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I can’t find a transcription of this speech that is correct.  All of the versions available leave out critical bits of this speech.  They leave out the mention of spending too much on military bases instead of bases of genuine concern, etc.  A typical example of the attempt to de-radicalize the good Rev. King.   Listen to this in its entirety.

“My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

……..

“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. n the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. 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.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. 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.”

It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin 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. A true revolution of values will lay hands 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 veins of people 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.”

I have pulled some quotes from this speech but reading or listening to the speech in its entirety is the only way to do this speech justice.  Please do.  Here is the speech in full text w/an audio: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

Courtesy of Dr. Vigil of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Feminist. Revolutionary. Historian.

 

On October 8th and 9th, The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies will host a two-day event organized around the work of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a long-time feminist and historian of indigenous peoples.  A native of rural Oklahoma, Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz holds a PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was co-founder of the Department of Ethnic Studies at California State University, East Bay, where she taught Native American Studies. Among her many publications are The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty, which will be republished by the University of Nebraska Press in 2013.  She is currently writing a history of the United States from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples.

Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz has played an important role in the development of indigenous and feminist organizations, nationally and globally. From 1997 to 2005, she served as a non-governmental representative in United Nations sessions devoted to the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, the Decade for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, among others. She was the founding director of the Indigenous World Association and the Interim Director of the Women’s Studies Program at California State University – Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) from 1995 to 1997.

Dunbar-Ortiz is equally well-known and respected for the several memoirs she has published that reflect the movements and activities in which she has participated. These books include Red Dirt:  Growing Up Okie (London and New York: Verso, 1997; republished by University of Oklahoma Press, 2005); Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960 – 1975 (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002) and Blood on the Border: Memoir of the Contra War (Cambridge: South End Press, 2005).

The events are co-sponsored by: American Indian Center, American Indian Studies, Carolina Indian Circle, Carolina Women’s Center, Center for Global Initiatives, Curriculum in Global Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of History, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, First Nations Graduate Circle, Feminist Students United!, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Institute for the Study of the Americas, Social and Economic Justice Minor, The Sonja Haynes Stone Center, and The Southern Oral History Program and UNC Latina/o Studies Program.

Feminist Students United (FSU) is a progressive feminist organization which affirms that no form of oppression can be overcome until all aspects of racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism are dismantled. We acknowledge intersecting identities and strive to be mindful of these intersections in all our work. We endeavor to create an environment which is non-hierarchical and supportive in nature, and we work to bring about change in our community through education, outreach, direct action and community organizing.

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