I have been listening to a podcast episode on Democracy Now where they played two speeches from Martin Luther King.
Nearly 48 years ago Martin Luther King (wikpedia page) delivered his optimistic and hopeful “I have a dream speech“. I’ve heard part of that speech before but never any others. The podcast played two other remarkable speeches from Martin Luther King. The speech “Beyond Vietnam” is still very relavant today. The second “I have been to the mountain top” is from a man who know his time on this earth is limited.
Exactly 1 year prior to his assasination he made a speech “Beyond Vietnam”
calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”. He also spoke about international aid “true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar….it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”. It was slammed in the media and Time Magazine called the speech “Demagogic Slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi” and time The Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”
“I Have Been to the Mountain Top”
In April 3, 1968 he made a speech called “I Have Been to the Mountain Top”. Towards the end of the speech he talks about the time he was stabbed and almost died. In hospital he received many letters of support and out of all the messages he received there was one that he’ll never forget. The excerpt below is from the end of that speech starting with that letter. In the speech he seems to foresee his own early death.
The next day he was shot dead.