Selected Quotes From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's
Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam

and Other Speeches

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR . . .

. . . DECLARED WE CANNOT IGNORE WAR

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. . . . SPOKE AGAINST WAR AND FOR PEACE To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. . . . CALLED FOR PROFOUND CHANGE IN U.S. POLICY The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit . . . We will be marching and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. . . . SAID WE NEED A REVOLUTION OF VALUES AND SOCIETAL RESTRUCTURING A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look easily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. . . . CRITICIZED THE PENTAGON BUDGET A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. . . . SAID U.S. IS "GREATEST PURVEYOR OF VIOLENCE" 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. . . . SAID WE MUST DECLARE ETERNAL HOSTILITY TO RACISM AND MILITARISM 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. . . . CONSIDERED MILITARISM TO BE EVIL I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. . . . CRITICIZED US WAR CRIMES AND UNJUST WARS God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.



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