beyond vietnam speech analysis

After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. To make his claims stand out and have a deeper impact, he uses instances from Vietnamese history to show the level of injustice faced by its people how war has destabilized them. What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? Harding, a native of Harlem, NYC, received his BA from City College of New York and Masters in Journalism from Columbia University before serving in the US Army (1953-55) and receiving a PhD in History at the University in Chicago in 1965. Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation. The neo-gothic Riverside Church in New York City has a long history of progressive leaders and activism, dating back to its opening in October, 1930. Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. We must stop now. 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.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. The speech … To help his audience see that Vietnam is only madness, a wastage of resources and an ignorance of more pressing concerns, King once again affirms that war was never a means of peace. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. The belief of the clergy took the theme of silence is betrayal. In his speech on the meaninglessness of the Vietnam war and to persuade the audience to listen to its own conscience rather than to conform to the idea of war in the name of patriotism, King Jr draws from the realms of economy, society, polity as well as religion and philosophy. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church — the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate — leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight. One of Martin Luther King Jr.’s lesser known yet equally impactful speeches, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” condemns the violence and atrocities committed by the U.S against the Vietnamese in their foolish bid to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Instead, King chooses to use facts to show what an illness war is. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. And yet I swear this oath — Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. Fifty years ago in 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech that startled even many of his supporters in the Civil Rights Movement. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality…and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. Right at the outset, King involves religious figures to establish the credibility for his reason and to prove that war was improper and inhuman. With King's words, people began to find comfort in the terrible situation. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. Or will there be another message — of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? Martin Luther King’s ‘Beyond Vietnam’ Speech. Reflecting on what speech vietnam beyond jr luther martin king analysis s going on here. Martin Luther King April 4, 1967 Riverside Church, New York City 2 Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents. Martin Luther King, Jr., giving his speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence at Riverside Church in NYC, April 4, 1967. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a fervent anti-war speech, departing from his message of civil rights and railing against the Vietnam War. It is why he constructs an argument that will help people decide which side to stand with and which to not. Rhetorical Analysis of MLK's Speech "Beyond Vietnam" Widely known for his work in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr eventually also gained momentum in the anti-war movement against the war in Vietnam. Follow along with the transcript, below. And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. Part of our ongoing — Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of “aggression from the North” as if there were nothing more essential to the war? We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. These are revolutionary times. Apart from drawing a parallel between the situation in Vietnam and America, he shows neither stood to gain from it. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States’ influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos. It … There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. His speech emphasizes at transitioning from war to peace and from violence to a nonviolent and peaceful society. It is why while he attacks America’s intervention in Vietnam on the one hand, on the other he brings people’s attention towards the other side of life where America can become a beacon of hope and peace for the entire world including Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life? America is overlooking its own poor and pouring resources into a war which does not offer any political, economic or social advantage. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us”. In this paper I will seek to determine the scholarly disregard of the rhetorical strategies that King adopted in his speech … From The Vietnam War, PBS. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. He graduated with a Hons. The essence of the speech focused on the war in Vietnam. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. In the North, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. Soon, the only solid — solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call “fortified hamlets.” The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. 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. King Jr makes a strong statement against war and his speech successfully evokes compassion and sympathy for the poor and the weak in both Vietnam and America. In this paper the speech “Beyond Vietnam” of Martin Luther king will be analyzed through the framework of Neo-Aristotelian criticism. That speech, entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence, was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. He notes, “as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube”. This directly relates to Dr. King’s title of his speech “A time to break the silence referring to all of the affects the United States fighting in the Vietnam War has had on the world. Somehow this madness must cease. In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. He quotes Langston Hughes, in his speech to establish a connection between the struggle for civil liberty in United States and the oppression in Vietnam. In fact, he employs ethos, logos, and pathos to get his intended meaning across. King Jr delivered his “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence” in 1967 in NewYork City. Christina Knight is Managing Editor of Institutional Marketing at WNET. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us. He drafted several speeches for King over the years and eventually became the first director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. The actual speech begins at 1:41 in the recording. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King delivered his first major public statement against the Vietnam War, entitled "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence." It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. War was an inhuman and barbaric exercise and America’s participation was not in human interest. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. As we counsel young men concerning military service, we must clarify for them our nation’s role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. Some great cause, God’s new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight, Their questions are frighteningly relevant. It is also a much more dangerous and disturbing speech, which is … Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. In Doctor Martin Luther King’s Speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” King reaches out to his “fellow Americans” (2) to speak for those who are hurting so that they will come to the agreement that violence is not the solution. Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future Vietnam government. In this way, he tries to stress that even if we have progressed, we have grown  nowhere better than the ancient barbarians that killed for fun. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.”, “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote: Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. We must move past indecision to action. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break Silence" 1000 Words | 4 Pages. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” We in the West must support these revolutions. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. Addressing a crowd of 3,000 at Riverside Church in New York City, King condemned the war as anti-democratic, impractical, and unjust. In his argument, King mounts a multi-pronged attack on America’s participation in the Vietnam war and also gains people’s sympathy for the Vietnamese. I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. He includes various perspectives and addresses several counterarguments with the intention to prove the futility of war as a tool to address social, economic and political problems. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. contact: support@notesmatic.com, admin@notesmatic.com, https://nolongerinvisiblemen.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/sparknotes-for-martin-luther-king-jr-s-a-time-to-break-silence/, https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm, Navigating the Job Market During and After COVID-19, 4 Vital Considerations for Businesses Implementing the Internet of Things, How to Build a Sales & Marketing Funnel to Increase Sales Conversions, How To Make Online Marketing Your Business’s New Best Friend. This is a case of getting out of a certain frame of mind, of a way of thinking about ourselves and about the world.”. The impacts of dialogues on the audience will also be evaluated. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. I join you in this meeting because I’m in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. The legacy of his speech is reflected in  The Vietnam War, an 18-hour series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (streaming to PBS members again starting August 4, 2020). It encompasses all humanity and not just America. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. King used his famous oration skills to point out the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign affairs in view of the sorry domestic state of equality in America. America never was America to me, With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China — for whom the Vietnamese have no great love — but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. Through his use of imagery, diction, and parallel structure, Martin Luther King Jr associates the war in Vietnam with injustice in his famous speech, "Beyond Vietnam - … However, his speech is not filled entirely with only emotionally charged words and phrases or just with pictures of war and destruction or poverty. While his I Have a Dream speech is considered his best one, his other speeches too offer a glimpse of his powerful rhetoric and his art of persuasion. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. 2 In an article titled, “Beyond Vietnam-A time to Break Silence.”, he tries to provide compelling evidence and sound reasoning to decry America’s involvement in Vietnam war. Using the approach, the context of the speech will be analyzed according to the classical cannon of rhetorical. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. This is an attempt to connect with the audience’s emotions and prove that the war was imposed on them and even if politicians call it patriotic, society and people would never love war. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor — both black and white — through the poverty program. The church maintains an active social justice mission today. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. King successfully brings out the irony behind the war through the use of figurative speech and plenty of imagery to paint a picture of destruction and doom in Vietnam. King also links the issue to the question of America’s integrity. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. 2. 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’m speaking against the war. The date must be mentioned that we can trust plain language and literacy, the ability to classify cohabiting couples prepare-cc couple relationship types. His speech grows deeply sarcastic at times. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries. While his words clearly deliver his disappointment over the path American government had chosen, it also expresses a clear intention to not be with the wrong and instead listen to one’s inner voice. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do [immediately] to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict: Number one: End all bombing in North and South Vietnam. Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.” “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. His choice of diction and use of imagery help him deliver his point effectively in a manner that impresses both the audience’s heart and mind. He picks from history as well as politics and also supports his choices with philosophical wisdom. However, all wanted clarity on the subject. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible. As a concerned and alarmed American during a time of war, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” April 4 th, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York in hopes of persuading his fellow Americans that the U.S’s involvement in Vietnam was unjust. To get his point through and make the meaning clear, King uses phrases like “break the silence of the night”, “a vocation of agony”, ‘based upon the mandates of conscience’, ‘deeper level of awareness’. Apart from the use of ethos, pathos and logos in his speech, he builds a rock solid argument by involving religious figures and facts from history and philosophy. He notes how essential it is to break silence before all hope is lost. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch antirevolutionaries. Martin Luther King, Jr., giving his speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence at Riverside Church in NYC, April 4, 1967. The “Beyond Vietnam” speech was, indeed, a “Call to Conscience”! Tax ID: 26-2810489. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence was actually a collaborative work largely written by a close associate and friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. —- Vincent Harding. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. It is just a  continuation of the regimes that have been trying to oppress the Vietnamese. I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. ‘Beyond Vietnam' was a speech that resonated in so many hearts during such a tragic time. We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. We must rapidly begin…we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. Meanwhile — Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. Omar Khayyam is right: “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.”. Now let us begin. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours. Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. 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