On this Martin Luther King Day most of us will listen to snippets, perhaps all, of his great "I Have A Dream" speech, but civil rights was not the only cause this great American championed, and it is not the only reason we celebrate his life today. He was also a great advocate for the poor and in 1967 he spoke out against the war in Vietnam.
Time magazine called his "Beyond Vietnam" speech at the Riverside Church "demigogic slander." The editorial page of the supposedly liberal Washington Post stated, "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."
When I listen to this rarely heard speech, I am shocked by how applicable it is to the wars we are fighting today. I'm reminded that when the powerful are against you, you are probably on the right side of history. And as a teacher, I'm motivated by the knowledge that children do not start wars, adults do, but we send our children to die in them.
Here is the speech: