Martin Luther King Jr. and Joan Baez march for school integration in Grenada, Mississippi on September 20, 1966.
(Original Caption) The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. today [Sept. 20] led nearly 200 Negro children to schools where integration last week set off a mob frenzy by whites. Dr. King told a gathering of Negro pupils and parents at the Bellflower Baptist Church before leading them on the demonstration that he could not agree with the black power slogan of ‘‘Burn, baby, burn’’ that came out of the 1965 riots in Watts. ‘‘I am forced to disagree with that slogan,’’ Dr. King said. ‘‘I say, ‘Learn, baby, learn’ and ‘Build, baby, build.’’’
Martin Luther King Jr. the Lost Speech - The Casualties of the Vietnam War
the reason that we are posting this speech is because we have a belief looking at the situation as it exists in politics today that Donald Trump is going to start a war.
if he does it will be exactly the same war that Richard Nixon fought in Vietnam. He will do it by sending all minorities and people he considers undesirables.
Just like Nixon, Trump will spill poor peoples blood. once again sending minorities off to foreign lands, to fight for those he considers too good to get their hands dirty for America’s RICH ideals.
I lived during this time and I can tell you that I know what happened.
Yes I followed it intensely as a child and a student. Richard Nixon was exactly who we see today Donald Trump.
He is Hateful. He is a separationist. He has no relationship whatsoever to the majority of people in this country.
People, who did not vote for Trump. People who he will end up disenfranchising purposely.
Do not be deceived
Do not look away
and do not pretend this is not happening because America you made this.
AMERICA you did this
Stand up and look at yourself in the mirror. Look at yourselves and be disgusted at what you truly invented this time.
Nothing but hate. Nothing but divisiveness. Nothing but pure lies.
America this is what you have done now stand up and look at what you are going to have to deal with because you did it.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was leaving a news conference one afternoon when a tall man with a coppery complexion stepped out of the crowd and blocked his path. Malcolm X, the African-American Muslim leader who once called King “Rev. Dr. Chicken-wing,” extended his hand and smiled.
“Well, Malcolm, good to see you,” King said after taking Malcolm X’s hand.
“Good to see you,” Malcolm X replied as both men broke into huge grins while a gaggle of photographers snapped pictures of their only meeting.
That encounter on March 26, 1964, lasted only a minute. But a photo of that meeting has tantalized scholars and supporters of both men for more than 45 years.
As the 85th birthday of Malcolm X is marked on Wednesday, history has freeze-framed him as the angry black separatist who saw whites as blue-eyed devils. Yet near the end of his life, Malcolm X was becoming more like King – and King was becoming more like him. “In the last years of their lives, they were starting to move toward one another,” says David Howard-Pitney, who recounted the Capitol Hill meeting in his book “Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. "While Malcolm is moderating from his earlier position, King is becoming more militant,” Pitney says.
Malcolm X was reaching out to King even before he broke away from the Nation of Islam and embraced Sunni Islam after a pilgrimage to Mecca, says Andrew Young, a member of King’s inner circle at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights group King headed.“Even before his trip to Mecca, Malcolm used to come by the SCLC’s office,” Young says. “Unfortunately, Dr. King was never there when he came."
He reached out to King and other civil rights leaders. In 1965, Malcolm X traveled to Selma, Alabama, where King was leading a campaign, to offer support. "Brother Malcolm was definitely making an outreach to some civil rights leaders,” says A. Peter Bailey, an original member of the group Malcolm X founded, The Organization of Afro-American Unity, and a friend of Malcolm X. “He believed that the one who would be most responsive would be Dr. King.”
The Muslim leader had developed an appreciation for King, Bailey says.“He had come to believe that King believed in what he was doing,” Bailey says. “He believed in nonviolence; it just wasn’t a show. He developed respect for him. I heard him say you have to give respect to men who put their lives on the line.”
King’s movement toward Malcolm began as he shifted the civil rights movement to the North, friends and scholars say. During the last three years of his life, King became more radical. He talked about eliminating poverty and providing a guaranteed annual income for all U.S. citizens. He came out against the Vietnam War, and said American society would have to be restructured.He also veered into Malcolm X’s rhetorical territory when he started preaching black self-pride, says Pitney.
“King is photographed a number of times in 1967 and ‘68 wearing a 'Black is Beautiful’ button,’ ” Pitney says.
A year before King died, the journalist David Halberstam even told him he “sounded like a nonviolent Malcolm X,” Pitney says.
In the epic PBS civil rights series, Coretta Scott King, the civil rights leader’s widow, said King never took Malcolm X’s biting criticisms of his nonviolence stance personally. “I know Martin had the greatest respect for Malcolm …,” she said. “I think that if Malcolm had lived, at some point the two would have come closer together and would have been a very strong force.”
Hate it or Love it: 50 quotes from MLK that white people can use besides ‘hate cannot drive out hate’
around Martin Luther King Jr. Day everyone likes to drop an inspirational quote
from Dr. King. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a multifaceted philosopher
and an amazing orator with a plethora of accessible speeches, sermons and
books; yet, somewhere along the way it seems as if a rule was created,
restricting white people to one quote in particular:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only
light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I don’t know the reason behind the restriction; perhaps
because this is one of the better quotes to try to push the “I don’t see color;
we’re one race – the human race” agenda. Or perhaps the darkness and the light
can be used to represent black and white and thus play into the white savior
movement. Whatever the reason may be! BlackHistoryDay.tumblr.com is here today
to give you 50 quotes from Dr. King that I encourage you to keep in mind for your
1. “No movement of essentially
revolutionary quality can be neat and tidy.”
2. “The only answer that one can give
to those who would question the readiness of the Negro for integration is that
the standards of the Negro lag behind at times not because of an inherent
inferiority, but because of the fact that segregation and discrimination do
3. “There is no more torturous logic
than to use the tragic effects of segregation as an argument for its
is one of the ironies of history that in a nation founded on the principle that
all men are created equal, we’re still arguing over whether the color of a
man’s skin determines the content of his character.”
5. “There comes a time, my friends,
when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, where
they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when
people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July
and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.”
6. “There are some things that we’ve got to learn
to sacrifice for. And we’ve got to come to the point that we are determined not
to accept a lot of things that we have been accepting in the past.”
7. “We can never be satisfied as long
as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality…”
8. “We must see now that the evils of
racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t
really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of
American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must
put [our] own house in order.”
9. “What good is having the right to
sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?”
10. “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.”
11. “If we will but make the right choice,
we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world,
when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty
12. “That the poor white has been put into
this position, where through blindness and prejudice, he is forced to support
his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling
that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can’t hardly eat and make his
ends meet week in and week out.”
our scientific and technological developments we have lifted our heads to the skies,
and yet our feet are still firmly planted in the muck of barbarism and racial
hatred. Indeed this is America’s chief moral dilemma.”
keep a group of people confined to nasty slums and dirty hovels is not a State
Right, but a State Wrong.”
15. “It may be true that
morals cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated.”
may be true that laws and federal action cannot change bad internal attitudes,
but they can control the external effects of those internal attitudes.”
law may not be able to make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me.”
this nation came into being with a massive act of law breaking; for what
implied more civil disobedience than the Boston tea party…there’s nothing new
about law breaking.”
has brought us here for this hour to tell us to save America because our white
brothers is carrying it more and more to destruction and damnation.”
called to do it so that means we can’t stop. This should make us more
determined than ever before.”
they always tell us to cool off and I know that when you get people cooling off
too much they will end up in a deep freeze. They tell us to slow up and some of
them even say that the Negros in Albany out to go home and be quiet because
there’s a political campaign going on and you may help elect some particular
candidate that shouldn’t be in office. Well I don’t know if you have an answer
for them and I don‘t know if I have an absolute answer but I want to say to
those who are telling us to stop merely because a political campaign is going
on that this is a moral issue for us. We’re moving on towards freedom’s land.
We cannot stop our legitimate aspirations for freedom merely because some
immoral person will use this for his own political aggrandizements…”
worked in this very nation 2 centuries without wages. We made cotton king; we
built our homes and the homes of our masters in the midst of injustice and
exploitation. Yet out of a bottomless vitality we continue to grow and to live
and if the inexpressible cruelties of slavery didn’t stop us, the opposition
that we now face cannot stop us.”
absence of brutality and unregenerate evil is not the presence of justice.”
the nation passes from opposing extremist behavior to the deeper and more
pervasive elements of equality, white america reaffirms its bonds to the status
it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate
themselves out of their racial ignorance.”
is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America
believe they have so little to learn.”
find the origins of the Negro problem we must turn to the white man’s problem.”
seems to be a fact of life that human beings cannot continue to do wrong
without eventually reaching out for some rationalization to clothe their acts
in the garments of righteousness.”
greatest blasphemy of the whole ugly process was that the white man ended up
making God his partner in the exploitation of the Negro.”
as the ambivalence of white Americans grows out of their oppressor status, the
predicament of Negro Americans grows out of their oppressed status.”
have grown accustomed now to hearing unfeeling and insensitive whites say:
‘other immigrant groups such as the Irish, the Jews and the Italians started
out with similar handicaps, and yet they made it. Why haven’t the Negroes done
the same?’ These questioners refuse to see that the situation of other
immigrant groups a hundred years ago and the situation of the Negro today
cannot be usefully compared.”
Negro was crushed, battered and brutalized, but he never gave up. He proves
again that life is stronger than death.”
riot is at bottom the language of the unheard. It is the desperate, suicidal
cry of one who is so fed up with the powerlessness of his cave existence that
he asserts that he would rather be dead than ignored.”
is needed today on the part of white America is a committed altruism which
recognizes this truth.”
altruism is more than the capacity to pity; it is the capacity to empathize.
Pity is feeling sorry for someone; empathy is feeling sorry with someone.
Empathy is fellow feeling for the person in need— his pain, agony and burdens.”
can never be who I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the
way our world is made.”
education helps us on the one hand to know truth, but more than that it helps
us to love truth and sacrifice for it. It gives us not only knowledge, which is
power, but wisdom, which is control.”
you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by
all means keep moving.”
will move out of these mountains that have so often impeded our progress, the
mountain of moral and ethical relativism, the mountain of practical
materialism, the mountain of corroding hatred, bitterness and violence, and the
mountain of racial segregation.”
have faith in the possibility of getting over to the Promised Land. Don’t
become a pessimist and feel that we cannot get there; it is difficult
sometimes, it is hard sometimes, but always have faith that the Promised Land
can be achieved and that we can possess this land of brotherhood and peace and
individual who is not concerned about his selfhood and his freedom is at that
moment committing moral and spiritual suicide…”
42. “But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can
you see the stars.”
comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic,
nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out
sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion.”
sincere white people in the south privately oppose segregation and
discrimination, but they are apprehensive lest they be publicly condemned.”
not conform’ is difficult advice in a generation when crowd pressures have
unconsciously conditioned our minds and feet to move to the rhythmic drum beat
of the status quo.”
tragic attempt to give moral sanction to an economically profitable system gave
birth to the doctrine of white supremacy.”
physical blindness that is usually inflicted upon individuals as a result of
natural forces beyond their control, intellectual and moral blindness is a
dilemma which man inflicts upon himself by his tragic misuse of freedom and his
failure to use his mind to its fullest capacity.”
through the bringing together of head and heart-intelligence and goodness shall
man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature.”
50. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere
ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
It is no longer sufficient to brand Donald Trump as abnormal, a designation that is surely applicable but that falls significantly short in registering the magnitude of the menace.
The standard nomenclature of normal politics must be abandoned. What we are witnessing is nothing less than an assault on the fundamentals of the country itself: on our legacy institutions and our sense of protocol, decency and honesty.
In any other circumstance, we might likely write this off as the trite protestations of a man trapped in a toddler’s temperament, full of meltdowns, magical thinking and make believe. But this man’s vindictiveness and mendacity are undergirded by the unequaled power of the American president, and as such he has graduated on the scale of power from toddler to budding tyrant.
This threat Trump poses — to our morals, ethics, norms and collective sense of propriety — may be without equal from a domestic source.
Everything he is doing is an assault and matters on some level.
There is an enduring expectation, particularly among American liberals, that progress in this society should move inexorably toward more openness, honesty and equality. But even the historical record doesn’t support that expectation.
In reality, America regularly experiences bouts of regression, but fortunately, it is in those regressive periods that some of our greatest movements and greatest voices had found their footing.
President Andrew Jackson’s atrocious American Indian removal program gave us the powerful Cherokee memorial letters. The standoff at Standing Rock gave us what the BBC called “the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years.”
Crackdowns on gay bars gave us the Stonewall uprising. America’s inept response to the AIDS epidemic gave us Act Up and Larry Kramer. California’s Proposition 8 breathed new life into the fight for marriage equality and led to a victory in the Supreme Court.
The racial terror that followed the Emancipation Proclamation gave us the anti-lynching movement, the N.A.A.C.P., W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells and James Weldon Johnson.
Jim Crow gave us the civil rights movement, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Congressman John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer and James Baldwin.
The latest rash of extrajudicial killing of black people gave us Black Lives Matter.
The financial crisis and the government’s completely inadequate response to it gave us Occupy Wall Street and the 99 percent.
A renewed assault on women’s rights, particularly a woman’s right to choose, gave us, at least in part, the Women’s March, likely the largest march in American history.
Multiple populations are being assaulted at once, across race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual identity.
So, in this moment of regression, all the targets of Trump’s ire must push back with a united front, before it is too late.
African American athletes, boxer Floyd Patterson, left, and former baseball player Jackie Robinson, right, discuss Birmingham race relations with civil rights leaders, Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, second from left, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Birmingham, Ala., May 14, 1963. The athletes addressed gatherings at two churches in the area last night. Man at far left is unidentified. (AP Photo)
A whole slew of new releases this week. The highly anticipated “Dear Martin” finally hits shelves, Malinda Lo’s newest is out this week, as well as National Book Award finalist “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”. This is not a good week for my wallet.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Crown Books for Young Readers
Justyce McAllister is a good kid. Fourth in his class and captain of the debate team at his prestigious prep-school–where he’s one of only a handful of African-American students–he’s destined for success. But none of that prevents him from being falsely accused of a crime and held in too-tight handcuffs for hours.
With eyes wide open, Justyce begins writing letters to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to process his experiences, and respond through the lens of Dr. King’s teachings. But when Justyce falls victim to the exact kind of incident he’s worked so hard to avoid–an encounter with an off-duty police officer that ends in tragedy–everything Justyce believed about “The King’s Way” is called into question.
As Justyce struggles to process through his grief and the way he’s being negatively portrayed in the media, he’s faced with the biggest challenge of all: in a world full of odds that are obviously stacked against him, who is he going to be?
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo
Dutton Books for Young Readers
The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.
Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.
As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.
When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.
“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”
A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.
I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez Knopf Books for Young Readers
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
Like Water by Rebecca Podos Balzer + Bray
A gorgeously written and deeply felt literary young adult novel of identity, millennial anxiety, and first love, from the widely acclaimed author of The Mystery of Hollow Places
In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. Now, she doesn’t have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another.
That changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person stirs up the moat Vanni has carefully constructed around herself, and threatens to bring to the surface the questions she’s held under for so long.
With her signature stunning writing, Rebecca Podos, author of The Mystery of Hollow Places, has crafted a story of first love and of the complex ways in which the deepest parts of us are hidden, even from ourselves.
The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater Farrar, Straus and Giroux
One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever.
If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership conference, told 5,000 peace demonstrators yesterday that the Viet Nam war is a “blasphemy against all that America stands for,” and that President Johnson is more interested in the Viet Nam war than in the war on poverty.
Dr. King had led the demonstrators in a parade in State street. At his side was Dr. Benjamin Spock, co-chairman of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, a sponsor of the parade and rally.
Atrocities Equal Cong’s Speaking in the Coliseum, Dr. King said, “We are committing atrocities equal to any perpetrated by the Viet Cong. We are left standing before the world glutted by our own barbarity. We are engaged in a war that seeks to turn the clock of history back and perpetuate white colonialism.”
Dr. King said the United States spends $322,000 for each enemy that is killed and it spends $53 for each person in the “so-called” war on poverty.
“And much of that $53 goes for salaries of people who are not poor,” he said.
Peace Lovers Organize “Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as the war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war, we must spread the propaganda of peace. We must combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement. We must demonstrate, preach, and teach, and organize until the very foundations of our nation are shaken.”
Dr. King left immediately after he spoke, and the audience began to leave with him. Dr. Spock, who followed Dr. King to the rostrum, spoke to a half empty house.
Dr. Spock called America the aggressor in Viet Nam and charged that our government has succumbed to an unhealthy distortion of reality.
“Accusation Isn’t True” “Lyndon Johnson launched attack on North Viet Nam claiming that it was engaged in a direct military effort to take over South Viet Nam. But history shows—to anyone willing to read it—that this accusation was not true.
“For 13 years our government has been trying, unsuccessfully to gain control of South Viet Nam, by means of a Quisling puppet regime and more recently by armed invasion.”
Dr. Spock to Quit After the rally, Dr. Spock, 64, said he plans to retire from his post at Western Reserve university to devote more time to the peace movement.
Another speaker, Emil Mazey, secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers, said, “There has been a tremendous credibility gap in the information that the American people have been fed concerning Viet Nam.”
He called upon President Johnson to redouble efforts to achieve peace.
Peaceful Pacifists During the parade, the demonstrators marched along peacefully carrying numerous signs protesting the war and identifying some of the groups of marchers.
Most of the spectators went about their shopping business after brief glances at the parade. Here and there along the route were groups of young men who carried signs saying “We support our men in Viet Nam” and shouting “We hate communists” and “we want Rockwell.” This was a reference to George Lincoln Rockwell, head ot the American Nazi party.
Douglas Robinson, The New York Times, 16 April 1967
Thousands of antiwar demonstrators marched through the Streets of Manhattan yesterday and then massed in front of the United Nations building to hear United States policy In Vietnam denounced.
The Police Department’s office of Community Relations said that police, off leers at the scene estimated the number of demonstrators outside the United Nations at “between 100,000 and 125,000.”
It was difficult to make any precise count because people were continually leaving and entering the rally area. It was also almost Impossible to distinguish the demonstrators from passersby and spectators.
On Friday the police had announced that they were preparing for a crowd of 100,000 to 400,000.
Leaders of Parade It was the largest peace demonstration staged in New York since the Vietnam war began. It took four hours for all the marchers to leave Central Park for the United Nations Plaza.
The parade was led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Benjamin Spock, the pediatrician, and Harry Belafonte, the singer, as well as several other civil rights and religious figures, all of whom linked arms as they moved out of the park at the head of the line.
The marchers—who had poured into New York on chartered buses, trains and cars from cities as far away as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago—included housewives from Westchester, students and poets from the Lower East Side, priests and nuns, doctors, businessmen and teachers.
Chant From Youths As they began trooping out of Central Park toward Fifth Avenue, some of the younger demonstrators chanted: “Hell no, we won’t go,“ and “Hey, Hey, L. B. J., How Many Kids Did You Kill Today.”
Most of the demonstrators, however, marched silently as they passed equally silent crowds of onlookers. At several points—notably Central Park South from the—Avenue of the Americas to Fifth Avenue—the sidewalks were swarming with onlookers. Other blocks were almost deserted.
Some of the marchers were , hit with eggs and red paint. At 47th Street and Park Avenue, several demonstrators were struck by steel rods from a building under construction. Some plastic cups filled with sand barely missed another group. There were no serious injuries.
At least five persons were arrested for disorderly conduct. Three youths were taken into custody when they tried to rush a float that depicted the Statue of Liberty.
The demonstration here and a similar One in San Francisco were sponsored by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a loose confederation of leftwing, pacifist and moderate antiwar groups;
A few minutes before 11 AM, an hour before the parade started, about 70 young men gathered on an outcropping of rock in the southeast comer of the Sheep Meadow in Central Park to bum their draft cards. They were quickly joined by others, some of whom appeared to have decided to join in on the spot.
Hard to Check The demonstrators said that nearly 200 cards were burned, although in the chanting, milling throng it was impossible to get an accurate count or to tell whether all the papers burned were draft cards.
Surrounded by a human chain that kept out hundreds of onlookers, the demonstrators first clustered In small groups around cigarette lighters, then sat down and passed cards up to a youth holding a flaming coffee cam Cheers and chants of “Resist, Resist,” went up as small white cards—many of which were passed hand to hand from outside the circle—caught fire.
Many of the demonstrators carried or wore daffodils and chanted “Flower Power.”
It was the first large draft-card, burning in the protests against the war in Vietnam, although groups of up to a dozen had publicly burned their cards.
Among the group yesterday was a youth in the uniform, jump boots and green beret of the Army Special Forces, whose name tag said “Rader.” He identified himself as Gary Rader of Evanston, Ill., and said he had served a year and a half of active duty as a reservist.
Like the rest of the demonstrators, the card burners were a mixed group. Most were of college age, and Included bearded, button-wearing hippies, earnest students in tweed coats and ties, and youths who fitted in neither category.
There were a number of girls who burned half of their husband’s or boy friend’s draft cards while the men burned the other half. Among the burners were a sprinkling of older men, including several veterans and the Rev. Thomas Hayes of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship.
Last week the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held unconstitutional a law passed in 1965 banning draft-card burning under pain of a maximum 5-year sentence and a $10,000; fine; Two convictions under the law, however, have been upheld by United States Courts of Appeals in the Second and Eighth Circuits.
Vietcong Flags Raised In his speech at the United Nations rally, Dr. King repeatedly called on the United States to “honor its word0 and “stop the bombing of North Vietnam.”
“I would like to urge students from colleges all over the nation to use this summer and coming summers educating and organizing communities across the nation against war,” Dr. King told the crowd.
Before making his speech, the minister and a five-man delegation presented a formal note to Dr. Ralph Bunche, Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations.
The note said: “We rally at the United Nations in order to affirm support of the principals of peace, universality, equal rights and self-determination of peoples embodied in the Charter and acclaimed by mankind, but violated by the United States.” The demonstrators began to assemble in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow early in the morning.
On one grassy knoll, a group calling itself the United States Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam built a 40-foot high tower of black cardboard tubing. They then attached a number of Liberation Front (Vietcong) flags, of blue and red with a gold star in the center.
At 12:20 P.M., the parade stepped off from Central Park South and the Avenue of the Americas, with Dr. King and the other leaders in the vanguard. They were surrounded by a group of parade marshals who linked hands to shield them from possible violence. From the hundreds of people lining the route of march came expressions of anger or support.
“I think it’s terrible, ” said Carl Hoffman, an engineer from Hartford, who stood at the corner where the march began.
Nearby, 20-year-old Estelle Klein, an office manager from Queens, gazed at the students, nuns, businessmen, veterans and doctors marching by and said: “I’d be out there too, but I don’t know, I just don’t think it’ll do any good.”
As the demonstrators moved east on 59th Street, they encountered bands of youths carrying American flags and hoisting placards with such slogans as “Bomb Hanoi” and “Dr. Spock Smokes Bananas.”
The bands of youths ran along the sidewalks paralleling the line of march, calling insults at the demonstrators.
Along one stretch of high-rise apartment houses on Lexington Avenue, eggs were dumped from a number of windows and many marchers had their clothes stained with red paint tossed by persons behind police barricades.
Guests Peer Out From the windows of the Barbizon-Plaza Hotel the Plaza and the St. Moritz, guests—a few still in pajamas—peered from their rooms at the throng moving out of the park. Most of these watchers neither applauded nor heckled.
Although the demonstrators were supposed to follow a line of march set up by the police, several thousand members of the Harlem contingent broke away and marched down Seventh Avenue through Times Square.
Several fistfights broke out in Times Square between angry motorists caught in a huge traffic jam and the paraders.
At 42d Street and Second Avenue, a fight broke out between several spectators and 19-year-old Edward Katz of Manhattan. Mr. Katz said later that he was trying to get to his car with his wife and baby when “a group of anti-peace people started knocking over the baby carriage.”
By 4 P.M., the last of the marchers had moved out of Central Park, leaving it looking like at disaster area. The paths and roadways were covered with litter.
There were several floats in the parade, including one on which Pete Seeger, the folk singer, rode with a number :of children. They sang folk songs like “This Land Is Your Land” as they rolled along the line of march.
Most of the marchers carried signs that had been authorized and printed by the Spring Mobilization Committee. Among the slogans were “Stop the Bombing,0 “No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger’! and, “Children Are Not Born to Burn.”
There were many unauthorized banners and placards, however. One, a bed sheet carried by three young men, bore in large black letters the words, “Ho Chi Minh is a Virgin.”
A minor scuffle between the police and the peace marchers broke out at 3 P.M. on the south side of 42d Street just west of First Avenue when some marchers tried to turn north.
Patrolmen, on foot moved into the crowd, trying to push them into line. Other policemen on horseback charged into the throng and helped turn the marchers back. Nearby, counter-demonstrators screamed: “Kill them, kill them.”
The speeches at the United Nations did not, start until after 2 P.M. While the demonstrators waited, filling the plaza from 47th to 42d Streets, they were entertained by folk singers.
An overflow crowd filled the side-streets west of First Avenue. More than 2,000 policemen were on hand at the United Nations to keep order, and to separate demonstrators from counter-demonstrators.
‘Be-in’ at the Park A “be-in” of several thousand young men and women preceded the start of the parade. They gathered on a rock but-cropping in the southeast corner of the Sheep Meadow, dancing and singing to the music of guitars, flutes and drums.
Many of the young people had painted their faces and legs with poster paint. The sweet smell of cooking bananas hung over the group.
Unidentified demonstrators set fire to an American flag held up on a flagstaff in the park before the march began, the police said. No arrests were made in connection with the incident.
After leaving Dr. Bundle’s office at the United Nations, Dr. King told newsmen that the “demonstration was “just a beginning of a massive outpouring of concern and protest activity against this illegal and unjust war.”
The speeches ended soon after 5 P.M. when a downpour drenched the plaza, converting it into a field of soggy clothing, peeling placards and deep puddles.
The rally area was almost completely deserted by 6:30, except for crews from the Sanitation Department who were cleaning up a mountain; of debris.
Speakers at the rally, in addition to Dr. King, included Floyd McKissick, national secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality, and Stokely Carmichael, leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Mr. Carmichael, who spoke against background shouts of “black power,” described the United States’ presence in Vietnam as “brutal and racist,” and declared that he was against “drafting young men, particularly young black Americans.”
Mr. McKissick called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam and predicted that the turnout of marchers would bring “some positive, action” from Washington.
The Rev. James Bevel, who was national director of Spring Mobilization, said he would give President Johnson “one month to stop murdering those folks in Vietnam.”
“That’s all we’ll give him, one month to pull those guns^out,” Mr. Bevel said with his fists upraised. “If he doesn’t, we’ll close down New York City.” He did not elaborate.
Before leaving Central Park, Mr. Belafonte told newsmen that he was participating in the demonstration because “the war in Vietnam—like all wars—is immoral.”
Why are there 40 million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here?” (Aug 1967)
Beware of generalizations about any faith…Hinduism contained both Gandhi and the fanatic who assassinated him. The Dalai Lama today is an extraordinary humanitarian, but the fifth Dalai Lama in 1660 ordered children massacred “like eggs smashed against rocks.” Christianity encompassed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and also the 13th century papal legate who in France ordered the massacre of 20,000 Cathar men, women and children for heresy…The Taliban gunmen who shot Malala Yousafzai for advocating for education were Muslims; so was Malala.
I’ve come upon something that disturbs me deeply. We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house. I’m afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had. And I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.
“I fear, I am integrating my people into a burning house.”
You know, Dr. King, if you don’t know anything about these questions, you should say you don’t know. And then we can go on with the meeting.
Johnnie Tillmon, chairwoman of the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a meeting about welfare issues, as he continued to interrupt and speak over her (1968).