thumbnail of America's chief moral dilemma
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Today's liner Gast has long been an advocate of nonviolence and is recognized. As a leading figure in the summer rights movement of the United States. He was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize winning it at the age of 35 and to present time in addition to a civil rights activities is one of the leading critics of President Johnson's war policy is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Thank you very kindly for your heartwarming applause. Someone has sad when an audience applause for you a speech that represents faith
when they are caught in the middle of your speech that represents all men when they are caught I think and that represents a lot. So you have demonstrated great faith today on I-71 appreciate your very heart warming. Well. I need not pause to say how very delighted I am who have the privilege of coming to this brave institution of learning and the privilege of discussing with you some of the vital issues of our day. No one can overlook the fact that the University of California is one of the truly free university areas of our world. I think one of the great Neves and our world today and certainly and our
nation gathers for the revolution of values and I for one appreciates the fact that you are here at Berkeley and have constantly reminded all of us and our whole nation that we must grant review our values. I would also like to express my deep personal appreciation to you as a civil rights leader for the support. That you do that as a university I have come so far in student body. And given to the civil rights struggle as we have a labor minister and unrelentingly to achieve first class citizenship. We have and the full support of persons of goodwill over
our nation and I would serve in the same way that some of the strongest support that we have received. I came from this great campus this university and with students who have a great concern and I want to thank you because you had a real sense have been the conscience of the academic community and our nation. And I can only the saying keep up. The good work and keep up this great concern. I want to talk with you this afternoon from the subject. America's chief morrow near them. That can be no gainsaying of the fact that America has brought the nation and the were.
To at all and sparring thresholding of the future. We have built machines that think and the instruments that can go and to the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space we have built China Gannet buildings to kiss the sky and gargantuan bridges to span the sea. Space ships we have car the highways through the stratosphere there are planes we go our distance and place time and change. There are submarine in this we have penetrated oceanic that yes this was a dazzling picture
of our nation's scientific and technological progress but when we look to the other side something basic is missing. Our nation suffers from a kind of poverty of the Spirit. When she stands in glaring contrast to our scientists and technological abundance Yaz we learn to fly the Allied birds we've learned to swim the seas like fish. And yet we have not learned the simple hour of walking the earth as brothers and sisters. Henry David Thoreau all the ones. Are improved to me so I don't improve and soften. We have
allowed the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live. It seems to me that this is express no way out Greta. Than in the cunt tenured existence of racism. Poverty and War. These are the three evils I want to talk about this afternoon. Evils that must be dealt with and problems that must be solved if we are to go on positively and creatively and the deeds are here. Racial and justice is still not a black man's burden and America's shame this problem exists today
because many Americans would like to have a nation which is a good model restraint far right Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over black America. This is one of the great problems that we find today now and the struggle to get rid of racial injustice that has been some progress and I would not want to overlook this or an assault after an assault. Man has profoundly shaken the entire edifice. Of legal segregation. And I do not go into the movement from the Montgomery bus boycott. Right on up through the Selma movement of nineteen sixty five movements which literally subpoena the
conscience of a large segment of the nation. To appear before the Judgment Seat of morality on the whole question of civil rights and in spite of this we must recognize that the plant of freedom has grown only power and not yet a flower. Women see that the struggle is much more difficult now. Well not 12 years. The civil rights struggle. Dealt with the system of. Legal segregation descend from deprivation and exploitation surrounding the system. Many things were done during those years that we will remember as long as records of members of.
What we in the see the day with Selma and the Voting Rights Act. One for years of development in the civil rights revolution came to it again. Now a new phase. Has opened this new phase is a struggle for our genuine one equality. We're in the phase that has now passed the achievement. It's. All ok in that bargain rate. He didn't cost the nation anything to integrate lunch counters no expenses were involved. No taxes were involved and didn't cost the nation and in things we integrate lumber as motels and hotels. It didn't cost the nation anything to gallantry the right to vote.
We are dealing with issues. That will cost the nation something in terms of billions of dollars and the other thing that we must see is that we are not dealing with issues that will demand a radical redistribution of economic and political power. Thanks. Thank many of the allies who went weathers in the first phase I'm going to end this phase. Many of the people who. Were with us in Selma in Birmingham were with us because they were sincerely out ready to excrete this behavior toward a negro. Problem was a well Jen's book khana and GM car and than
action and all of that violence expressed openly toward Negro but they were not fall genuine equality the true allies and new genuine liberals are the ones who recognize that we are in a new phase. And. All of the way and in this context I think we should see the meaning of the so-called white backlash and I hope you will understand that the so-called white backlash is merely the new name on only phenomenon. Thanks. Thank you. We must honestly face the fact that there has never been and a single solid determined commitment on the part of the vast
majority of white Americans on the whole question of racial harmony on the Statue of Liberty. We read that America is the model of exile. I didn't pick not long to realize that America has been. A mother in most instances of its white and sounds from Europe. And have never has never even sat a kind of. Maternal care and concern. For its black and sounds who were brought to this country in chains from Africa. It is no wonder that in one of. The Cyrus songs of early days a negro woman cry out sometimes. I feel like a motherless child. What we see. Is a constant moving forward taking a step forward on the
question of racial justice. And then begin to step backwards at the same time. In 1863 through the Emancipation Proclamation. The nation freed the negro all from the bondage of physical smellier the negro was not given land to make that freedom meaningful. We must never forget that at the same time I one nation was given the way the millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest which meant that America was willing to undergird its right peasants from Europe. With an economic form. Refusing to undergird its Black has been brought here in chains from Africa with the same kind of economic floor. Now for
emancipation for the negro was freedom to hunger. It was freedom of the winds and rains what happened was freedom without bread to eat without a man to cultivate it. It was freedom and famine at the same time. And 1875 the nation passed a civil rights bill you know. And refused to enforce it. 1964 the nation passed and he we have all rights below and even to this day it has not been enforced in all of its dimensions. In 1954 the Supreme Court. Declared segregation unconstitutional in the public school and now we find ourselves 12 or 13 years later was left with less than 5 percent of the Negro students of the deep south attending integrated schools and if it continues at this pace
it will take another nine to seven years to integrate the public school suburban politicians talk eloquently against open housing at the same time and in the same breath huntin that they are not raise. All of these things reveal that the white backed backlash is nothing new. The fact is that America has been backlash and on the Rushton of fundamental human rights for its black citizens for more than 300 years. Thanks. Thank you. So we must not allow anybody to take Gods from the real problem. I condemn Ryan so strongly as anybody. Riots did not cause a white backlash. Nobody had rioted in
Watts. When the state of California voted out of the existence of fair housing be you. Thank you. However no chance of black power. When foreignness a non offending beautiful negro girl were killed in a church in Birmingham Alabama and nothing has been done about it to this very day. We must see the problem. Read here. Problem here. Then why don't Americans and I don't mean all white America. Right America has never sonnet Blake committed itself on the question of racial justice and it means that now we must good our current o's who are committed to the struggle for justice and freedom. He's worked harder.
Than ever before writing to show you that we need this kind of activity and this kind of work more than we had even in the first phase. I know that we're going through a period where. Now understandable suspicion in some segments of the Negro community concerning the commitment. Of white America. And I can understand. This feeling psychological you know why. No one must allow this feeling to make us feel that the negro can do this job. All by himself. Somehow we must work together. Realize that working together and creating a constructive committed on lions is we can go on.
And the danger here not too long I'm convinced that house feels all zones even though they represent a numerical minority of white persons in this country many of whom are under the sound of my voice right now cherish justice and democratic principles of privilege and who are willing to go with us all the way. And this is why I can still say without any reluctance. Black and white together we shall overcome. The end of the second evil that I would like to mention is even the poverty like a monstrous octopus. Stan Nigerian prehensile tentacles and
villages and cities all over our nation. Some 40 million of our brothers and sisters are poverty stricken. Many of them go to battle hungry and I'm I've seen them with my own eyes I've lived with them in the ghettos of our nation. Some of them were Indians some. A Mexican-American some a Puerto Rican some Appalachian white. The largest group in terms in proportion to its size and the population is the American Negro negroes and poor people generally find themselves to be smothering in a Nap time changes poverty and the messed up in a flow on society.
Now something must be done about this. Something must be done about it quickly. When we look at the Negro community for an instance we are facing a major depression every day. The unemployment rate among liberals who sign up for the Labor Department at eight point four percent unemployment in the nation generally is about 4 percent. But they don't deal with all of the facts because they are dealing with statistics that can be done as a result of people who've been in the labor market and those who still go to the employment office to try to find work. They aren't dealing with the hundreds and thousands of discouraged Negro and whom the last hope has had so many domes closed in their faces they had come to conclude that life is a long and desolate covered door with no exit sign. They've lost motivation.
Now maybe another seven eight percent in that category. Which means that the unemployment rate among Negroes may well be 16 percent among some young people among the youth in the Negro community and some citizen goes up as high as 35 and 40 percent. Of the nation as a whole confronted with the negro as presently confronting economic and then we would be in a major depression and more staggering than the depression of the 30s and it's not only unemployment. Most of the poor people are working every day but earning so little money. They cannot began to gain the basic necessities of life. Something must be done about that it was all done of this great nation is a compassionate nation. All intimately a great person is concerned about the
least of these and I can. 10 and we still have poverty in America today because our steel all too many people who have tried to be conscientious objectives in the war against poverty. Now somewhere else we ought to be conscientious objectors we talk talk about a few minutes but not in the war against poverty. I. Thank you thank you. The problem is you see we have the resources in America to end poverty in western news whether we have the wheel. If we were to end poverty here that must be a tremendous reordering all of progress
and a hockey estimated the other day that we spend five hundred thousand dollars us here have randomness soldier in Vietnam when you look at Iraq and Saddam's tragedy we spend on the fifty three dollars a year for every person that has a concept of poverty stricken half of that full salary of oh who I'm not where I was in is why don't we try and win the day. I'm a friend that's the administration of our nation is moral come CERN when an arm went up on the wall in Vietnam than about winning the war against poverty right here at home without. Thank
you. Now this leads me to the next evil it is the evil of wall nowhere that is as evil expressed a dream. That in the tragic unjust evil law in Vietnam. Is tragic that we got in from the very beginning as Professor common to have seen this tragic wall is a product of a gigantic miscalculation that the world after 1945 was and would remain divided into two great blocks one representing life and the other darkness.
And that we who represented the light stood on the getten an avenue for the loan. Somehow. We move right on with those miscalculations this woe is the product of a gigantic miscalculation about China and about age. Probably the largest and most fearful miscalculation and diplomat in history the notion that Chiang Kai shek represent the true China. That the communist did not represent China and we're not really here to stay and need not therefore be recognize it was as if Britain and France had gone on to recognizing the Confederacy as the legitimate government of the United States 20 years ago. And I thank you. It is the product.
Of an almost demonic delusion that we were not only called upon to set and keep the rest of the world straight but that we had the material intellectual and moral resources to do this. It is a product of grave miscalculations that because we were a wild power we had power and could use it every around in the world. How does this man one con a body of obsession and miscalculations have come those notions now so familiar Had we not the United Nations all the peacekeeping instrument of the modern world. One except these assumptions assumptions almost paranoid in that sweep and vastness and our war in Vietnam takes on a kind of nightmarish launching.
This was our hands all of the dimension of a Greek tragedy and all it has done so much damage to our nation as a result of this war we have seriously impair the United Nation. We have forfeited the support of our allies so long today the United States stands Marly and politically isolated in the world. We have great lead. Strengthen the forces of reaction. And our country and excited violence and hatred among our people. We have strengthen the military industrial complex which even President Eisenhower once warned us against. Then we have. Then we have blocked the self-determination of the people. Were other.
People in our country realize it or not in large numbers. We are in the tragic position in the war in Vietnam of engaging in a process that Propecia we each write. How many others whom have put up with certain niceties of complexity thanks to as a result of this wall we have diverted attention from civil rights. When the guns of wall become a national obsession social programs are formed in the background consciences are not all roused and not as much about the injustices still existing in the society people as. Why do you try to Tang's the issues together
the issues of peace and civil rights. My old man says that they have tied themselves together. Thank you. Thank you back and be no doubt of the fact that this war has hurt the civil rights movement and this is why our standing in the way of program now carried us in dealing with this new phase of the human rights revolution. Another thing about the war in Vietnam is that it has made the principle of dissent one of the chief casualties of the war that is a mad attempt today sometimes overtly and sometimes covertly to equate dissent with disloyalty and to say that those who are concerned
about withdrawing from Vietnam and ending that was obviously no enemy of our song. Well I want the record to show you. And I'm against the wall. One of the reasons along with men is that I have seen so many fine bright promising young men taken out of society taken out of school sent away to fight in this unjust war and what we are saying is that we are our. As best friends because we want them to come home it's time to come home. You were. Ruth thank
you. Another casualty of the war in Vietnam is doing humility our nation through rugged determination scientific and technological process progress as I mentioned earlier. We have become the richest and most powerful nation in the world. Honest and tells me to admit. Paula has often made us our time. We feel that all our money can do anything. We our complete feel that we have everything to teach other nations and nothing to learn from them. We often arrogantly feel that we have some divine messianic mission to police the whole world.
We are going to not allowing young nations to go through the same Growing Pains turbulence and revolution that characterized our home history we are a gun in our contention then we have some sacred mission to protect people from totalitarian rule while we make little use of our power to end the evils of South Africa and Rhodesia acca. We are going to professing to be concerned about the freedom of foreign nations while not setting our own house in order. Many of our senators and congressman vote Jorja snare to appropriate billions of dollars for the war in Vietnam. And these same senators and congressman vote loudly
against a fan housing bill to make it possible for a new program to run a Vietnam. To purchase a decent home Thacker. Thank you. We all Negro soldiers pick your lone foreign battlefield but offer little protection for our relatives from beatings and killings in our homes towels. We are winning to make the negro 100 percent of a citizen in warfare but reducing them to 50 percent of US citizen on American soil. Thank you so of all the good things in life the Negro has approximately one half those of rights. The bad things you have stripes those are rights. Those have all Negroes live in substandard housing and negroes have health
and comfort right. When we turn to the negative experiences of life the Negro has a double share that twice as many unemployed. The infant mortality rate is double that of right now twice as many negroes dying in Vietnam as whites in proportion to their size in the population. All of this tells us that our nation has a great deal to do in using its vast resources of power. To solve the problems facing our nation and facing mankind. The other thing about this war in Vietnam is that it has increased the possibility of all out nuclear warfare. Now for years it has increased the possibility of the destruction of all mankind. I must say to you honestly and this afternoon and I'm
sad to say I feel that the Crown has third world war hovering in my pillow and this value is a third world wall which can destroy the whole of mankind. Our government will have to take the chief responsibility for making this a reality. Thank you Will. Thank you. I'm sorry I have them are locked again Sharon. You speak against this wall. Take a stand. I have rock hand and I want to commend all of you that have been dissipated in some way and I urge you to continue
this summer. Now would be an opportunity for thousands of students to work in communities all over our nation and the kind of teach out knocking on door us talking with people about the war in Vietnam giving them the facts about the war developing statistics on the number of people opposed to the war. Ham is to build a powerful. Peace Block. I can read I have info on who's in the 1968 election and we must make it clear that we are going to knock off political forces and the politicians ignore Vietnam in nineteen sixty eight. This must be an issue if that tragic war still going home and saw as a lot Hawks escalate the war in Vietnam. We must escalate
our protest against the world. Thank you. Was. You ought to report instead to me the other day I talk to Cain Don't you think you have heard your influence and you think by taking a stand against the war in Vietnam you're losing many people who once respected you. They will no longer listen to you now. Don't you think you must kind of move back. More toward the administration's policy. And I'm not doing this report and said I'm sorry but you don't know me.
I'm not a consensuses Leno. The oath at. Thank you and I went on to tell him that I do not determine what is right or wrong by going on taking our Gallup poll on the majority opinion. All too many called him a genuine you know is not such a for consensus but a mold off consensus. On some positions Cawood has asked the question Is it safe expediency asked the question who is a politician. Vanity asks the question is a popular conscience asked the question is
it right. And now times in life you must take a stand that is neither safe not politic not popular but you take it because it is right and that is why you were anchoring. Entity thanks or as I'm talking my conclusion let me say that that is a need in our country. Find of. Created discontent.
Certain technical words are used in every academic discipline. They soon become stereotypes and cliches every academic discipline has its technical know and creature modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in psychology. It is a word not exhaustion. I'm saddened that we all want to live as far as possible the well adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenia personalities. I must say to you this afternoon than some things that are not in our nation and in the world of which I am proud to be now than just talk called upon all men of good will to be maladjusted toward the good societies realize I never intend to adjust myself to racial move segregation and discrimination. I never
intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the minute to give luxuries to the few. I'm not going to intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism. But in a day when Sputniks and explorers and Gemini is a dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missile the high we have through the stratosphere. No nation can win that is a wall. We must come to see that the alternative to disarmament. The alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests. The alternative to strengthening the United Nations and disarming the whole world may well be a civilization plan has been to the abyss of annihilation and our earth not habitat will be transformed into an inferno and even the mind to talk to could not envision it
may well be that our world lives and die and a new organisation the International Association for the Advancement of creative maladjustment the oath of. Without a man and women I was maladjusted as a prophet Amos who in the midst of the injustices of his day and justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream Justin who's Thomas Jefferson in the midst of his own vacillations about slavery scratched across the pages of history words lifted to cosmic proportions. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by our That created thought with sudden alienable rights that among these are Life Liberty
and the pursuit of happiness through science maladjustment. I believe that we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man's inhumanity to man into the bright and glittering DAYBREAK of freedom and justice. And somehow I still have faith. That keeps me going through these difficult days. I hope that we will develop a coalition of conscience will solve this problem. I'll tell you where I have the faith and it is because of universities like this. We found thousands of young people black and white who have the new vision that we need in this age. So I have lost faith in the future. I think we are going to reach the goal that we seek. So Iraq can still sing We Shall Overcome. I know many can sing it now
and I can still sing it because I believe the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. We usually overcome because Carla is right. No law can live forever. We shall overcome because we are in color. Bryant is right. Truth crushed earth will rise again. We shall overcome because James Russell Lord is right. Troof I have on the scaffold wrong on the throne yet that scaffold sways a future so with this phase we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. This faith we will move toward that day we're going to transform the jangling discords of our nation and to a beautiful symphony of brotherhood with this faith we will speed up the day when all man black men and white men Jews and Gentiles Protestants and Catholics believe those unknown believers will be able to join hands right in this nation and sing in the words of the
all Negro spiritual Free at last free at last thank God I'm biting. We are free at last. Thank you. It's been a long time.
Dr. King has consented to ask questions to answer a question already asked. Before he begins. There are some individuals who would like to make a presentation. If you have questions because there's an enormous amount of people please try to write them down on something and pass them forward. We have about 20 questions now. We like to have some questions that don't repeat every subject. So please pass them forward as rapidly as possible. Dr. King among us there are many thousands who participated in the anti-war movement the civil rights movements of the past and
many of us are very very tired of voting for politicians that during election times talk peace and the day after escalate wars. And for these many of thousands of people who feel that we hastily have drawn up a petition of some 50 student and faculty leaders of the peace civil rights student movements on this campus and we address ourselves to one question we ask a choice in 1968 to vote against the war. We ask that choice be independent candidates. Martin Luther King and Benjamin Spock of this week. Thanks. Dr. King would like to reserve his comment about five question please ask
something relevant to do with of the Titian. First question is Dr. King Do you advocate direct political resistance to the draft and the war effort instead of or in addition to religious opposition doctrine in place based on belief in a supreme being. If so in which manner do you recommend Today's you can confront the United States government. First I think that is absolutely necessary to begin a massive movement of their letter writing and other means demonstrations with necessary to change the draft laws on this whole question of conscientious objection. As you know at the present time it's based mainly on religious views in opposition to all wars which means that only a pacifist could be accepted as a conscientious objector. I think the time has come
for our nation to stop this process. Are invading our lives and even the convictions of thousands and thousands of young men and our country and give them the opportunity to be conscientious objectors of a particular war. That's not thank you very necessary and I really think we need a movement around this. I'm convinced that if this isn't done thousands and thousands and I believe is growing every day of young men who find this war I'm sure most objectionable and abominable are going to choose jail rather than going to fight in Vietnam. Thank you. Thank you Dr King would you be our candidate in 1968.
Will. Well I must say that it's very kind of you have to even express such concern and make such a request. I do think we have some major decisions to make in six days and I do feel that we may be caught in a situation where we have the administration's policy been expressed by the administration and Snowe and the Republican candidate running with the same policy I even apart I said to the right of the administration that that would happen it brother Nixon not I'm not going for. That not because. I said I wouldn't come to California and talk about your good government was. Thank God people may have to
choose between our job and some are really gotten. I don't want this that's a pretty. Girl. But in all seriousness I think we all will raise really. I think we're faced with some difficult decisions and it may be necessary for our kind of third force to come into being. That those persons who cannot in good conscience follow the policy of the administration policy of tenured escalation of the war in Vietnam and contended fighting of this war will have to turn elsewhere. Now I do not feel that I am presidential temperament. I am committed to trying to do this job of civil rights and this job of building where ever we
can more opposition to the war in Vietnam and this was certainly I think all of my time and I would rather think of myself as one trying desperately to be the conscience of all of the political parties rather than being a political candidate whether its a political candidate in a serious and serving as a channel for a protest vote. I think they are good people that could be time to for this. And I must frankly say that I have no ambitions all intentions and this area and I hope that those who have raised this will understand that it's a part of my deep convictions to put all of my time now and trying to build the opposition to the war and also to deal with the great problems that we have in the civil rights movement. And I've just never thought of myself and I can now think of myself. As a
politician of course I do have sense enough to know that I couldn't win. Thanks. Dr. King. How do you views don't recall Michael's approach to the civil rights movement. Well I would prefer to reverse the question I got that question today and the question and substance that he stopped in Carmichael head of. The civil rights movement and I have answered by saying that the forces in our nation that. Continue. To vacillate on the question of racial justice and the forces that allow certain conditions that are intolerable to exist and continue to
exist. I doing much more harm to civil rights than stomp their karma on the dollar so all of that may be points that some would disagree with and stop with us the loss of it but I do think he has raised some very fundamental questions that we must all recognize. They bring the number of the negro in the ghetto it is his powerlessness and it is necessary to transform that powerlessness into. A creative and constructive power. We do need political and economic power. Power is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose and the ability to effect change and I think we should recognize that those who are speaking of black power have at least brought that point out at a point that we try to stress all along I think the other thing that we must see is a
necessity for a powerful psychological countermand in the Negro community. This is absolutely needed because of our bruised history because for so long we were forced to believe that we were nobody. We became ashamed of our heritage ashamed of our color ashamed of our hand and everything else. And this was tragic. Now what we are saying is that we will assert. Our manhood and this is something that is needed for our growth. You see our language messed us up here too and. We have a problem or sommat makes no sense. If you will run through. Roget's Thesaurus you'll find about a hundred and twenty five Senate names for black. They are all. Degrading something
evil something along the way and then when you get those one hundred and eighteen synonyms for right there's always something Chase pure. And Noble where the U.S. and so Negro children end up every day being taught a hundred and twenty five ways to think of themselves as inferior and why children end up every day hundred and eighteen times reminding themselves how to feel superior and you know I said runs right through the language. Anything any experience we think of black as something degrading and that which is right is bad or outright lies that are. Now back online. That's the way it is inside to go and sort of the advert thing and degrading and even that which is past in all five nine years when you're going to appear on the hearses black. Suit the suit you have to wear.
Black. And never saw that online which has given the impression that black is big rating and black is. Something that is on words here and what we're saying now use that black is beautiful and as beautiful as any problem for 1000. Now let me go on to say that. You have a much I understand I do feel that I must assert my own principles about black separatism. And I think we have to understand what brought the movie points of black separatism into big but I have to look at the fact that it's a problem is to ultimately be so we must face the fact that is no separate black Bascom power and
fulfillment that does not intersect white groups the problem is that we are dealing with problems in civil rights now. That are human problems and in order to solve them you've got to get people on auto never to work to bring them about. We are dealing with poverty for instance which is us here is larger than the black man and the only way you can get rid of poverty and I mean when you get rid of slums would be through billions of dollars. Of course in order to do this we've got to have constructive alliances with the real forces of commitment and goodwill. Some of that if there's any feeling that we can move down a separate black pastor then I don't believe this and I think it's also necessary to say on the other side that that is no separate bypass to power in fulfillment of social disaster that does not recognize the need of sharing that power with black aspirations with freedom and dignity. You see for too long we've
thought of integration as not romantic in a static sense and you know the added color to a still predominantly white power structure. More and more we've got to think of going to prison also in political terms where you have shared power and so many people thinking often merely an aesthetic to say oh we have an integrated community. On neighborhood is integrated. We have two Nigro family. Our own labor union will say our union is integrated from top to bottom we have a hundred thousand negro members and we even have two members on our board of 45 and that becomes integration you see and of course integration is always our move toward our. Right community is the negro going to some white rather than again and into a chain and I think it is very necessary to see all of this
and I would say that these questions have been raised many of them have been raised by Stokely Carmichael. And these questions need to be raised. Now the final point that I'd like to bring out is that I'm not sure stokers views on violence versus nonviolence He says these questions are irrelevant. I think you know my views on that and I don't need to go into it in a long sentence. I still believe that nonviolence is the most potent weapon are available to the negro and his struggle for freedom and justice and I don't mean a weak emotion many people think of nonviolence as something weak and they fail to see that that is a masculinity and strength and nonviolence that is truly organized and it takes great courage. Many people confuse not resistance to evil with nonviolent resistance nonviolent resistance those resist.
And I do not see the possibility even in practical terms of the negro winning a found revolution in the United States. We have to study history here and history tells us that no violent revolution is won unless the practices those who are practicing the violence and seeking to overthrow particular if she have the support of the. Resisting majority. Maybe truth that during the Bolshevik Revolution let us say that all of the Russian people were not involved in the fight. But they had the support of the vast majority of people as they were games in games in the fighting and maybe China Kashmir has had a few people in India but never forget that Castro had the support and sympathy.
More than 95 percent of the Cuban people and seeking to overthrow the Batista regime. Thank you. That's one thing that's true in every revolution other thing is that most revolutions and ought to when you've got to divide the Army a study of revolutions will reveal. That the resisting violent force ultimately one army must be honest enough to tell you. Oh I don't think harmony as it is is present in the structure. I'm going to aid the negro and. Saw anything in that sense. And certainly we wouldn't have the support of the vast majority of American people and a violent revolution so evenly and practical terms I think our best course of action is to develop programs of power of organization around certain definite aims and
objectives. And move militant left to the point of achieving them and I tell you my program as I mentioned earlier somewhere today to solve the problems that I see in the poverty area. We've got to do more than some of the things we're doing now because this is not even a good skirmish on the minister's organs. We don need a guaranteed annual income for all of our Thanks. Dr. King is on a very tight schedule and has consented to come to Berkeley today with many other obligations so there's time for one more question. He has to leave immediately to go to a re reception which is the plan for him so he would appreciate it if the many people who have submitted questions asking to see him could please allow him to go to the reception.
Question is what do you think about the influx of white college students in the Negro ghettos to tutor Negro children. Is there any harm done to racial pride or is racial pride already lacking in the black ghetto. I personally favor committed my students working in ghettos and working with Negroes I've never given up on this hope because I think that. For all. The negro who feels hopeless at times and who feel cynical about life. Is able to see Negroes and whites working and living together and a very committed sense. The more you keep the lamp of hope burning and certainly we do need in the ghettos of our country many activities going on because the conditions are so bad as you well
know and I think this is one of the very constructive areas now many things that can be done and must be done as a tutorial. Our idea is very important now. I do feel that the whites who work in the Negro community must go to work with negro and not to do something for Negroes because this becomes a kind of new levels. Of paternalism. And there must be a complete understanding and complete empathy a kind of cognitive empathy. This is the only way I don't white person will be able to function in the ghetto. It's also necessary to understand some of the bitterness and again I have to understand myself and I certainly know Whites have to understand I have to go on to get on here my brother was cursing me out about talking about bombs and I don't run from them and I curse them out I put my arms around them and try to explain. We must understand the disenchantment
and the discontent and even the bitterness and I think through this period there's a need for great compassion and great concern and this will carry all of us a greater distance in the days ahead. I do want to mention as I said earlier the Vietnam summer project is under way and the recruiting process has taken place and here in this area. That is an office. The number is. For one find I guess that's Eric 0 7 5 2 7 7 6 6. And of course the other many in the I guess we would say the national headquarters is in Cambridge Massachusetts at this time. And I. Want to reiterate the need for. Your support. And Cambridge it's one 29 MT all bombed St. Hey you
baby you are right again. Mount Auburn Street. Now this is I don't I haven't had a chance to go into the details of this but my brother has mentioned it to me and I'm always concerned about my brothers and the problems that we are our face. Paying. Union Local Union number four and demonstrate against the fine art of three painters by the Golden Gate Bridge and I don't know the details of this but I do know that these men have talked with me they just need and they've clearly demonstrated this and that is a protest at the British on May 25th. Had a government cough. They said Union Square. Square. In San Francisco on May 25th. When I'm making a speech I always have so many requests made to
mention something in the speech and always end up forgetting some of you have spoken to me about something that I should have mentioned and I forgot in the process. Please forgive me.
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America's chief moral dilemma
Producing Organization
KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Contributing Organization
Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
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Episode Description
Martin Luther King, Jr. gives a speech about the immoral consequence of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Recorded on the Sproul Hall steps at the University of California at Berkeley on May 17, 1967. Dr. King appeared under the auspices of the Inter-Fraternity Council.
Broadcast Date
Created Date
Event Coverage
Social Issues
War and Conflict
Public Affairs
African Americans--Civil rights--History
Media type
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 10402_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: PRA_AAPP_BB1195_Americas_chief_moral_dilemma (Filename)
Format: audio/vnd.wave
Generation: Master
Duration: 1:12:05
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Chicago: “America's chief moral dilemma,” 1967-05-17, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2023,
MLA: “America's chief moral dilemma.” 1967-05-17. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2023. <>.
APA: America's chief moral dilemma. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from