The Speech that got Martin Luther King, Jr. Killed

Dr. Benjamin Spock (2nd-L), Martin Luther King, Jr. (C), Father Frederick Reed and Cleveland Robinson lead a huge pacifist rally protesting U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, Mar. 16, 1967 in New York.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Lately I have been on an American History kick since that is  what my boys are studying this year. I’m learning so much! Guess I should have stayed awake in class back in high school.  While reading George Washington’s Farewell address which was AMAZINGLY prophetic and wise, I started to wonder if anyone had made a podcast of speeches so I could listen while running. And, sure enough they have! I found a few different ones including this one called Learn Out Loud. Today while running through town on this warm (75 degrees!) and blustery Fall day, while watching the gold and orange leaves blowing down the street and avoiding the beeping garbage truck,  I listened to this speech called Beyond Vietnam  and I was blown away. I have always admired Dr. King and this speech  strengthened my belief that he was truly a great man and was murdered because he was resisting the evil in this country. I urge you to listen and see if it matches up with your previous thoughts on the subjects he mentions. King was assassinated one year to the day later which I am sure was no coincidence. And the day he made the speech he lost a lot of support from his own people and President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Here is a little more info on that. The Story of King’s Beyond Vietnam Speech: NPR  

Click the link below to go to the webpage to listen. Or look in your podcast app for Learn Out Loud. While you’re there, you can also listen to  “I Have a Dream” and George Washington’s Farewell Address.

Beyond Vietnam By Martin Luther King Jr.

What do you think? Was King right to say these things? Were the civil rights activists right to distance themselves from him? Would King have been the first Black President someday if he hadn’t been murdered? Did you know about the history of Vietnam and France and the aid of the United States?


  1. He probably could have been president, but not in that time period. He was killed because the system saw him as a threat to their power. He spoke bold truth to powerful people and they didn’t like the following he had. It is dangerous to speak truth to power. The history of Vietnam is interesting, including French involvement. I always liked studying MLK when I was a kid. God bless!

  2. I’ve been trying to finish the speech. A few things stand out, it seems that King was more opposed to class and status than just color.

    He talks about liberating a foreign people while people here in America are still held back. I thought this was interesting based on my experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, overseas we trained and armed foreign militaries, foreign police and even foreign rebels, yet here at home, arms & rights are constantly being limited for our own citizens.

    America goes overseas to take out tyrants and dictators, yet empowers tyrants and dictators here at home.

    This is why I have distanced myself from “patriotism” and my feelings for our own country have soured.

    • Sadly I am starting to feel the same way, but not necessarily toward America as toward the powers that be. The People and the original beliefs of our country are still good. I’m just seeing that there have been many bad decisions made and bad motivations. Yet good people can still act if they don’t give up and if they do not reject God.

      • I think the Left is composed of two types, idealistic college kids and academics, and actual radical Socialists. Their true agenda is destruction of the Constitution and morals and absolute control over the working and poor classes. They will lie and make promises of all kinds to get votes, regardless of viability.

      • What are your thoughts the right moving to the left and adopting leftist ideologies?

        Trump instituted gun control and his AG, Barr is furthering gun control.

        Lindsey Graham and Dan Crenshaw have also proposed gun control.

        Jeff Sessions made it easier for law enforcement to acquire private property and profit off of the property they take from Americans.

        Planned parenthood is still being funded and there seems to be no effort to end abortions in America, from the majority conservative Supreme Court, or in the halls of government, Republican and Democrat alike.

        The department of education is furthering their push to sexualize children, Betsy devos and trump are both silent on this.

  3. Honest – I don’t possess the attention span or interest in history to truly benefit from this, but I did attempt to listen to the entire speech. my one BIG TAKEAWAY, is that MLK had the courage to deliver this speech (his belief and view) even though he fully knew it would decrease his popularity.

    What would you rather possess? Popularity or Character? Truth is you can only serve one master, and when given the opportunity many of us (like me) unconsciously (or consciously) choose the wrong path.

  4. Thanks for trying to listen! That’s why I listen on my runs. I am too antsy to just sit and listen. 😀 And you’re right that he knew what was going to happen and did the right thing.

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