one. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word (unquote). They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1954; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for “the brotherhood of man.” This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit. While his words clearly deliver his disappointment over the path American government had chosen, it also expresses a clear intention to not be with the wrong and instead listen to one’s inner voice. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. 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. ‘Beyond Vietnam' was a speech that resonated in so many hearts during such a tragic time. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts. War is not the answer. King Jr knew that war creates confusion and that his audience’s mind was boggled with questions. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. The American intervention came at a time when the Vietnamese were expecting freedom and peaceful life and it came in a manner that was even devastating compared to the French occupation. He notes how essential it is to break silence before all hope is lost. Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown However, his words while they aim to bring the pain of the Vietnamese alive before the audience also include a request that a progressive nation should stand with humanity and not lose control of its feelings. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. The irony is explicit in King’s words that the war is just an attempt to cover and hide the more pressing issues before America. In this way, he personifies war as a demon that consumes people’s lives and a nation’s valuable resources which would otherwise be happy if it was not being ruined by bombs and bullets. 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. It is also a much more dangerous and disturbing speech, which is … After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. As he notes towards the end of his speech, “If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood “. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. We have destroyed their land and their crops. Martin Luther King had spoken critically about the Vietnam War before, but it was his blistering Beyond Vietnam speech at an event sponsored by “Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam” that gained wide attention. Instead, King chooses to use facts to show what an illness war is. In this way, he tries to stress that even if we have progressed, we have grown  nowhere better than the ancient barbarians that killed for fun. It … On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. In part, we do not commemorate the aspects of Dr. King’s legacy that are wrapped up in “Beyond Vietnam” because a chorus of voices at the time condemned the speech as too radical, as communist, and as contrary to the interests of a Civil Rights Movement that was finally gaining traction on issues of social justice at home, and that stood only to lose by associating its cause with the most … These are the times for real choices and not false ones. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. Procrastination is still the thief of time. So, what America is doing to other nations like Vietnam also matters. Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. King’s main motive was to persuade people to see how war was destroying lives, society and economy and being silent meant being in approval of the war. Martin Luther King, Jr., giving his speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence at Riverside Church in NYC, April 4, 1967. Just like the people of America, the Vietnamese also have a right to live free on the lands of their fathers. The idea of nonviolence is much larger than ordinary people see. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. Dr. King’s purpose is to make the church leaders he is speaking to aware that the time has come for them to speak out loudly in … According to the PBS documentary MLK: A Call to Conscience (2010), the speech was denounced by 168 newspapers across the country. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the North. Beyond Vietnam A Time To Break Silence Analysis 768 Words | 4 Pages. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism (unquote). I say it plain, The war with Vietnam was just as unjust as unnecessary. BEYOND VIETNAM April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, NYC. The speech is considered a turning point in the public opinion’s of the Vietnam War. 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. Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. We must stop now. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. He picks from history as well as politics and also supports his choices with philosophical wisdom. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. Harding, a native of Harlem, NYC, received his BA from City College of New York and Masters in Journalism from Columbia University before serving in the US Army (1953-55) and receiving a PhD in History at the University in Chicago in 1965. 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