Monday, January 15, 2007

Remember Martin Luther King Jr And His Opposition To Oppression

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man with a dream, a dream most Americans know well. A dream of equality and tolerance and integration that he tried to pass on to the rest of America and the world.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of great courage and conviction with an extraordinary vision of peace and equality for all man, and even those of caucasian ancestry should honor his memory and his principals, he was and is an American hero, very much responsible for shaping our country.

Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a hero, but he is also one of the few true martyr's borne of this nation of great men and cowards alike. Dr. King was the former of the aforementioned, and his opponents were the latter.

As with all activist, King had enemies, enemies who were eventually successful in quelling his voice but not his vision nor his movement.

What we recall the most about this great American hero was his role in the Civil Rights Movement, his intolerance of injustice and opposition to oppression, his inspiring speeches and the strength of his character.

What we have forgotten about Martin Luther King Jr. was his stance against the Vietnam War, which could be meaningful to remember in the time in which we are living in. A time that is already drawing up comparisons to Vietnam.

One can read the text of King's speech "Beyond Vietnam" to understand the specific reasons he was opposed to the war, or on can read the several quotes of Dr. King on the war in Vietnam below.

"We all have to be concerned about terrorism, but you will never end terrorism by terrorizing others."

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation."

"The chain reaction of evil--wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

"War is the greatest plague that can affect humanity; it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it."

"Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows."

"The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America."

"We have guided missiles and misguided men."

"We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace."

"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government."

It is eerie how one can look at King's observations of the Vietnam War and easily apply the same expressions to the Iraq War.

Martin Luther King Jr. had a very strong stance against not only the Vietnam War, but against all war and all aggression in the world, he made that very clear with the statement "I have condemned any organizer of war, regardless of his rank or nationality."

So on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of 2007 let us consider his words on war and aggression as we prepare to escalate the war in Iraq, a war that has become like Vietnam in more ways than one.