Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Check out one of MLK's greatest speeches before tomorrow night's Tavis Smiley show

Tomorrow night Tavis Smiley will be doing a program called MLK: A Call to Conscience on most PBS stations (check local listings).

It's about what may be Martin Luther King, Jr.'s greatest speech, the powerful antiwar speech he delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 -- a year to the day before he was assassinated. The speech severed his relationship with LBJ, angered most of white America, and the passions it aroused may even have led to his assassination. His words remain powerful today.
A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
The speech is still as timely as ever, and the issues Dr. King raised have still not been resolved. If military spending didn't consume so much of our budget, finding the money for health care for all would be a trivial matter. But more than 40 years after Dr. King spoke these words, we're still struggling with the spiritual death thing.

You might want to listen to the speech or read the transcript here, so you're up to speed for the program.

Note to Madison Viewers: Our local PBS station does not carry Tavis Smiley (which I think is ridiculous). Madison cable viewers can watch the program on the Milwaukee public television station. The rest of us will have to wait to stream it on the Tavis Smiley Reports website after it premieres on PBS.

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