Martin Luther King, Jr: ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence’ — Delivered April 4, 1967 (One Year Before His Death)

In an April 4, 1967 appearance at the New York City Riverside Church — exactly one year before his death — King delivered “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” In the speech he spoke strongly against the U.S.’s role in the war, insisting that the U.S. was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony” and calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” But he also argued that the country needed larger and broader moral changes:

“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: This is not just.