Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – The filmmaker, his point was to illustrate or demonstrate that the Reverend King wasn’t just a civil rights campaigner, that he cared about civil rights and the civil liberties of all Americans. In other words, he was not myopic and just focused particularly on one issue or one specific minority or one race. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
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Mike Douglas: Dr. King, why did you decide to urge Negroes not to fight in Vietnam?
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Well, I think my view has been a little distorted at that point. I haven’t only urged Negroes not to fight. I feel that the war is so unjust, so abominable, so feudal and bloody and costly that nobody should be fighting there. I haven’t limited my concern to just the American Negro, although I know we are dying in disproportionate numbers there and we are on the losing end both there and at home, because as long as the war in Vietnam continues, social programs will inevitably suffer here at home.
Douglas: Don’t you think that your remarks have created doubts about the Negro’s loyalty to his country?
King: Some people may feel that. I don’t think our loyalty to the country should be measured by our ability to kill. I think our loyalties to the country should be measured by our ability to lead the nation to higher heights of democracy and to the great dream of justice and humanity.
Douglas: You honestly feel, Dr. King, that the war in Vietnam could be stopped now without harm to this country?
King: Well, there are two ways to deal with it. One is a unilateral withdrawal. I don’t oppose that because I feel that this is a possibility. After all, France withdrew unilaterally from Algeria, withdrew without a military victory. This did not lessen France’s prestige or influence in the world, if anything it increased its prestige in the world.
King: I think that’s an even greater reason why we should restrain our power. There’s always the danger that any nation will abuse its power. I think our power must be much more than military power. We don’t need to prove to the world or anybody our military power. I think we’ve got to prove our moral power.
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Mike: The Reverend Martin Luther King. If you were paying attention, there was a great quote that just came out of that. I just posted it up on the Twitter feed if you’re following me on Twitter. Please check our website out. Today’s Pile of Prep is chock full of all your preparatory goodness for another day spent living, eating, sleeping, breathing [r]epublicanism. Here’s the quote from MLK I just tweeted out, “I don’t think our loyalty to our country should be measured by our ability to kill.” Wow! That is profound. Mike Douglas says: You don’t want to go join the war effort in Vietnam, what does that say about the American Negro’s loyalty to his country? I’m quoting when I say “American Negro,” by the way, and I have MLK to rely on now because I have the digital media file. I’m just reiterating that lest there be someone who would try to cast dispersions on my intentions here. He’s asked: What about your loyalty to your country if you don’t want to go and fight this war? I think that’s a profound answer: I don’t think my loyalty ought to be measured by my ability to kill people.
But here in 2013, I wonder what kind of an audience Reverend Martin Luther King would have saying things like he’s saying today. Mr. Gruss, I wonder what, for example, the doyenne of the decepticons at the Washington Compost, Jennifer Rubens, would say of the clip that I just played of Dr. King if we just swapped out Afghanistan for Vietnam. They’d have a hard time dealing with that. It would be very difficult to just pooh-pooh it and say: King’s one of these rabblerousing libertarian isolationist fortressed-America nuts like Senator Rand Paul and that satellite radio goon, that King Dude character. But since it would be coming from Reverend King, imagine the audience, which is why I continue to play the clip. Andrew, do you know there are 146,000 views of that clip on YouTube?
AG: I’d never heard the speech before you started playing it before the show a couple days ago.
Mike: There are three clips, part one of three. It’s kind of a short film / documentary. I need to learn a little more about it so I can speak with some knowledge and authority. The filmmaker, his point was to illustrate or demonstrate that the Reverend King wasn’t just a civil rights campaigner, that he cared about civil rights and the civil liberties of all Americans. In other words, he was not myopic and just focused particularly on one issue or one specific minority or one race. To him, this was an effort and his efforts were, even though he was disproportionately — simply because of the situation he was dealing with and the way the laws were written at the time and were being adjudicated — he was disproportionately perceived to be just a campaigner for the civil liberties and rights of black Americans.
As you just heard in that clip, when he was asked the question, he said: I think my view has been distorted. Just imagine that, his view was distorted back in 1967. He was already being misquoted. What you heard him say was: I’m not limiting my criticism of the war in Vietnam to just black folks; I don’t think anybody ought to be going over there. These are the words and the thoughts and pronunciations of a man of some significant Christian faith, I think. That’s three days in a row now I’ve played that clip. I’ve played it in different hours every day just to make certain — we have a lot of audience turnover in the morning show here — that everyone that tunes in at any specific hour has heard it. It is in Tuesday’s Pile of Prep if you want to get the link to it.
End Mike Church Show Transcript