Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Backlash

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"Dr. King's Disservice to His Cause." (April 21, 1967). Life, 62(16), 4.

After Martin Luther King's April 4, 1967 speech, given at the Riverside Church in New York City, against the war in Vietnam, many in the press were quick to condemn King's position. Life magazine called the speech a "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The editorial continues, "Dr. King, a Nobel Prize winner justly honored for his philosophy of nonviolence, could be expected to have strong personal reservations about our involvement in Vietnam. But he goes beyond his personal right to dissent when he connects progress in civil rights here with a proposal that amounts to abject surrender in Vietnam -- and suggests that youths should become conscientious objectors rather than serve." The editorial board of Life magazine also suggested that if the civil rights movement was stalling, that "Dr. King and his tactics," not just the monetary drain the Vietnam war was causing, were to blame.

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